Council's Capital Investment in Caithness
28th August 2019
During the Caithness Committee on Tuesday 27 August 2019 Members had the opportunity to review progress of the capital programme for the area and scrutinise the amount of money spent to date.
The current year's capital investment allocation for projects in the Caithness area is £4,210,000.
Included in the programme is a project to refurbish Keiss Nursery with work now started on site and expected to be completed early 2020.
An allocation from the capital funding is being used for the ongoing study to establish a preferred option for the alleviation of flooding in Thurso. The Council expects to have an Options Appraisal Report available by December for consideration by SEPA.
Members were also updated on the delivery of the area Roads Maintenance Programme which has a capital allocation of £559,000 for surface dressings, structural works and general improvements.
A progress report on the capital investment for council housing was also given to the committee. £150,000 has been ring-fenced for equipment and adaptations and survey work is currently underway for a £368,000 project to replace the worst windows and doors on council homes in Caithness, with work expected to start in January. A further £580,000 has been allocated for heating improvements in homes, and £500,000 for kitchen and bathroom replacement works.
Chair of the Committee Councillor Matthew Reiss said: "This £4 million pound plus programme delivers significant investment in projects across Caithness to improve our schools, roads, bridges, and housing as well as the establishment of a flood alleviation scheme for Thurso. We need to make sure that our capital allocation is managed well to bring real benefits to the communities we represent so I am pleased our committee had this opportunity today to review the capital programme."
Applicants for the Scottish Government's Temporary Business Closure Grant can now apply even if they do not have a formal business bank account. Businesses will now be able to use a personal bank account as evidence, if the account is mainly used for their business banking.
A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of.
Members at yesterday's previously adjourned and re-scheduled meeting of Highland Council voted to carry a motion introduced to make adjustments to the agenda in light of the situation in relation to COVID-19 and Brexit. The urgent motion was proposed by Highland Council Leader Cllr Margaret Davidson and supported by the Leader of the official Opposition, Cllr Raymond Bremner.
The Highland Council has issued a letter to all parents providing an update regarding the reopening of schools and early learning and childcare settings following the announcement made yesterday by the First Minister that the country is now in a national lockdown. All Highland schools will remain open but the only pupils who should attend are those identified as vulnerable and the children of Key Workers when no other arrangements can be made.
The Highland Council met today (7 January 2021) and took the opportunity to discuss Brexit. A number of issues arising from the UK's exit from the EU were discussed and the complexity of the situation was recognised particularly since there are a number of other concurrent issues such as COVID.
The Council wishes to provide re-assurance to communities that it's Winter Gritting teams are continuing to work extremely hard throughout the area during the current lock-down, providing a road and pavement gritting service following the Council's policy on prioritisation of routes. Details of the council's highland wide and local area gritting policies and maps are on the Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.
The Highland Council today launched the Temporary Business Closure Grant. This grant is available for businesses who have had to close due to the COVID-19 protective measures introduced on Boxing Day.
The Highland Council is giving more time for people to take part in it's draft food growing strategy - Growing Our Future. The extension, until the 28 February, will allow outcomes from the up-coming Highland Good Food Conversation to be incorporated in the strategy.
Local groups in Caithness are reminded that the closing date for Your Cash Your Caithness applications is drawing near and to be in with a chance of receiving a share of £10,000.00, forms need to be received by 5.00pm on Sunday 2nd February 2020. £10,000 of funding is available to let the local community decide for themselves which projects are needed in their area.
Following the announcement from NHS Highland yesterday that the number of positive cases of Covid in the Highlands had tripled in just a few days, the Leader of The Highland Council is reminding everyone to follow all guidance and to remain extra vigilant. Councillor Margaret Davidson said: "Up until now the low Covid numbers we have had in our area has been due to very high levels of compliance with the restrictions and the excellent partnership work across Council, NHS Highland and Police to successfully deal with local outbreaks.