Council makes appeal for information on effects of climate change
9th August 2019
The Highland Council, in partnership with Adaptation Scotland, have launched a survey asking local communities and businesses to share their experiences about how they have been affected by severe weather and climate change over the past few years.
While the impacts of climate change and extreme weather are already being felt across the Highlands, from damage to infrastructure, to disruption of vital services and a shift in growing seasons, more information is needed about how local communities and businesses are being affected.
Following the Council's recent declaration of a climate and ecological emergency, work in the Highlands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will continue to contribute to limiting the extent of future climate change. However, past and present day emissions mean that the rate of climate change will intensify over the coming decades and there is therefore a need to adapt to changes now.
The Council, along with Community Planning Partners, believe there could be significant benefits to establishing a Highland-wide climate change adaptation partnership to coordinate and deliver a joined-up approach to managing the impacts of the climate crisis in Highland. Adaptation Scotland, a programme funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by sustainability charity Sniffer, has already seen similar schemes set up in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and the Glasgow City Region. The schemes have shown adapting is easier, cheaper, and more effective through partnership working.
The results of the survey will help identify local priorities that could be tacked if a new climate change adaptation partnership is established.
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson, said: "The Council recently declared a climate and ecological emergency, and we are well aware of the extent of the challenge facing the region. To that end, taking a proactive, Highland-wide partnership approach to the risks that climate change is going to bring to Highland seems to be a sensible way forward. The views of Highland communities and businesses will help us better understand the challenges they are facing as well as shaping how we can best address this in a collaborative way."
Anna Beswick, Adaptation Scotland Programme Manager at Sniffer explained: "We want to find out more about how communities and businesses across the Highlands are being impacted by climate change. It is crucial that we listen and understand how people are being affected. Any new climate change adaptation partnership must respond to local concerns and priorities. The results of the survey will provide important information to help plan for the future."
The survey is available until 6th September 2019 at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HighlandAdapts
Blueprint for safe return to classes. Detailed guidance on practical measures to allow schools to re-open on 11 August has been published.
The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister's announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August. Highland Council's Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising consumers to use their water wisely and check their private water supply systems for any signs of water leaks or risks of contamination. A private water supply is a property that does not have a Scottish Water mains water connection.
The Highland Council can now confirm which of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) across the region will re-open from Monday 1st June 2020. A phased approach to re-opening the sites will be adopted with strict controls in place to help manage social distancing and to ensure the anticipated high number of visitors and volume of waste can be handled safely and efficiently.
The Highland Council's Housing Service currently operates an annual garden aid scheme, cutting grass in approximately 1,300 council house gardens. The Garden Aid service is for older or disabled tenants who don't have anyone to help them cut their grass.
Following an ambitious bid by Highland Council supported by NHS Highland, to deliver rapid active travel interventions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Highland Council has been awarded £752,954 from the Scottish Government's Spaces for People fund, which is administered by Sustrans. Over the coming weeks towns across Highland and the City of Inverness will see a roll-out of temporary walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure along priority routes.
Public assurance is being provided by Highland Council that the organisation is fully transparent and accountable during the COVID-19 emergency response as it publishes decisions made by its group of senior officers - or Gold Group* - under emergency procedures. The list of decisions made since 19 March 2020 is on the Council's website at the following link and will continue to the added to and updated as further decisions are made using emergency procedures.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has now paid out £56,286,250 million to 5135 Highland businesses. The Highland Council's Head of Development and Regeneration, Allan Maguire, said: "We now are processing applications and approving payment within days of a business submitting a complete online application form and its accompanying evidence.
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that preparations are well underway for re-opening many of the Household Waste Recycling Centres across the region to the public from Monday 1 June 2020. The sites in Highland, along with all other Scottish Local Authorities, have been closed since the end of March due to the government's Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel.
Highland Council's Recovery Board Chair, Cllr Alasdair Christie has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government's road map phasing the way out of lockdown, which was published earlier today. The First Minister revealed that Phase 1 of the Government's new four phase plan, could come into effect on 28 May, however the advice remains stay home, protect the NHS and save lives for now.
[Printer Friendly Version]