Council Budget Consultation With The Public 2012
The Highland Council has today (Monday 20th august 2012) launched a three-month long public consultation to help bridge a projected budget gap of almost £30 million over the next two financial years. A series of Ward Forums as well as briefing events with business, voluntary and specialist groups are planned before 19 October to complement the views expressed by staff, trade unions and the Council's Citizen Panel of 2,300 residents.
The public can also access the budget information and comment online.
The aim is to bring a report to the full Council in December and agree the budget for 2013/14 and 2014/15 in February of next year.
The savings required by the Council in 2013/14 and 2014/15 are £29.7 million. Already proposed are savings of £17.8 million, leaving a gap of £11.9 million.
The public will be asked to comment on four main areas of operation:-
Ways of working
Infrastructure and resources
Council Leader Councillor Drew Hendry said: "The assistance we received from the public two years ago was invaluable and therefore we intend to build on this success in repeating the exercise. The financial environment looks challenging even beyond the next two financial years so the consultation will also assist in our longer term budget planning."
Leading the consultation is Councillor Dave Fallows, Chairman of the Finance Housing and Resources Committee. He will be attending the public consultation meetings and moderating a budget blog on the Council's web site, which will be launched on Monday 27 August. Each week, he will introduce a new subject for discussion, starting with education.
He recalled the success of a similar budget consultation in 2010 when the comments of the public helped the Council agree a package of savings for three years totalling £55 million. The public had told the Council it needed to look at income generation, management costs and making the best use of its assets.
The Council had since introduced advertising in Council publications and on its web site; reduced management costs by £1.3 million; and transferred the running of culture and leisure services to a not-for-profit organisation - High Life Highland.
The Council had also moved to fortnightly bin collections and reduced costs on street lighting through dimming and off-peak switch off of lights.
He said: "Following the close of our consultation, all comments will be collated and analysed. The findings will be considered and firm budget proposals will be developed. Some of these proposals will be considered when the Council meets in December and the final proposals at a meeting of the Council in February, next year. We will assess any proposals for the impact they may have on different groups within our community."
Budget Consultation Events
Have your say on our Budget Consultation by coming along to one of our consultation events that are taking place across the Highland area.
A full list of dates and venues are outlined below. Each event will start at 6.30pm.
Please contact the appropriate Ward Manager should you have any queries.
3rd Portree High School, Portree
4th Caol Community Centre, Fort William
11th Norseman Hotel, Wick
12th venue to be confirmed, Aviemore
13th Durness Village Hall, Durness
17th Lochcarron Village Hall, Lochcarron
19th Mercat Centre, Milton
20th Inverness High School, Inverness
24th Brora Community Centre, Brora
26th Rosebank Primary School, Nairn
1st Victoria Park, Dingwall
30th Culloden Academy Complex, Inverness
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.
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.
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