New Chief Exec Appointed To The Highland Council - Donna Manson
17th September 2018
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.
Mrs Manson was appointed by a senior members' appointment panel on Friday 14 September 2008 and will take up her role following the retirement of Chief Executive, Steve Barron.
Donna started her career teaching in areas of deprivation and has a real passion for reducing inequalities for families. She worked in Education in Edinburgh and Fife before going into her current post with the Scottish Borders Council, where she has gained extensive experience of all Council areas and working with partners as a Corporate Director.
Donna says: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve the public in the Highlands and one of my main priorities is to focus on retaining the talent of our people in their local communities by creating local learning and training opportunities linked to jobs, housing and high quality Council services.
"I am ambitious that the Council is a strong and visible presence in local areas and viewed to be playing a positive and productive role, working with local businesses, partners and the public for the benefit of both local people and visitors to the Highlands. I am confident that the Council can thrive and overcome the challenging budget times and I look forward to being out in communities with staff, listening to people within their local area and working together on matters that are important to them."
Donna has been a regular visitor to all areas in the Highlands for over 30 years as a sailor and hill walker, and when visiting family in Thurso and Inverness with her husband Drew who is from Thurso. She has a grown up son, Andrew. She is fiercely proud of her Highlands family identity, recognising the importance of culture, heritage and tradition in communities. She is delighted to be ‘'bringing the family home to their roots" and having the opportunity to be working and living in the Highlands.
She went on to say: "It is a real honour and privilege to have the opportunity to serve the Highlands with the staff team of Highland Council. This really is a once in a lifetime job in the most amazing place that is the Highlands and so much part of my family."
The Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson said: "I am very pleased and excited to welcome Donna Manson to her new role. Donna will be an excellent Chief Executive - she has great energy and experience that will serve Highland very well. I know she will work well with our staff and I personally am looking forward to working with her."
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.
The Highland Council has today (Tuesday 11 December 2018) announced significant progress in the quality of collection and reporting on the performance of it's town centres through the release of new Town Centre Health Check "Story Maps". The maps contain a huge amount of data on many aspects.
A Highland Council employee, nominated by the tenants she works with, has scooped a national award. Lorna Simpson from Wick has been a Tenant Participation Officer with The Highland Council for the past ten years, covering Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.
Highland Council's work to continuously improve Tenant Participation in the region has been recognised by the Scottish Housing Regulator and the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. Members of the Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have welcomed the recognition received by Housing Staff and commended their ongoing engagement activities.
Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have approved the first draft ‘Highland Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan' for 2019 - 2024 which will be submitted to the Scottish Government by the end of this year. The plan provides an analysis of homelessness in the region and the capacity to deliver rapid rehousing within the current patterns of housing need and demand.
Welfare staff within Highland Council's UK Award winning Benefits and Welfare Reform Team have decided to forego their office Secret Santa tradition and instead donate to Blythswood's Highland Foodbank this Christmas. Sheila McKandie, Highland Council's Benefits and Welfare Manager explained:"On a daily basis we work with the dedicated team at Blythswood Highland Foodbank directing people to them who are in urgent need.
The latest outlook for future housing delivery and school roll forecasts across Highland has been announced by the Highland Council today (Tuesday 4 December 2018). The joint publication of the Housing Land Audit and School Roll Forecast provides up to date forecasts for housing delivery and school rolls across the Highland Council area and will be used to monitor, implement and share details of the actions needed to support future housing growth.
Since the referendum decision to leave the European Union, The Highland Council has considered and made representations on a number of issues which have potential implications for the Highland economy and Highland communities. EU funding has brought hundreds of millions of pounds of assistance to the region over the past 40 years which has been critical to the region's growth.
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