Response to Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme Consultation
7th September 2018
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.
Highland Council holds a dual role in pension fund matters as it is an ‘administering authority', but also an employer member of the scheme. It was agreed that The Highland Council, as a participating employer, will also provide a separate response.
Members recognised the enviable position of the Fund and expressed a strong desire to retain control of the Fund in the Highlands. Pension Committee Members were willing to consider some cooperation with the other Scottish funds around investment and administration, only if it was demonstrated to be of benefit.
Chair of the Council's Pensions Committee, Councillor Richard Gale said: "The Highland Council Pension Fund is a success story and is fully funded through years of prudent investment. It is important that we look at a global mix of investment opportunities and while we don't rule out investing in Scottish infrastructure, it must be in the interest of our members and generate a return that justifies the investment.
"We cannot allow for us to lose control of our pension fund and two of the options, in particular, would see that control being taken by a centralised body leaving us with little or no influence. It would be a very attractive windfall for the Scottish Government to take over our pension fund, but the risk of failure would leave thousands of people in the Highlands and Western Isles to pick up the cost of that failure. That could be of serious detriment to the individual wellbeing of pension recipients and impact the overall economy of the Highlands."
See more details about the review at -
At his last official function The Highland Council's retiring CEX Steve Barron has paid tribute to two members of staff for their outstanding work. During The Highland Council's Quality Awards event, held last Thursday in Inverness Town House, he took the opportunity to present a special commendation award to the Council's Project Co-ordinator for War Memorials Alf Leslie.
UNISON will start to take steps towards strike action. The local government joint trade unions - who have also run consultative ballots of their members - will be meet with CoSLA to inform them of the results of their ballots, tomorrow Friday 9th November.
A Cook at Broadford Primary School on the Isle of Skye has scooped the Highland Council's Employee of the Year 2018 Award for her commitment to promote healthy eating and for inspiring pupils to get involved from "plot to plate" Annette Burfooot, who has been at the school for 11 years, is described as a skilled and dedicated member of staff who is passionate about promoting healthy eating and regularly goes into classrooms to chat to the children about nutrition and developing healthy eating habits. She also encourages them to proactively get involved in the planning of menus for school meals making the most of fresh herbs and vegetables grown in the school garden.
Highland Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to develop a holistic strategy and action plan to reduce the consumption of single use plastics from its sites and schools, and the wider community. The strategy and action plan was approved at a meeting of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (8 November 2018).
The Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Thursday 8 November 2018) have approved the Council's Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2019-2024 that will see a minimum of 500 units being built each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
The Highland Council has announced the publication of updated guidance on financial contributions required from new developments towards new infrastructure and services. The Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance now forms part of the Council's Development Plan which is used to determine planning applications in Highland.
Thousands of illicit cigarettes have been uncovered by Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers with a little help from two specially-trained, four-legged detectives. Spaniels Dixie and Daisy from Consumer Protection Dogs were enlisted by the region's Trading Standards team to detect the smell of tobacco.
Nine candidates are standing for election to fill a vacancy for the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward of The Highland Council. The by-election is being held following the resignation of Kate Stephen who was one of four Councillors representing Ward 5.
WICK and Thurso now have access to free WiFi in and around the centre of their towns thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme started on 14 October 2018. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
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