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 Caithness District Partnership next meets in Wick on Friday 31 October 2014 and the agenda will feature an update on the progress made in the implementation of a Family Team for Caithness. The meeting will also feature updates from Bob Silverwood, the NHS Area for Caithness and Sutherland the Manager.of Scottish Ambulance Service will also deliver a presentation on Public Access Defibrillators.
The Leadership of Highland Council has turned up the heat on OFGEM and called for action against unfair surcharges which make electricity costs higher for consumers in the Highlands and Islands. The Highland Council Administration is responding in support of action being taken by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and will be writing to OFGEM to call for fairer energy charges in the Highlands and Islands.
If either of the statements, â€˜I wish I'd been told about that before I bought my carâ€™ or â€˜the car salesman failed to tell me about this...â€™ sounds familiar - then read on. The Highland Councilâ€™s Trading Standards team is today launching an online Used Car Buying Survey in conjunction with Trading Standards authorities across the North of Scotland.
Council renews call for permanent reinstatement of ETVs. Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry has renewed The Highland Council's call to permanently retain and reinstate previous levels of emergency towing vehicles (ETVs) covering the Minch and Northern Isles.
Members of The Highland Council's Licensing Board were (October 7, 2014) informed that 811 Personal Licence holders have still to notify the Board that they have completed their refresher training. Personal Licence holders had until the 31 August to sit their training.
A poster campaign to highlight the risks of buying cigarettes for children has been launched by the Trading Standards services in Highland and Argyll and Bute Councils, in partnership with NHS Highland. The campaign aims to increase awareness that it is unlawful for adults aged 18 or over, to knowingly buy or attempt to buy cigarettes, tobacco or cigarette papers for a person who is under the age of 18, this is known as a "proxy purchase".
The Highland Council recycling rate has reached 45% pushing it up to number 11 in the rankings of the 32 Scottish Local Authorities according to new figures released by SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) for 2013. Councillor Graham MacKenzie, Chair of the Council's Community Services Committee, said: "These latest figures are great news and testament to the commitment of Highland residents to recycling.
Following recent high winds last night and this morning (5 - 6 October 2014) The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees include the B862, U1667 and the C1068 and the Council's Community Services staff are continuing to clear debris.
Following an inspection of the C1154 Dulsie Bridge crossing the River Findhorn, The Highland Council has imposed an emergency temporary 7.5 tonne weight restriction on the bridge. The restriction was made on 29 September 2014 on the C1154 Cawdor - Clunas - Dulsie - Aitnoch Road at Dulsie Bridge.
Three brothers from Inverness were jailed for a total of five-and-a-half years at Dingwall Sheriff Court on Thursday 2 October 2014 for doorstep crime offences, defrauding people in their own homes. James Johnstone (42) pled guilty to charges of extortion, fraud and theft.
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