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."
Tributes have been paid to The Highland Council's Director of Care and Learning, Bill Alexander who retires on 19 October after eighteen years leading the council's Care and Learning Services. At the Council's Care and Learning meeting held on Thursday 18 October 2018, Chair of the Committee, Cllr Andrew Baxter; and Leader of the Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson praised Mr Alexander for his long service to the Council.
The Highland Council has paid tribute to Mr Des Devine, former Surveyor at the Council who died earlier this week. Steve Barron, Chief Executive said: "It is with great sadness that we heard that Des Devine passed away this week after a long and brave battle with cancer.
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.
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.
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