Chair Appointed For Caithness And Sutherland Area Committee
Councillor Deirdre Mackay who represents the East Sutherland and Edderton Ward has unanimously been elected as Chairman of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee.
The committee met yesterday (Monday 20 August) for the first time at The Highland Council's Drummuie Offices in Golspie. Councillor Deirdre Mackay was nominated by Thurso Councillor Donnie Mackay and seconded by North West and Central Sutherland member, Councillor Linda Munro.
After taking the chair for the meeting she thanked her fellow councillors for their support and said: "I come from Caithness but live in Sutherland so this post has real meaning to me. Both counties are different in many respects but yet have so much in common. Local democracy was a key issue in the recent election so I am delighted that our Area Committee has been delivered so quickly and that local decision making has returned to Caithness and Sutherland in 12 short weeks.
Speaking after the meeting had ended Councillor Mackay added: "Today we approved capital projects worth over Ł8.5m and heard how a further Ł100m of public funding investment is getting ploughed into Caithness for energy sector projects and new schools and offices. We are now in a great position to really drive things forward and focus on what's important, that's the people we represent, and what we can do, through this committee, to improve their lives."
At the full Council on 31 May 2012 members agreed that a Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee be established along with the Inverness City Committee as part of a year-long pilot with a view for paving the way for a further three Area Committees.
Leader of The Highland Council Drew Hendry congratulated Councillor Deirdre Mackay on her new role. He said: "Today the Area Committee, and local democracy returned to Sutherland after five years and I am sure Deirdre will work hard to ensure the new Committee is a success with tangible results. This is a great opportunity to tailor how we do business taking into account local circumstances. As well as the area committee taking on the responsibility and scrutiny for local service delivery and deciding on how delegated budgets are spent, an important priority will be to work with partners to promote tourism and boost the local economy with a focus on making sure people are guaranteed efficient and effective services."
Following feedback from Highland food and drink producers and providers The Highland Council is to run a workshop on social media networking and launch a Think Local Facebook page to build business contacts and to promote local food and drink. Over the last few months crofters, caterers, hoteliers and shop owners have attended meetings throughout the Highlands as part of the councilâ€™s Think Local Highland Food and Drink project aimed at enabling better collaboration in this sector.
The public is being urged to comment on The Highland Councilâ€™s first green transport strategy. The deadline for responses is 30 April.
The Highland Council has welcomed funding to enable people living in fuel poverty to make their homes warmer, more environmentally friendly and cheaper to heat. The amount of ÂŁ2,055,346 from The Scottish Government for the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland is the fourth highest allocation in Scotland.
Trading Standards officers with The Highland Council are warning consumers to be wary of paying upfront fees to companies claiming to be offering services connected with the Governmentâ€™s â€śGreen Dealâ€ť scheme. Problems with one particular company have highlighted the dangers of upfront fees.
Work will start at the end of April on the year-long second phase of the River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme, Inverness. The council has confirmed the award of the ÂŁ9.3 million contract to McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd, the company that recently built the new ferry terminal extension at Sconser, Skye.
`Social Enterpriseâ€™ is an increasingly fundamental part of what makes the Highland tick and The Highland Council is looking for input to its strategy. Link To Draft Strategy A draft Social Enterprise Strategy for the Highlands covering the years 2014-2017 has been published for consultation by the Council and all interested parties are being asked to take part and help shape the future of this sector.
The Local Government Boundary Commission For Scotland have issued the following statem,ent regarding the latest review of boundaries and councillor numbers. We started our Fifth Reviews of Electoral Arrangements on 21 February 2014.
The Highland Councilâ€™s recycling team is reviewing the operation of its network of 21 recycling centres to encourage the public to make a bigger effort to separate waste that can be recycled from waste that cannot. The Council wants to increase the amount of material recycled and at the same time reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
Seven new projects totalling ÂŁ800,000 of expenditure on repair and replacement works in seven Highland primary schools have been approved by members of The Highland Councilâ€™s Adult and Childrenâ€™s Services Committee. The new projects, which will be funded from the Councilâ€™s Education, Culture and Sport capital programme will be completed in the financial year 1 April 2014 â€“ 31 March 2015.
Members of the licensed trade in the Highlands are being reminded of the need to undergo refresher training to ensure they retain their personal licences - and the authority to sell alcohol on their premises. Personal Licences are issued for a period of 10 years.
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