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.
Partner agencies including the Highland Council, NHS Highland, Police Scotland, Witness Support Scotland and local Women's Aid charities, all based in the Highlands, have produced an annual report detailing their involvement in Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences, also known as MARACs. This annual report summarises; What is MARAC? What is the purpose of MARAC? How does MARAC work? By using an illustrative example, based on real events, the annual report also demonstrates how MARAC works in practice.
A quick and easy way to report fake goods online is being launched today (30 September 2014) by Highland Council's Trading Standards as part of their ongoing battle against product counterfeiting. Consumers or businesses can now report fake goods and those who are supplying them on the Council's website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits Trading Standards Manager, Gordon Robb explains: "Fake goods cheat consumers; can in some cases put their safety or health at risk; supports the criminal elements of our society and defrauds those who have invested time, money and their intellect in developing new products and brands.
Mark McGinty, a Highland Council Trading Standards Team Leader has been announced as the new Chairman of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). Spending 22 years in local authority trading standards, Mark began his career in the Lothian region as a trainee assistant enforcement officer following brief spells as a student in the Fife and Tayside regions.
Still time to have say on Tain school consultation Around 80 members of the public turned out to a public meeting on the proposed new 3 - 18 school campus in Tain which would replace the existing Tain Royal Academy, Craighill and Knockbreck Primaries and St Duthus Special School. The meeting was held by The Highland on the evening of Monday 15 September at Tain Royal Academy.
You can find out more about the local services which Highland Council provides at a series of events across the Highlands, beginning on 1 October. Community Services is a new directorate of The Highland Council that delivers many of the Council's everyday services, with staff in regular contact with the people of the Highlands.
Highland Councillors have given the go ahead for a major public consultation to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan. The Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee agreed the Main Issues Report which will be the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.
The next meeting of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee of Highland council will be held in the newly refurbished town hall on Tuesday 23rd September 2014. the meeting starts at 10.30am and may last until 3.00pm depending on debates and presentations.
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.
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