Highland Council Rescue Plan For Caithness Horizons Approved
29th May 2019
Re- opening on the horizon for Caithness.
Highland Council's Care Learning and Housing Committee today agreed a package of revenue and capital funding which is a major milestone towards the re-opening of Caithness Horizons, Thurso.
The Council agreed to commit revenue funding of £75k p.a. for 3 years, and capital funding of up to £204k to allow the most immediate building works to be addressed over the coming months.
The timescale for re-opening has yet to be confirmed, pending formalisation of funding and other arrangements with Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (co-funder) and High Life Highland (proposed new operator), and clarity of the timescale for building works.
The Council, working with partners, will provide further information as these matters are progressed.
Chair of the Caithness Committee Cllr Matthew Reiss welcomed the investment. He said: "This is excellent news for Caithness and in particular for the town centre in Thurso."
Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee, Cllr John Finlayson added: "I am pleased that this significant investment has been agreed today. This heralds a fresh start for Caithness Horizons."
Caithness Horizons opened in December 2008 in the former Town Hall of Thurso.
Highland Council today announced its biggest ever single investment in roads with an extra £20million capital announced in its budget proposals for the year 2020/21. The budget proposals were announced by Budget Leader Alister MacKinnon at a press conference at Highland Council headquarters.
Following the close of nominations at 12 noon on Wednesday 26 February 2020, the outcome is as follows. 2 Community Councils received more nominations than their maximum membership, which means that postal ballots will now be held for Rogart Community Council and Strathnairn Community Council.
An interim update on the development of a new model to assess needs and allocate resource for Additional Support Needs will be reported to the Council's Education Committee on Thursday. The work being carried out is to ensure the Council has a delivery model in place which is agile and flexible to meeting the needs of young people and provides stability for staff.
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.
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