September start for new High Life Highland Chief Executive
13th June 2019
Steve Walsh OBE has been appointed as the Chief Executive designate for High Life Highland, it was announced today by Donald McLachlan, the Chair of the charity's Board. Mr Walsh will take up post in early September 2019, following the retirement of current Chief Executive, Ian Murray.
Steve Walsh is currently Head of People and ICT at The Highland Council and has held this position since 2016. He has had extensive experience of successful financial and people management in a number of high-profile appointments throughout his career. Prior to The Highland Council, Steve's experience included various roles in the private sector and a distinguished career in the Royal Air Force. Having worked as a business development executive, Steve also has wide experience in stakeholder relationship management in the Private Sector.
While in the RAF, Steve held senior roles in the Ministry of Defence and Permanent Joint Headquarters. He was transformation director for the closure of RAF Kinloss, leading through a period of exceptional change. Steve amassed over 4,500 flying hours on the Nimrod and his RAF career also included command appointments and several operational tours overseas, including Afghanistan and Iraq. His last role was at HQ Air Command, where he led strategic resourcing during a period of unprecedented, concurrent change. Steve was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2013.
As a member of The Highland Council’s executive leadership team, Steve understands the challenges and opportunities currently facing public service delivery in the Highlands, and the need to prioritise solutions that allow local voices to be heard. A keen weightlifter, Steve lives in Inverness with his wife and three daughters, he is a non-executive Board member of Inverness College UHI and holds a number of roles in the voluntary sector.
Steve Walsh said:"It is a huge honour and privilege to join the fantastic team at High Life Highland. The work of High Life Highland encompasses much of what inspires and motivates me as a person. Providing equal access to culture, learning, sport, leisure, health and wellbeing has never been more important in our society. Moreover, as a current member of The Highland Council’s executive leadership team, I understand the community challenges and opportunities against an increasingly challenging financial backdrop facing The Highland Council. Across the Highlands, those challenges and opportunities vary greatly and therefore a priority must be to develop solutions that allow local voices to be heard in terms of shaping the services offered by HLH for the future."
Chair of the High Life Highland Board, Donald McLachlan said:"On behalf of the High Life Highland Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Steve Walsh to the Chief Executive role for the charity.
Mr McLachlan continued: “Within the ongoing context of challenging public sector finances, the Board of High Life Highland welcomes the extensive experience in leadership and change management that Steve will bring to the organisation’s future development.
Mr Walsh will take up the position of Chief Executive of the charity on 2 September 2019.
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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