Key Decisions Taken on Council Post 2007 (15/12/06)

The Highland Council took a number of key decisions on Thursday in preparing for  the creation of 22 multi-member wards from May next year, as well as changes to planning and licensing legislation.

Councillors agreed to recommend to the new Council the following Strategic Committee structure: -                
Resources Committee (including Europe)
Education Culture and Sport Committee (including Gaelic)              
Housing and Social Work Committee                      
Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee
Planning Environment and Development Committee              
Audit & Standards Committee         

A Planning Applications and Review Committee will operate in each of the three  operational management areas with effect from May 2007.  A Licensing Committee (dealing with wider licensing issues) and Licensing Board (dealing solely with liquor licensing) will also be established in each of the three operational management areas with effect from May 2007. The three areas, previously agreed by the Council, are: -
• Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross;
• Ross, Skye and Lochaber; and
• Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.
The Council agreed to establish an Inverness City Committee reporting directly to the Council dealing with civic matters, common good fund, scrutiny of service delivery and governance of Inverness partnerships, the committee to comprise all 26 members of the following wards: - Aird and Loch Ness (Ward 13); Inverness West (Ward 14), Inverness Central (Ward 15); Inverness Ness-side (Ward 16), Inverness Millburn (17), Culloden and Ardersier (Ward 18), and Inverness South (Ward 20).
It was agreed that a post of Inverness City Manager be established, reporting to the Corporate Manager for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey and that there should be four Ward Managers for Inverness City, covering the 7 ward boundaries. 

In Lochaber, it was agreed to establish one post of Ward Manager, supported by a Professional Assistant, to serve Caol and Mallaig (Ward 12); and Fort William and Ardnamurchan (Ward 22).
In Caithness, it was agreed to establish one post of Ward Manager supported by two posts of Professional Assistant for cover Thurso (Ward 2), Wick (Ward 3), and Landward Caithness (Ward 4).
Earlier, the Council considered the implications of the decision by tenants to oppose housing transfer. They decided to:-
• merge Housing and Property and Architectural Services into a Housing and Property Service;
• create a new post of Director of Housing and Property and delete the posts of Director of Housing and Director of Property and Architectural Services;
• commission an independent view on the performance and best organisational arrangements for the Property function within a new Housing and Property Service;
• instruct a further report to the Housing and Social Work and Resources Committees on the management and organisational arrangements for the new service;
• progress to procurement to secure a framework agreement for property works, the type, value and duration of which will be the subject of a report to the next Resources Committee. 




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