Positive progress on strategic review of public conveniences
5th September 2018
Progress on the Highland Council's review of its public conveniences has been welcomed by the Council's Administration.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Environment Development and Infrastructure Committee said: "It's important that we put the review into context and acknowledge that Highland Council is the largest provider of public conveniences in the UK.
He added: "Once the review is complete we will be able to confirm that there is a sustainable network of toilets across the authority area. We will continue to identify further opportunities for public facilities with partners and are optimistic about making positive changes for the future. We are also directly in discussion with The North Highland Initiative (NHI), creators of the NC500, to look at how Highland Council works with partners to create a network of toilets across the route.
"An extremely helpful outcome of the review has been to map all the facilities provided and this will highlight a wide range of accessible facilities for locals and visitors alike."
A programme of engagement with Elected Members and communities has taken place over the summer. Officers from the Council's Amenity Services have attended Ward Business Meetings, Community Councils, and numerous public meetings with community representatives. As a result of this engagement, a review of the original savings proposals has been undertaken and there will be further talks.
Early indicators are showing opportunities for further partnership working to deliver strategic hub facilities. These hubs could support tourism including the increasing demands required by campervans across the Highlands and reduce the impact of increasing visitor numbers on smaller local facilities. Hubs may include toilets, campervan overnight parking with waste disposal facilities and electric car charging points.
Golspie toilets built by M M Miller, Caithness.
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.
The Highland Council is looking for experienced staff or existing managers to drive the Early Learning and Childcare initiative forward, to ensure our youngest children get the best start in life and are ready to succeed. The Council will be almost doubling the provision of early learning and childcare over the next two years.
High Life Highland today announced that it has been successful in an application to the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund, to support its HLH Leadership Programme. "Choose to Lead" will be a Leadership Award that will be recognised by the SCQF Framework and accreditation of the award will be carried out by the University of The Highlands and Islands.
The Highland Council is encouraging local community groups to participate in the Scottish Government's Local Governance Review. Members have today considered the work to date preparing for The Highland Council's contribution to the Local Governance Review.
Caithness Councillors have welcomed information that shows progress being made in respect of destinations of pupils on leaving Wick High School in recent years. The information was presented at the Caithness Area Committee meeting held in Wick on Tuesday 28 August.
The Corporate Revenue Monitoring Statement for Quarter 1 (Apr - June 18), has been considered by the Council's Corporate Resources Committee. The paper sets out actions to address the projected 1% overspend of £5.1m.
One hundred and nineteen probationer teachers were recently welcomed to the Highlands at an Induction Course held in Smithton Free Church Hall. We were also delighted to welcome a group of 13 new Canadian teachers, recruited through our agency partners TimePlan Education who will work in our primary and secondary schools across the authority.
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