Council Programme and Corporate Plan approved
7th March 2019
The Council's Programme "Local Voices: Highland Choices" was approved at today's Council meeting 7th March 2019, along with a Corporate Plan which provides the measures and actions required to deliver and monitor the Programme.
The Corporate Plan also underpins the priorities set out in the Council's budget strategy and change programme "A Sustainable Highland" which was approved by Council in February 2019.
The Corporate Plan provides a performance framework to ensure the Council has continuous and comprehensive performance monitoring to deliver the outcomes for a high performing, ambitious, sustainable and connected Council.
An annual performance report will be produced from September 2020.
Alasdair Christie Depute Leader of the Council said: "The Council's Programme presents an opportunity to be aspirational and ambitious, we will work in an inclusive way with our communities ensuring that we improve outcomes for folks and in so doing improve lives.
"This Plan provides the essential foundations for ensuring that we drive forward shared and agreed priorities to deliver a more efficient better connected Council. Clear targets, robust scrutiny and regular monitoring will help to keep us on track as we go forward."
Chief Executive Donna Manson said: "I am ambitious that we will be a high performing council, with a performance culture which sets ambitious targets and regularly monitors our progress to deliver the right results. We have some excellent examples of high performing teams and initiatives in Highland. We need to build on success and challenge where things can be improved and our services made more affordable and efficient. This will enable us to be more sustainable into the future.
"It is vital as we move forward that we work together with partners, that staff are empowered and the public see a change in approach which evidences continued listening to communities, taking cognisance of their positive ideas about how we can deliver a better service."
The paper on the corporate plan can be seen at https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4093/highland_council/attachment/74980
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned that the Scottish Government's Budget will hit vulnerable communities the hardest. COSLA has warned the Government that it has not considered successive years of cuts, or rising inflation and demand and have therefore put council services at risk.
Following a review taxi fares in Highland have been held at the same level by the Highland Council Licensing Committee held on 18 February 2019. The papers and the debate on this issue can be seen at items six on the webcast - https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/469655 There is a 14 Day period for appeal.
A study is underway into the feasibility of replacing Scotland's second busiest ferry service with a fixed link bridge or tunnel. The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are joint funding the study at the Corran Narrows in Lochaber.
The standstill period under the Council's Trades Services Framework agreement was due to close with effect from Monday 17th February 2020, with the intention of a proposed go live date with the new arrangements and contracts of 24th February. The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract.
On 14th February 2020 the Highland council place an advert in the Northern times newspaper regarding the Spaceport planning application as follows. - THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997 TOWN and COUNTRY PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017.
Members today approved a modest 3% rent increase for residential rents and service charges following detailed consultation with tenants. The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74 (£2.26), which means that Highland rents are still 8th lowest of the 26 councils which retain housing.
Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges.` Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer for Highland Council, Karen Ralston, has enjoyed a successful first year in her role. Members today noted the 2018/19 annual report at the meeting of the Health, Wellbeing and Social Care committee.
Highland Council Trading Standards are again warning unsuspecting residents of the emergence of a new Council Tax scam. Today a call was received by the Council from a Council Tax payer alerting to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are now texting people and informing them that they are due a Council Tax rebate.
The Highland Council has published the Highland Common Good Asset Register following the completion of a consultation process required by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Register has been published on the Council's website and can be accessed from the download link on the page titled "Common Good Asset Register" or at the following link: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20010/community_planning/840/common_good_asset_register For ease of reference, the Register has been divided in the separate former Burghs having recorded Common Good Funds - Cromarty, Dingwall, Dornoch, Fortrose and Rosemarkie, Invergordon, Inverness, Nairn and Tain.
According to the draft Scottish Govenment budget, Highlands and Islands Enterprise will get £58.2 million in the upcoming financial year - down from £61.1 million last year. 2018/19 the budget was £71.7 million.
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