The Highland Council is elected to represent the needs of people in what is the largest geographical area of any local authority in Scotland, and one of the largest in europe.
This section will give you a flavour of the services we are providing and includes information about our winter maintenance programme and a summary of our performance over the past year, highlighting results from a recent public survey.
| Sharing the green agenda | Review of electoral arrangements | Highland 2007 |
| Putting Customers First | Modernising services for older people | Campaign Priorities |
| Renewables strategy | Recycling doubles in the Highlands |
| Regenerating the Highlands | Promoting Gaelic in the highlands | A shared responsibility |
| Major investment in Highland schools | Record intake of probationer teachers |
| Council approves full-time young person’s post | Highlights from around the Highlands |
| Winter Watch |
Sharing the green agenda
The Council has embarked on an ambitious “greening” action programme to combat climate change and deliver significant financial savings through more efficient use of energy and fuel.
Review of electoral arrangements
Voters will have a new way of voting for local councillors in the next elections, to be held on Thursday 3 May - the same day as the elections for the Scottish Parliament.
It's a year of celebration in Scotland!
This year promises to be a unique year as Scotland experiences its first themed year - Highland 2007. Officially launched by Scotland’s First Minister in January, Highland 2007 is a year dedicated to the celebration of Highland culture with the aim of promoting the Highlands as a great place to live and to visit.
Putting Customers First - The Service Point Network
A Service Point is your first point of contact with The Highland Council. Our network of 37 offices around the Highlands provides local residents with direct access to council services.
Modernising services for older people
Our focus in recent months has been on meeting the needs of a growing population of older people, who tell us they want to stay for as long as is possible in their own homes rather than go into hospital or a care home.
Representing the Highlands is one of the key themes of our Corporate Plan which recognises that as well as delivering services effectively, the Council is also elected to respresent the needs of the Highlands to the Governments in Edinburgh, London and Brussels.
The Council has stolen a march on most local authorities in Scotland with the adoption of comprehensive renewable energy guidelines in May 2006.
Recycling doubles in the Highlands
Recycling in the Highlands has never been so good. In the last 12 months many new recycling facilities have been introduced to make it easier for householders to recycle their household waste.
- Action 4 sustainability
Elgol Primary School on Skye has become the first school in the Highlands to win the coveted Green Flag environmental award three times
- Highland housing fair
The Fair will be an innovative development of around 30 homes at the cutting edge of modern design and sustainable building techniques.
Regenerating the Highlands
Promoting Gaelic in the Highlands
The Council is among the first six bodies in Scotland to be instructed by Bòrd na Gàidhlig to work with the Bòrd to prepare and implement a Gaelic Language Plan.
A Shared Responsibility
‘It’s everyone’s job to make sure I’m alright’, published by the Scottish Executive in 2002, stressed that child protection is everyone’s responsibility. ‘Everyone’ means just that - a shared responsibility between communities, voluntary organisations and statutory services.
Foster carers are all different, so don’t rule yourself out. What they have in common is a desire to help children and teenagers.
Major Investment in Highland Schools
Work has commenced on seven of the 11 new schools and community facilities to be built through the Council’s second Public Private Partnership Programme. The programme involves replacements for four secondary schools, Millburn Academy in Inverness, Dingwall Academy, Portree High School and Kinlochleven High School.
- Another good year for SQA exam results in Highland
2006 Scottish Qualification Authority results show Highland pupils continuing to perform above the national average in 10 measures, which track the % of pupils achieving awards at levels 3,4,5,6 & 7.
- New sports provision
Major community sports venues at Wick, Plockton and Grantown have been developed in 2006 which contribute to the developing network of sports facilities Highland wide at a total cost in excess of £3.5 million. The synthetic turf pitch at Plockton High School was developed using Council capital funding and the Big Lottery Fund whilst the Wick synthetic turf pitch was entirely funded through Education Culture and Sport capital funds. Both pitches opened for use recently and formal openings will take place in the near future.
The Grantown Grammar Community Sports Complex will be completed at the end of year and will provide first class indoor facilities for the area ranging from a four badminton court size hall and changing rooms through to a fitness suite and public access to the swimming pool. This project was achieved through partnership funding from the Education Culture and Sport Service, The Big Lottery Fund, Inverness Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise and Strathspey Leisure and Recreational Trust.
- School winter weather website
Parents in Highland can now log on to their computer to check if their child’s local school is closed by bad weather.
Record Intake of Probationary Teachers
The new school session started in August with another significant intake of new recruits to schools, across both primary and secondary sectors. The largest number of probationer teachers since the Teacher Induction Scheme began are now well into their first term with us. In 2006 63 primary and 57 secondary probationers have been placed in schools across Highland. In addition to the recruitment of these new probationer teachers, we have also recruited 83 new staff most of whom are last year’s probationers.
High Life contributing to healthy lifestyles
The Council strongly endorses the message that we can all benefit from a healthy lifestyle, and the High Life scheme is one of many opportunities the Council provides to help us achieve it. More people than ever before are choosing to use the Council’s leisure centres with a High Life card that gives all-inclusive unlimited access to facilities and activities for an inexpensive monthly payment.
Council Approves Full-time Young Person's Post
Highland Councillors have agreed to create a full-time paid post for a young person to represent the interests of their peers and liaise with Council Services. Based within the Council and aged over 18, the young person’s representative will be connected to the Highland Youth Voice, the Highland youth parliament, and will be in post for one year.
Highlights from around the Highlands
We are spending £5.7 million on winter maintenance in this financial year. At this time we urge motorists to be aware of the dangers of sudden changes in weather and the hidden dangers of black ice and to prepare yourself and your vehicle before you travel. From the beginning of October until the end of March the Council monitors roads and weather conditions for the treatment of ice and snow conditions on local roads. It is not possible to treat every road at the same time, so priority routes have been established.
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