Car Parking Charges Across Highland Getting Closer
12th June 2018
The results of a recent car parking review requested by The Highland Council's Redesign Board have created a vision for car parking and a shift towards localism in the region.
Members of the Redesign Board have agreed a common ground on recommendations for a new car parking policy and improvements to car parking processes in the local authority area.
Chair of the Redesign Board, Highland Council Convener, Cllr Bill Lobban said: "This is the combination of a very substantial piece of work for the Redesign Board and I would like to thank the officers involved for the considerable amount of their time and effort involved in getting the review to this stage."
Councillors on the Redesign Board have agreed to recommend to The Highland Council a new ‘vision for parking’ that will addresses traffic management, integrated transport and active travel; and local economic growth and tourism.
The new vision will provide opportunities that meet the aspirations of users while allowing local informed decision making. Delivered in a cost effective way, the vision will be based on transparent rules which are applied consistently and fairly across Highland.
The vision will also ensure that parking revenue contributes to local infrastructure improvement, and any other local priorities as agreed by local committees; and it will ensure that pricing strategies are adopted which differentiate the market (e.g. residents, visitors and shoppers) and support behavioural change.
The Board also agreed to recommend to Council that the budget and decisions on car parking be devolved to local committees; that local benefit from car parking opportunities be reinvested locally; and that new ways are introduced to support local Members makes choices and decisions on local car parking.
As part of the Council’s budget setting process for 2019/20 and subsequent years, rather than setting any single corporate target for off-street car parking, the Redesign Board is recommending that the Council would set a revenue target for local committees instead.
In the recommendations to Council it was also agreed that a revised car parking policy is also considered at the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee and that no recommendations are made to the Council on workplace charging for car parking.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
THROUGHOUT the month of November, The Highland Council's Chief Executive and members of the budget team have met with staff, groups and communities across the length and breadth of the Highlands. These sessions were part of a budget engagement exercise which also included facebook chats, survey, leaflet, video, and a budget challenge to raise awareness of budget challenges and gather views and priorities.
The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year. During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.
Members have agreed six priority commitments in a revised Council Programme at today's council meeting. The six themes within the Programme are: A Council that Champions the Highlands; A Place to Live; A place to Thrive; A place to Prosper; A Welcoming Place; and Your Highland Council These themes and the actions which the council has agreed to, reflect priorities which have emerged through the round of public engagement during November.
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