Landmark legislation passed for the Crown Estates
21st November 2018
Local authorities and communities will have a stronger voice in the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets.
Under reforms passed by Parliament , the Scottish Crown Estate Bill establishes a framework to deliver wider benefits and new opportunities for local control of these assets, while recognising that some may still need to be managed at the national level.
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:"I believe strongly in maximising the benefits of the Crown Estate for our communities, which is why I am delighted that Parliament has agreed to open up the possibility for local authorities and communities to take direct control of the management of these assets.
"Recognising the diversity of the Scottish Crown Estate, and the need to ensure sustainability of our natural assets, I am also announcing a strategic programme of work to give us the research required to make informed decisions on the sustainability of our seaweed sector. Importantly, this includes a review of the regulatory regime for all kelp harvesting activity in Scotland.
“This bill represents a significant step in reforming the management of the Scottish Crown Estate and in empowering our communities. I look forward to visiting a part of the estate that is taken on by a local community in due course."
Simon Hodge, Crown Estate Scotland Chief Executive said:“We're really pleased that this new legislation has been approved by The Scottish Parliament. It helps give our tenants clarity and certainty about how the land and property they depend on may be managed in the future.
“Since starting operation in April 2017, we've worked hard to deliver wider economic, social and environmental value for Scotland, as well as returning profits to the Scottish Government. This includes ambitious proposals for new offshore wind leasing, a scheme to devolve management of land and property to local bodies, a £4.5m rural investment plan and much more.
“This new legislation will enable us to focus even more on managing our assets in ways that benefits Scotland’s economy, people and environment."
Anyone thinking of a career change and becoming a Primary or Secondary school teacher is being invited by The Highland Council to an information session to find out how they might become one of the next generation of teachers in Highland. The information event takes place on Saturday 9th March 2019, at Doorways, Central Primary School, Kenneth Street, Inverness, IV3 5DW from 11am - 1pm.
Investment of an additional £1.5m for roads maintenance was approved as a priority area for the Council's revenue budget. The additional money will help to boost the annual budget for pothole repairs, clearing culverts, and bridge maintenance.
Tighter controls on what can be taken to the public recycling centres are set to save £300,000 over the next two financial years. This proposal introduces restrictions on construction and demolition waste brought to our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), limiting quantities to small amounts generated through minor DIY activities.
The main activities that the social enterprise groups currently carry out directly for Highland Council waste management are the servicing of re-use containers on our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). These currently divert around 150 tonnes from 11 HWRCs.
Newstart Highland that took over Home Aid in Caithness is set to lose a £75,000 grant from 2019/20. The Highland council agreed the reduction at its budget meeting on 14th February 2019.
Planning and building warrant income is to be increased over 3 years as part of the Highland council 3 year budget plan. 2019/20 - £600,000 2020/21 - £328,000 2021/22 - £182,000 Total - £110,000,000 The current income target for planning and building control fees is £4.867m.
Savings of £610,000 are being asked from Highland Highlife in addition to inflationary pressures of £900,000 to be absorbed by the organisation. The arms length organisation has proved to be an outstanding success in the few years since it was floated by the council.
Highland councillors reluctantly agreed to range of increase charges under the community services part of the budget. Many of the charges reflect inflationary increases The total of £2.063 million will be rolled out as follows - 2019/20 - £771,000 2020/21 - £.636,000 2021/22 - £656,000 The split is as follows - Export licences for fish were included in the above figures but a change was agreed at the meeting that should make the saving in total.
Additional Income projected £216k of is projected for thenext three years - 2019/20 - £118,000 2020/21 - £58,000 2021/22 - £40,000 Through a proactive approach to lease extensions (with premiums) and increases in rental income the council will seek to maximise the performance of the industrial and investment portfolio, including selling off poor performing industrial sites and focusing investment on high performing, high rental sites and properties. Net income £2.776m - excludes income for the Housing Revenue Account and Inverness Common Good Fund.
The Highland council agrred to slash £258,000 from the budget for Early Years organisations for 2019/20 The current budget for Early Years' Grants is £458k per annum. This is primarily an area-based budget where partners are able to apply for funding for one-off grants.
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