New River Nairn crossing at White Bridge begins to take shape
22nd January 2019
Work is progressing well on the realignment of the B9090 at the White Bridge scheme and new crossing.
Construction of the abutments for the new crossing beams is complete and the beams were successfully placed this week on Monday 21st January. There are four beams in total which were placed in pairs, requiring two crane lifts.
Now that the beams are in place, contractor R J McLeod will proceed with decking out between beams in preparation of concreting casting. Construction of the works is due for completion in early summer 2019.
Highland Councillors in the Nairn and Cawdor Ward, and Culloden and Ardersier Ward - whose Ward boundaries are spanned by the new crossing - have welcomed the progress being made.
Works commenced on the £2.65m project in August 2018 to build a new crossing to replace the White Bridge that spans the River Nairn and realignment of the B9090 route between Clephanton and Cawdor.
White Bridge is one of the oldest bridges maintained by Highland Council and is a ‘Category A' Listed structure. It has a humped vertical alignment and carries single file traffic in both directions, subject to traffic control signals. During the works the existing route remains open to drivers however, all road users are being reminded that there is an 18T weight limit. Any vehicles exceeding this limit should use the diversion route via the A96, A939 and B9101 roads.
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.
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.
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