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."
The improving trend of attainment is continuing in Highland as demonstrated by the SQA results published today. Attainment in Highland schools has risen against all key indicators and improvement is also around 2% above national levels of improvement.
Members were today asked to note the good progress being made in relation to the local authority's Recovery Action Plan despite the significant challenges faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report highlighted that important work on the 11 key priorities continues at pace.
The Highland Council is issuing a reminder that no more than 20 people should attend a funeral service in person. No changes to these restrictions on funeral services were announced by the Scottish Government following the three weekly formal review of coronavirus controls last week.
Move towards a more sustainable delivery of humanitarian assistance proposed as Highland navigates COVID-19 recovery phase. Staff and Communities have been praised for their outstanding response to the Covid-19 emergency.
Today's announcement from the First Minister is very much what we have been anticipating and preparing for in our return to Highland education settings. It is a great reassurance that we can now continue with our work to achieve a full return of pupils and staff, including those who were previously shielding, in August.
Highland Council is reminding communities the service point network remains closed, in line with COVID 19 guidance. Anyone who wishes to access Council services can do so online, over the telephone or by email.
From 29th June, Highland Council Registration Offices resumed birth registration. As birth registrations were suspended since late March, The Highland Council's Registrars are now working through a backlog and it is important that they register births in date order wherever possible.
The Highland Council announced on Thursday 23 July 2020 additional materials will start to be accepted at many of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) across the region and some opening times extended as part of the planned phased reopening. Wood and scrap metal have now been added to the range of items that are accepted at the majority of facilities where the layout and size of the site allows.
The Highland Council can now confirm that the Bulky Uplift Service is being re-instated from today, Monday 20 July 2020. The service was suspended on the 23rd March due to the COVID-19 National Emergency and the need to prioritise staff to provide essential waste and recycling collections.
Following the Council's announcement that contract work valued at over £60 million for new housing development projects across the Highlands has resumed, the Chair of the Housing and Property Committee has confirmed that capital investment works for the Council's current housing stock will be re-starting shortly. Contractors have supplied The Highland Council with detailed work plans for safe working, encompassing social distancing and following all guidance relating to Covid-19.