Equality mainstreamed in Highland - Council, Education and Licensing
14th March 2019
A report that aims to demonstrate the continuing commitments of Highland Council, it's Education Authority and Highland Licensing Board, to advance and mainstream equality into day-to-day work was approved today by Councillors on the Care, Learning and Housing Committee.
Local Authorities, Education Authorities and Licensing Boards are required by legislation to publish a report every 2 years on how they mainstream equality into their work. The report, "Mainstreaming Equality and Equality Outcomes Progress 2017 - 2019" was welcomed and approved by Members.
Members were informed that the Council is meeting its reporting requirements on:
mainstreaming equality into day-today work and how it promotes equality;
publishing annual details on employee information and how it has used that information;
publishing information on the Council's gender pay gap; and
progress towards achieving equality outcomes
Among the conclusions of the Highland report is that: The Highland Council's Programme recognises the region’s increasingly diverse population and welcomes people of all faiths, nationalities and backgrounds who wish to live, study, work or visit the area. The Council has a strategic goal to protect the vulnerable in its communities, promote fairness and welcome diversity and aims to work with partners and communities to reduce inequality and tackle poverty and discrimination.
The Council has committed to work with local partners to achieve its equality aims. Revised Community Planning arrangements have resulted in the development of the Highland Outcome Improvement Plan which has a focus on tackling inequality and includes equality of opportunity as a cross-cutting theme.
Over the past few years, the Council has already introduced consideration of poverty impacts along with the assessment for equality and rural impacts. This places the Council in a strong position to take forward the requirement of the Fairer Scotland Duty (Act).
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: "The report shows that we are continuing to make improvements that are mainstreaming equality into the work of the Council, Education and Licensing Board and the impacts of these improvements are having a positive effect on our service users, staff and communities. We must continue to promote our work on equality by raising awareness among staff and members."
Members have, at a special council meeting today, agreed a top priority for the Scottish Government New Schools Investment Programme bid. Members agreed that the proposed Tain 3-18 Campus project is nominated as The Highland Council's priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the initial phase of the New Schools Investment Programme with a delivery timescale by the end of 2021.
At this time of year many householders are thinking of their gardens, keeping them tidy or seeing to those jobs that need done before the weather turns. This is also the same time of year for criminals to take advantage of this and prey on the unsuspecting.
The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation. Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.
Considerable effort has been focussed on returning young people to Highland. Since the Councils enhanced Placement Programme began in June 2018, 34 young people have returned to Highland or circumvented OOA (Out of Authority) avoiding costs of over £5M as compared with these young people remaining out of area for a year.
In excess of 22,000 customers were assisted by the Council's Welfare Support Team and Citizens Advice during 2018/19 for support with welfare, debt and housing issues. 3,372 customers were helped by the Welfare Support Team and 18,777 clients were assisted by Citizens Advice.
One hundred and seventeen (117) probationer teachers were recently welcomed to Highland at an Induction course held at Millburn Academy in Inverness. The probationer teachers' induction day is the first of a number of professional learning events throughout the year specifically arranged to support probationer teacher induction and their ongoing professional learning.
Measures to be put in place to cut down amount of construction and demolition waste collected at Household Waste Recycling Centres. The Highland Council will be putting measures in place to restrict the amount of construction and demolition waste bought to its network of 21 Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Highland Council today (15 August 2019) launched a consultation on a potential Highland Transient Visitor Levy. The Council has not yet made a decision on whether to implement a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL), also known as a Tourist Tax.
The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness, following an examination of sample water on Monday (12/08/19). As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or material should be avoided.
An officer in the Highland Council's Trading Standards team has won a UK award for her work on anti-counterfeiting and protecting consumers. Lynn Foster was presented with the Dave Hankinson Memorial Award for Individual Excellence by Phil Lewis, Director General of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).
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