The Highland Council will be asked at its next meeting on Thursday 31 May to agree a new committee structure and elect office-bearers. A motion from the Administration of SNP, Liberal Democrat and Labour Group members – to be moved by the Leader, Drew Hendry and Depute Leader David Alston - proposes the creation of four strategic committees, namely: Finance, Housing and Resources; Planning Environment and Development; Transport Environmental and Community Services and Adult and Children’s Services. All of these committees will comprise 22 members and will meet 6 times each year.
There will also be a Pensions Committee, comprising 11 members; an Audit and Scrutiny Committee, (22 members; a Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee (15 members); and a Gaelic Implementation Group, (11 members and 3 members of Bord na Gaidhlig or their nominees). All will meet quarterly.
It is proposed there be an Inverness City Committee, comprising 26 members, meeting 6 times each year and a Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, comprising 16 members, meeting quarterly, which will pilot specific responsibilities from the outset with a view to paving the way for the following area committees: - Ross and Cromarty (19 members); Nairn and Badenoch (8 members); and Lochaber and Skye (11 members). All would meet quarterly.
The Administration are proposing that the Leaders of the City/Area Committees should be appointed at the first meetings.
Regulatory committees, overseeing planning and licensing issues, will see the continuation of a Planning Review Body of 9 members, meeting six-weekly; as well as a North Planning Application Committee of 17 members and a South Committee of 19 members, both meeting monthly.
A Highland Licensing Committee of 12 members and a Highland Licensing Board of 10 members would meet six times each year.
The Administration will move the following appointments of office-bearers: _ Vice Convener (2) – Maxine Smith (Cromarty Firth); Mr Hamish Wood (Aird and Loch Ness).
Chair of Finance, Housing and Resources Committee – David Fallows (Badenoch and Strathspey); Vice Chair – David Alston (Black Isle).
Chair of Planning, Environment and Development Committee and the Planning Review Body – Thomas Prag (Inverness South); Vice Chair – George Farlow (North West and Central Sutherland).
Chair of Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee –
Graham Phillips (East Sutherland and Edderton). Vice Chair – Bet McAllister (Inverness Central).
Chair of Adult & Children’s Services Committee – Alasdair Christie (Inverness Ness-side); Vice Chair - Liz MacDonald (Nairn).
Chair of Pensions Committee – David Fallows (Badenoch and Strathspey)
Chair of Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee –
Drew Millar (Eilean a Cheo)
Chair of Gaelic Implementation Group – to follow
Champions’ Co-ordinator and Children’s Champion – Linda Munro (North West and Central Sutherland)
Nominations will be sought at the meeting for the following Senior Member posts: Leader of the Opposition; Chair and Vice-Chair of Audit & Scrutiny Committee.
Other nominations can be made at the meeting.