Council Revenue Budget Set For 2011/12
The Highland Council has confirmed a freeze on the Council Tax for a fourth year in succession. The tax for 2011-12 is: Band A: £775.33; Band B: £904.56; C: £1,033.78; Band D: £1,163; Band E: £1,421.44; Band F: £1,679.89; Band G: £1,938.33; Band H: £2,326.
It has also confirmed a balanced revenue budget of £598.8 million for 2011-12. Spending includes £235 million on Education Culture and Sport; £23 million on Children and Young People; £106.55 million on Social Work; £62.8 million on Transport Environmental and Community Services; £9.25 million on Housing and Property.
The total savings now made and identified by the Council (2010-2013) is £55.763 million, leaving a gap of an estimated £3 million - £4 million to be agreed by February 2012.
Councillor David Alston, Budget Leader, said that as a result of recent budget announcements by the UK and Scottish Governments, the Council faced a 2.5% reduction in grant in the new financial year, equivalent to a cut of about 6% in real terms.
He said: "We have been faced with an enormously difficult situation. I think we have dealt with this as best we can. One just needs to look across Scotland, where many other councils are facing much worse decisions than us today.
"This is because we have prepared a three year budget plan and have been prepared to take some tough decisions. My thanks go to everyone in this Chamber who has been prepared to face up to difficult decisions. We have listened to the public through consultation and protected community centre, swimming pools and leisure centres and grants to voluntary organisations.
"I would like to pay tribute to a number of organisations, which have engaged with the council to agree different ways of doing things in a more cost effective way."
He said it was inevitable that there would be fewer jobs in the council in future. "By planning ahead, we have a much better chance of managing any reduction in posts through natural turnover we have in our staff."
The Council also pegged council house rents for 2011-12 to 3% - an average weekly increase of £1.92 per week. The increase will see the average council house rent increasing from £64.15 to £66.07 per week (over 48 weekly charges).
The Counting Officer for The Highland Council area has announced the total votes cast for each answer in the Scottish Independence Referendum. A total of 78,069 votes were cast for Yes and a total of 87,739 votes were cast for No.
Dalneigh and Columba Community Council have become the latest community to say "NO" to unwanted doorstep traders by establishing a Cold Call Control Zone. Residents in St Mungo Road, St Margaret's Road, St John's Avenue, St Mary's Avenue, St Andrew Drive and St Ninian Drive will be covered by the initiative which is facilitated by The Highland Councilâ€™s Trading Standards and supported by Police Scotland.
The Highland Council wishes to establish a framework agreement for Accommodation Services in the Highlands with suitably competent providers. The framework agreement would commence on 1 December 2014 until 30 November 2017 with an option to extend for a further 12 month period.
The Highland Counting Officer for the Scottish Independence Referendum and Police Scotland have appealed for a common sense approach to Referendum campaigners in Highland following the appearance of two large items on the rock face of the former Ballachulish Quarry in Lochaber. The items which included a large Saltire flag assumed to have been installed overnight on Saturday 6 September and a â€˜YES' poster on Monday 7 September were believed to have been placed there by a climber or climbers who drilled into the rock face and bolted the items to the rock.
Residents in the Highfield Avenue and Blarmore Avenue area of Inverness will begin to help tackle the problem of doorstep crime today (Monday 8 September). Muirtown Community Council have chosen the area to be a Cold Call Control Zone (CCCZ), an initiative facilitated by Highland Council Trading Standards and supported by Police Scotland that aims to educate and empower residents on how to deal with unwanted doorstep traders.
The Highland Council's Energy and Sustainability team have won the best innovation prize at the annual Energy North Awards which were held in Inverness last week. The Council has embarked on a project entitled Carbon Saving Capital Works for Council Buildings and Properties, with a specific emphasis on biomass, and in doing so has become an innovative leader in the renewable energy and low carbon sector.
The success of an apprentice plumber from Dornoch who won the Student of the Year 2013/2014 title for SVQ 3 Domestic Plumbing 2nd Year from Inverness College has been recognised by Highland Councillors. At the start of the recent Community Services Committee, members learned of Andrew Fraser's success and took the opportunity to congratulate him and pay tribute to the support and training given by council staff.
Tributes have been paid to The Highland Council's Director of Education Culture and Sport, Hugh Fraser, who retires on 19 September after seven and a half years leading the council's frontline service. At the start of The Highland Council's meeting held today (Thursday 4 September) the Convenor of The Highland Council, Councillor Jimmy Gray and Councillor Alastair Christie, Convener of the Councilâ€™s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee praised Mr.
Highland Council can report being on target or having completed 96% of the 139 commitments outlined in the 5-year Council Programme "Working together for the Highlands 2012-17". Overall satisfaction with Council services during 2013-14 was 87%, the 2nd highest figure ever reported by our Citizen's Panel.
The Highland Council's Director of Education, Culture and Sport has updated school head teachers and local Council members on radon works in their areas. The following briefing was issued on Friday 28 August 2014.
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