Highland tenant engagement work recognised nationally
6th December 2018
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.
Vice Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am pleased to hear that Tenant Participation Officers have increased the level of face-to-face meaningful contact with more tenants.
"Twenty four tenant and resident groups are being supported across the Highlands and it is welcome news that four more tenant groups are being helped to set themselves up.
He added: “I am pleased to see that Senior Safe Highland events - aimed at older tenants and residents - attracted160 people in Dingwall, Fort William and Kingussie; and I am delighted to learn that another similar event is planned for Skye and Lochalsh next spring and also in Inverness in February."
Other outreach and engagement work in Caithness in tandem with High Life Highland and the Criminal Justice Service has been aimed at young people, creating Junior Warden Schemes and a Youth Independence Project which prepares older teenagers for a positive place in the community. The Tenant Participation Team will expand this youth engagement to other parts of the Highlands next year.
Tenant Forums have been successfully created in Caithness, Sutherland, East Ross and Inverness and the Council, intends to develop further forums in Lochaber, Mid and West Ross, Nairn, Badenoch and Strasthspey and Skye and Lochalsh.
In recognition of their success and achievements to date in tenant engagement, The Highland Council has been selected to work with the Tenant Participation Advisory Service on the Scottish Government’s ‘Next Steps’ Programme.
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.
Councillors today 14th February 2019 agreed to increase the price of school meals despite some councillors pointing out that previous increase last year resulted in reduced number taking the meals. Councillors have little room to help as they did in the past to basically subsidise meals.
Highland council agreed today 14th February 2019 to save £150,000 over the next two years in the complicated area of waste haulage contracts. What may seem like a simple hing to deal with is not an easy subject to easy with effectively as it affects every home an business in Highland.
[Printer Friendly Version]