Council clarifies concerns surrounding Export Health Certificates
8th February 2019
The Highland Council's Environmental Health team currently allocates significant resource to facilitate Highland based food manufacturer's trade with EU and non-EU countries. This work can be split into two categories; statutory and non-statutory. The statutory work is to undertake ‘official controls’ (audits, inspections, spot checks, sampling, investigation of complaints, etc.) and the focus of the non-statutory work is to facilitate the export of food into non-EU countries by issuing Export Health Certificates.
Being non-statutory there is no legal obligation to issue Export Health Certificates, however the Council do so to fulfill Council priorities linked with the broader agenda of promoting economic growth and assisting businesses to bring products to market.
A charge is made for this non-statutory service which has been benchmarked with other Councils. The Environmental Health team are working with national groups on possible changes. This includes considering a sliding scale of charges linked to tonnage and possible introduction of an electronic system of certification to improve the process.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: "The Environmental Health team work extremely hard to meet the demands of local businesses for Export Health Certificates to facilitate international trade on top of their challenging statutory workload. The current charges were approved on 15/2/18 by Council, but we do recognise some industry concerns around this and are considering other charging models for possible introduction later in the year. We also recognise the considerable uncertainties around such implications of a Brexit no-deal scenario and are discussing this particular issue with the Scottish Government."
Food businesses exporting products of animal origin (e.g. fish, shellfish, meat products and dairy products) to Europe are encouraged to contact their local environmental health office if they wish to discuss concerns on Export Health Certificates and Brexit.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team have identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Glencoul, Kylesku area. Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Eishort. Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Funding for food and activities during the summer break. More children and young people will benefit from a nutritious meal and a place to play this summer holiday.
At a meeting of The Highland Council on Thursday 27 June 2019, Councillors decided to discontinue the provision of education at Altnaharra Primary School, dividing its catchment area between Tongue Primary, Farr Primary and Lairg Primary schools. A copy of the consultation report, together with the original proposal paper and all relevant appendices can be viewed on the Council's website at: www.highland.gov.uk/schoolconsultations The Council is satisfied that implementation of closure is the most appropriate response to the reasons for formulating the original proposal identified by the authority.
"Highland Council as agreed to allow a question time for members of the public at future Council meetings. The motion was presented by Depute Leader Cllr Alasdair Christie and means that from December 2019, Highland Council meetings will include a time allocation for questions from members of the public.
Highland Councillors have unanimously agreed that the Council will support the continuation of the exemption from UK Air Passenger Duty for flights departing from airports in the Highlands & Islands; and Members also agreed that the Council will continue working with HiTRANS to present the case of the need for, and benefit arising from an exemption from the current UK Air Passenger Duty and any successor duty. The Council's stance comes this week as calls have been made by Aberdeen Airport for greater parity with Highlands & Islands.
Suicide prevention is a key priority for The Highland Council. Members have agreed today, to take forward a piece of research with partners including NHS Highland and Police Scotland, to better understand the current evidence base and experience of suicide in Highland.
The introduction of a service to support the mental health and wellbeing of Highland Council staff and councillors has been approved by the Council as part of a range of measures to improve wellbeing. An Employee Assistance Programme for staff and Members will be put in place to offer telephone and internet-based counselling 24 hours a day.
Councillor Mackie had a written question at today's meeting of Highland council. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee "Official Highland Council guidance indicates that, unless extended, successful Community Asset Transfer requests should be completed by the Local Authority within a nine months' timeframe.
From highland council Meting today 27 June 2019. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee "What are the current best estimates for present total Highland Council debt and the annual financial commitment required to service this debt?".
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