Ambitious for a sustainable and connected Highland
13th December 2018
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.
An overarching new vision has also been agreed. This is that the Council will be "ambitious for a sustainable and connected Highland" and will support its communities in this goal.
A corporate plan will now be developed, with outcomes linked to key performance indicators.
Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson said: "Our revised Programme has a clear vision that the council should be “ambitious, sustainable and connected Highland". This vision underpins the priorities which we have highlighted for the future, including a new theme of “a council which “champions the Highlands”. The Highlands is unique area with a distinctive international brand and we must maximise the opportunities we have to celebrate and promote all that Highland has to offer.”
Chief Executive Donna Manson said: “In response to a call from communities for a more transparent and collaborative approach, the council will look at how best to structure the organisation to support local service delivery and governance. An all-member seminar will be held in January to consider this as well as looking at the development of performance measures for the corporate plan to deliver the Programme.”
The Programme - Your Voice Your Council Your Future can be found at https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4063/highland_council
Item 14 Appendix
On 22nd January 2019 the Moray West wind Farm planning application returns to the North Planning committee but merely for some slight changes to the location of some turbines to lessen the impact on certain views. The original permission and this one is not within the power of the committee but they have the ability to enter an objection.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
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.
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