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.
Following a pre-planning drop-in session at the end of September 2018, The Highland Council has given the public a further 28 days to share their views and comment on the proposal for a new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Longman landfill site in Inverness. The public can now visit the Council's website to find out more about the MRF and to share their views on the proposal.
Dr James Vance, Head Teacher at Culloden Academy has been appointed as interim Head of Education Services with The Highland Council's Care and Learning Service. Dr Vance, who starts his new employment in January 2019, will be based at the Council's headquarters on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness.
The Highland Council has submitted a planning application for a low head hydroelectric development at the Torvean Weir on the River Ness at land 430m south west of Highland Rugby Club, on Bught Road, Inverness Using an Archimedes screw the hydroelectric scheme will have a generating capacity of up to 100kW and an average annual renewable energy output of approximately 600,000 kWh per annum. The renewable energy generated will return an income to the Council through the Feed in Tariff mechanism and be connected to the local Archive Centre and leisure centre.
The Highland Council is carrying out the formal review of its Polling Districts and Places. This review is required in terms of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 as all polling districts and polling places should be reviewed at least every four years.
Joint operation identifies poor standards of food safety and staff living accommodation. Highland Council Environmental Health Officers were required to take formal enforcement action regarding poor standards of food safety during a recent multi-agency operation led by Immigration Enforcement.
The Scottish Government's announcement of a consultation on the introduction of a visitor levy ("tourist tax") has been welcomed by The Highland Council. Convener Bill Lobban recently gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, where he emphasised the importance of tourism to the Highlands.
The Highland Council has appointed a new Chief Executive. The successful candidate is Donna Manson, currently Service Director for Children and Young People in the Scottish Borders.
Local services throughout Scotland could be plunged into crisis after - UNISON, Unite and the GMB - wrote to COSLA to say they will recommend their members reject their revised pay offer when they consult them in the coming weeks. The revised pay offer, made by COSLA on 6th September 2018, was a 3% increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000, but the trade unions are angry that this is below inflation and does not improve low pay.
Members have discussed the consultation and proposed response to a review of the structure of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme. The Highland Council Pension Fund is one of eleven constituent funds of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Highland Council has agreed to plan for a potential budget gap of £66.7 million over the next three years. It was agreed by Members in June to develop plans for a multi-year budget for the next 3 financial years (2019-22) to meet the challenge of a potential funding gap dependent on a wide range of variables.
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