Council Gets Tough On Waste Collection Payment Avoiders
Council targeting holiday homes that are avoiding payment for their waste collection services.
Back in February this year, The Highland Council wrote to the owners of around 1,650 non-domestic rated (NDR) holiday home properties advising them of their legal obligations under the Environmental Protection Act and associated Duty of Care Regulations to have in place a waste collection contract for dealing with the waste generated from their businesses. It advised that if there was no response to the letter by early March then the collection service would cease.
Just over half of the owners responded to the letter. After giving a further two months for replies to come in, the Council will now be stopping the service to those properties where no response has been received. Stickers with the text "'The Highland Council has not emptied your bin because our records show you do not have a current commercial waste collection contract with us'. 'no contract, no uplift' will be attached to any bins presented for collection that do not have a current collection contract in place.
All NDR premises require to pay for their waste collection service and to have in place what is known as a "waste transfer note" specifying what waste they produce; which registered waste carrier collects that waste and which licenced waste disposal / treatment facility is used for the disposal/treatment of the waste. Failure to have this documentation in place is a breach of the Regulations.
The Council on its part has a duty to have such documentation in place if it is collecting commercial waste from any premise. It is also tasked with recovering the costs of any commercial waste collection service that it provides.
A Council spokesperson said: "It has to be recognised that these businesses are committing a criminal offence.
They are also avoiding paying for their collection service and these costs are being borne by the tax payer. I am sure that taxpayers and those businesses which are meeting their legal obligations and are paying for their collection service would expect the Council to take a firm stance against these businesses. The annual cost for servicing 1 x 240litre residual bin and 1 x 240litre recycling bin on an alternate weekly collection basis averages out at £2.74 per week and most holiday homes charge several hundred pounds per week."
The same action will be taken with the NDR properties in Inverness and Sutherland areas later this year and for any commercial businesses throughout the Highlands who are found to be illegally obtaining a collection service from the Council or are illegally disposing of their commercial waste in the litterbins or at the recycling centres.
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.
The Highland Council is among the winners in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014. The Council's silver award in the prestigious annual scheme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) will be presented during a ceremony at the Hilton Glasgow on September 17.
Members of The Highland Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have approved the final draft of an integrated children's services plan for the Council‚Äôs Care and Learning Service. The plan titled, "For Highland‚Äôs Children 4" (2014-2019) also incorporates as far as possible the contribution of children‚Äôs services delivered by NHS Highland.
Children's services in Highland are moving forward with the creation of Family Teams as part of the community services to children, young people and families. This means that most staff involved in providing services to children, such as social workers, health visitors and school nurses will all be part of the new Family Team.
Members of The Highlands Council's Resources Committee have pledged their support to The Highland Hospice's full refurbishment of Ness House and the new Netley Centre in Inverness by agreeing to contribute ¬£200,000 of funding towards the total project cost of ¬£6.500m. The money comes from the Council's Capital Discretionary Fund for 2014/15 and at the committee (Wednesday 27 August 2014) members also agreed a further ¬£285K of funding from this Fund to support four more projects.
Over the last year The Highland Council gained approval of ¬£634k of EU grant funding, drew down a further ¬£1m of grants for existing projects, processed ¬£4.33m of grants through its LEADER project and another ¬£481,000 via the EFF Axis 4 Programme. In an annual report considered today (Wednesday 20 August 2014) at the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, it was highlighted that the Council has also been successful, together with its partners, in making the case for control of ‚ā¨192 Transition Funds.
In the Highlands over the last 3 months 149 employment opportunities have been created through the Council's advisory and business support services. During a meeting of the Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee held today (Wednesday 20 August) members heard that 71 new businesses have been supported by Business Gateway to start up and a further 122 Highland businesses already serving local markets have accessed advice over the last quarter.
On Tuesday 19 August 2014 members of The Highland Council's South Planning Applications Committee have refused to grant planning permission to RWE Innogy UK Limited for a 20 turbine wind farm at Glen Kyllachy near Tomatin. The motion, moved by Councillor Bill Lobban and seconded by Councillor Carolyn Caddick was that the application be refused on the grounds that it contravenes Policy 67 of the Highland Wide Local Development Plan in that the development will have a significant detrimental visual impact, both taken cumulatively with Farr Wind Farm and on its own, at areas of regional and local significance, notably, as viewed from the Slochd, Strathnairn, Loch Ashie, Abriachan , and consequently, the Great Glen Way.
Dr Michael Foxley has taken up his post as chair of the University of the Highlands and Islands' new further education regional board. The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act makes the University of the Highlands and Islands, through a further education regional board, accountable for all college and university-level education in the Highlands and Islands.
The Highland Council's Community Services have commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to test around 1,150 Council houses in Highland at the highest risk from radon gas. PHE is writing to 1,150 Council tenants in parts of Badenoch and Strathspey; Wester Ross Strathpeffer and Lochalsh; Caol and Mallaig; Landward Caithness; East Sutherland and Edderton; Dingwall and Seaforth; and Aird and Loch Ness Wards during the week commencing 18 August 2014.
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