Budget Consultation Timetable Agreed
The Highland Council has agreed to embark on a four-month public consultation over budget savings needed in 2013/14 and 2014/15. The Council estimates the savings targets will be £11.5 million in 2013/14 and £18.2 million in 2014/15.
Having run a successful budget consultation exercise in 2010/11, the Council will repeat the exercise by posting the budget consultation document on its web site: www.highland.gov.uk in early August and holding public meetings in August, September and October through ward forums and stakeholder discussions.
Analysis of the consultation exercise will take place in October/November and budgets considered in December before the two-year budget is finalised in February of next year.
Councillor Dave Fallows, Chairman of the Finance Housing and Resources Committee, said it was important to consult fully with the public over the budget savings.
He said: "A longer-term financial planning process offers a number of advantages to the Council, allowing us to forward plan our budget and identify any savings required. At the same time, it allows improved links between the revenue budget, the capital programme and the Council programme priorities. It is therefore proposed that following agreement of a two-year budget in February 2013, work will commence on developing a longer-term plan, covering a five-year period up to and including 2017/18."
Later, the Council was advised that it had achieved £13.162 million of efficiency savings in 2011/12 - £562K more than the target set by the Scottish Government. This had been the sixth year in succession that the Council has met its efficiency savings target.
It was also reported that the Council's statement of accounts for the year to 31 March 2012 had been published - ahead of the 30 June deadline. The statement had shown an underspend of £5.5 million - only 1% of the overall annual Council spending - which was mainly attributable to savings on financing charges.
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.
High Life Highland (HLH) has announced that that the contract to refurbish Thurso Library has been awarded to local company O'Brien Construction Ltd. The work is set to commence on the 27th October 2014 with completion expected end of June 2015 and the library should re-open to the public early July 2015.
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