Director of Community Services steps down after 20 years service
3rd June 2019
William Gilfillan, Director of Community Services will be leaving the Council on Friday, 7th June 2019.
William joined Highland Council from Fife Council in 2000 to lead the New Community School development in Alness Academy. Following the successful roll out of that initiative across Highland schools, several other roles followed. As Customer Services Manager, he took the Service Point Network through a significant change programme and sponsored the introduction of the Council's new Service Centre. He was then appointed Area Manager for Nairn and Badenoch & Strathspey, establishing the first community planning partnerships in those areas.
Following a restructure of the Council in 2007, William became one of three Corporate Managers, his role covering Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch & Strathspey. Three years later, following a merger of these roles, he became Corporate Manager for the Council, leading on community benefit. Following a further senior management restructure, William took on his current role as Director of Community Services in 2014. His Directorate covers services that are very important to the people of the Highlands - roads maintenance, housing, winter maintenance, waste management, burials and cremations, amenities, harbours, environmental health and much more.
William has been a member of the Council's Executive Leadership Team for the past 14 years and had this to say: "I have really enjoyed my 19 plus years with Highland Council. When I think back it is with fondest memories of the honesty of the people living in this beautiful area and the hard work and willingness of my staff to do their very best. There have been many high points and also many challenges, especially financial. However, it is the right time for me to move on and I wish all staff and Members the very best going forward."
Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "William has been with the Highland Council for nearly 20 years. In all the time I have known William, he has been totally dedicated to the Council, supportive of his staff and a truly genuine and compassionate person. I know William loves the outdoors and fishing and I am sure he will enjoy spending more time with family and following the pursuits he loves. I wish him all the best."
Chief Executive Donna Manson said, “William has contributed much to the Council and to Highland Communities during his tenure and we wish him and his family every success for the future.”
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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