Agendas, reports and minutes
Date: Thursday, 9 May 2013
Agenda: Highland Council Agenda - 9 May 2013
A meeting of the Highland Council will take place in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Thursday, 9 May 2013 at 10.35am.
Webcast Notice: This meeting will be filmed and broadcast over the Internet on the Highland Council website and will be archived and available for viewing for 12 months thereafter.
You are invited to attend the meeting and a note of the business to be considered is attached.
Assistant Chief Executive
1. Calling of the Roll and Apologies for Absence
Gairm a’ Chlàir agus Leisgeulan
2. Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to consider whether they have an interest to declare in relation to any item on the agenda for this meeting. Any Member making a declaration of interest should indicate whether it is a financial or non-financial interest and include some information on the nature of the interest. Advice may be sought from Officers prior to the meeting taking place.
3. By-Election – Ward 4 (Landward Caithness)
Fo-thaghadh – Uàrd 4 (Gallaibh gu Tìr)
The Council is advised that, at the By-Election held on 2 May 2013, Mrs Gillian Coghill, Balnahard Farm, Harpsdale, Halkirk was elected as the Member for Ward 4 (Landward Caithness).
4. New Youth Convener
Neach-gairm Ùr na h-Òigridh
The Council is advised that the new Youth Convener – Ainya Taylor - will be in attendance and will be introduced to Members at the meeting.
5. Presentation – Cairngorms National Park Authority
Taisbeanadh – Ùghdarras Pàirc Nàiseanta a’ Mhonaidh Ruaidh
A Presentation will be undertaken by the Convener and Chief Executive of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Board in regard to the key issues for the forthcoming year.
6. Confirmation of Minutes
There are submitted for confirmation as correct records the Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 7 March 2013 and of the Special Meeting held on 24 April 2013 as contained in the Volume circulated separately.
7. Minutes of Meetings of Committees
Geàrr-chunntasan Choinneamhan Chomataidhean
There are submitted for confirmation as correct records, for information as regards delegated business, and for approval as appropriate, the Minutes of Meetings of Committees contained in the volume circulated separately as undernoted:-
- Planning, Environment and Development Committee, 13 March
- Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee, 14 March
- Adult and Children’s Services Committee, 20 March
- Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee, 21 March
- Audit and Scrutiny Committee, 28 March
- Finance, Housing and Resources Committee, 10 April
- City of Inverness Area Committee, 15 April
8. Northern Joint Police Board
Co-bhòrd Poilis a’ Chinn a Tuath
There are circulated for information Minutes of Meeting of the Northern Joint Police Board held on 28 February 2013.
9. Highland and Islands Fire Board
Bòrd Smàlaidh na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean
There are circulated for information Minutes of Meetings of the Highland and Islands Fire Board held on 1 March 2013.
10. Highland and Western Isles Valuation Joint Board
Co-bhòrd Luachaidh na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean Siar
There are circulated for information Minutes of Meeting of the Highlands and Western Isles Valuation Joint Board held on 10 January 2013.
11. Membership of Strategic Committees, etc
Ballrachd Chomataidhean Ro-innleachdail, is eile
(i) The Council is advised that, as a result of the Landward Caithness By-Election, the political make-up of the Council is now as follows –
Ind - 35
SNP - 21
Lib Dem - 14
Lab - 8
Ind Nationalist - 2
The formula in respect of the number of places on Strategic Committees remains at 10/6/4/2.
(ii) Members are also asked to agree the following changes to Committees, etc –
- Planning, Environment and Development – Ms G Ross to replace Mr A Duffy
- Planning, Environment and Development (Substitute) – Mr B Clark to replace
Ms G Ross
- Finance, Housing and Resources – Mr J Ford to replace Mrs D MacKay
- Finance, Housing and Resources (Substitute) – Mrs D MacKay to replace Mr J Ford
- Finance, Housing and Resources – Mr G Farlow to replace Dr I Cockburn
- Transport, Environmental and Community Services – Dr I Cockburn to replace Mr G Farlow
- Transport, Environmental and Community Services (Substitute) – Mr A Duffy to replace Dr I Cockburn
- Adult and Children’s Services – Mr M Green to replace Mr W MacKay
- Adult and Children’s Services (Substitute) – Mr W MacKay to replace Mr M Green
- Transport, Environmental and Community Services – Mrs L MacDonald to replace Mr R Laird
- Valuation Joint Board – Mr J Stone to replace Mr A Christie
12. Notices of Motion
The following Notices of Motion have been received in accordance with Standing Order 10.1 –
(i) “We, the undersigned, being Members of Highland Council, put forward this Notice of Motion.
In light of information made available to us, which was not included in the original options, and two further options now suggested by the public since Option 6 was voted as our preferred option, we ask that the Council consider again their decision to promote Option 6 for the West Link”.
Mr J Crawford, Mr N Donald, Mr R Balfour, Miss J Campbell, Mr D Kerr
(ii) “We move that the Highland Council commits to retaining offices in our city and town centres as a clear commitment to their economic success”.
Mrs M Davidson, Miss J Campbell
13. Decision of Standards Commission for Scotland in Hearing against Councillor Kenneth MacLeod
Co-dhùnadh Coimisean Bun-tomhasan na h-Alba san Èisteachd an aghaidh a’ Chomhairliche Coinneach MacLeòid
There is circulated Report No. HC-1-13 (58kb pdf) dated 22 April 2013 by the Assistant Chief Executive (Monitoring Officer) which fulfils the statutory duty placed on the Council under Section 18(2) of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc (Scotland) Act 2000 following a Hearing in respect of Councillor Kenneth MacLeod.
The Council is asked to consider and note the decision of the Standards Commission of Scotland, to reaffirm its decision that all Members are required to attend Planning Training and to note that a relevant training session has been arranged for 24 May 2013.
14. Audit Scotland National Report – Responding to Challenges and Change
Aithisg Nàiseanta Sgrùdadh Alba – A’ Freagairt ri Dùbhlain agus Atharrachadh
There is circulated Report No. HC-2-13 (134kb pdf) dated 30 April 2013 by the Chief Executive which confirms that each year Audit Scotland produces a report providing an overview of Local Government in Scotland.
In this regard, the report highlights the main themes of the report for 2013 and suggests action points for Members.
Members are asked to consider the report, the actions/challenges and the Council’s response.
Members are also asked to agree that the action points for Elected Members should be used for self-assessment as part of personal development planning and to highlight priorities for Officers.
15. Community Planning
(i) Audit Scotland – National Report – Improving Community Planning in Scotland
There is circulated Report No. HC-3-13 (555kb pdf) dated 28 April 2013 by the Chief Executive which highlights the key findings for Community Planning Partnerships arising from the Audit Scotland reports and identifies opportunities for reviewing partnership arrangements which would help to deliver the new style Single Outcome Agreement.
Members are asked to note the mixed findings from the national audit report and that community planning in Highland will be subject to a new style audit at any time from this year.
Members are also asked to note that while community planning audits have been positive, a review of joint working arrangements to deliver the new Single Outcome Agreement would be helpful and timely and partners have agreed to do this and also that this National Audit Report will be considered at a future Audit and Scrutiny Committee meeting.
(ii) The Draft Single Outcome Agreement for the Highland Community Planning Partnership
There is circulated Report No.HC-4-13 (61kb pdf) dated 29 April 2013 by the Chief Executive which describes the requirements for producing the new Single Outcome Agreement for the Highlands.
In this regard, a working draft of the Single Outcome Agreement (1002kb pdf) – which is to be concluded by the end of June 2013 – is circulated separately.
Members are asked to note:-
(i) the requirements of the new style Single Outcome Agreements;
(ii) the work planned to improve and complete the Single Outcome Agreement
by partners and including the Council by the end of June 2013; and
(iii) that through a process of peer review, feedback on the working draft of
the Highland Single Outcome Agreement is expected no later than 22 May
2013 and that Officers from Highland are likely to be involved in the peer
review of Single Outcome Agreements submitted by other Community
Members are also asked to comment on the working draft of the Single Outcome Agreement on the basis that comments will be fed back to partners for the final draft.
16. Assurance and Improvement Plan 2013-16
Plana Àrachais agus Leasachaidh 2013-16
There is circulated Report No. HC-5-13 (411kb pdf) dated 23 April 2013 by the Chief Executive which confirms that the annual update of the Assurance and Improvement Plan 2013-16 for Highland Council has been produced by Audit Scotland drawing on the assessment by four external scrutiny bodies and has shown that no additional scrutiny is required.
Members are asked to note and comment on:-
(i) the Assurance and Improvement Plan attached at Appendix 1 to the report
which highlights that no additional scrutiny is required;
(ii) the positive comments made about the Council’s financial management,
overall performance and strong managerial and political leadership with an
effective Administration and Opposition and governance arrangements; and
(iii) the areas where further information is being sought (homelessness,
community learning and development and self-evaluation processes) and that
there are seven areas of scheduled audit and inspection activity identified to
2015, including those contributing to national audit reports.
17. Corporate Plan 2012-17
There is circulated Report No. HC-6-13 (48kb pdf) dated 28 April 2013 by the Chief Executive which accompanies the Council’s Corporate Plan for 2012-17.
In this regard, the Corporate Plan (258kb pdf) is circulated separately.
Members are asked to note:-
(i) the Corporate Plan for 2012-17;
(ii) that the Plan will support the Single Outcome Agreement, with strong
alignment between the Council’s commitments and the outcomes to achieve
with partners and the Scottish Government; and
(iii) that the Plan is normally reviewed when performance is reported in
September each year.
18. Europe Day
Conaltradh leis an Roinn Eòrpa
There is circulated Report No. HC-7-13 (102kb pdf) dated 29 April 2013 by the Chief Executive which describes the origins of Europe Day and notes the activities being undertaken by the Council to celebrate this event.
The report also highlights the benefits which have accrued to the Highlands from engagement with European programmes and notes the request by Members for a presentation to be prepared on Europe and the potential it presents for the Council.
Members are asked to note:-
(i) the activities taking place on Europe Day, including the display in the foyer;
(ii) the value of the EU programmes from 2007-13 in Highland, amounting to
over £145m plus a share of the £42m awarded to the Highlands and Islands
(iii) that the Council and its partners have been successful in making the case
for transition status as part of the EU Cohesion policy which will enable
greater financial support for the region than for elsewhere in Scotland for
2014 to 2020 (with the EU budget expected to be agreed by the European
Parliament by July 2013); and
(iv) that a Briefing for Members on engaging with the EU will be developed as
part of the Members Development Programme in 2013/14.
19. Community Transport
(i) Parliamentary Inquiry
There is circulated Report No. HC-8-13 (227kb pdf) dated 26 April 2013 by the Director of Transport, Environmental and Community Services which seeks homologation of the Council’s response to the all for views on Community Transport issued by the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee.
Members are asked to homologate the response as contained in Appendix A to the report.
(ii) Integrated Transport Project - Update
There is circulated Report No. HC-9-13 (183kb pdf) dated 26 April 2013 by the Director of Transport, Environmental and Community Services which provides an update on the project which is being carried out under the governance of the Council’s Corporate Improvement Programme to examine the options for improving the integration of transport services for health and social care and social inclusion.
Members are asked to:-
(i) consider and support the project being carried out under the governance of
the Council’s Corporate Improvement Programme to examine the options for
improving the integration of transport services for health and social care and
social inclusion; and
(ii) note that further reports will be submitted to Members on the delivery and
development of the project.
20. Local Authority Mortgage (Guarantee) Scheme – LAMS
Sgeama Morgaids Ughdarrais Ionadail
There is circulated Joint Report No. HC-10-13 (332kb pdf) dated 30 April 2013 by the Director of Finance and the Depute Chief Executive/Director of Housing and Property which seeks agreement to launch a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme for first time buyers within the Highland Council area using the LAMS (Local Authority Mortgage Scheme) model which has already been successfully launched by a number of English Councils.
Members are asked to agree:-
(a) that the Council adopts the Local Authority Mortgage Scheme (the
Scheme) in accordance with the outline provided in the report;
(b) that the Council provides a financial guarantee to the relevant lender (the
Lender) in respect of the Scheme (the Guarantee);
(c) that the Council provides a deposit to the Lender in respect of the
Guarantee and that deposit will be made for the full terms of the Scheme;
(d) that the maximum limit for the total Guarantee to be offered under the
Scheme is £1m;
(e) that the maximum loan size is £142,500;
(f) that the qualifying post codes will include all post codes within the Council
boundary area and will exclude any that cross the boundary into a
neighbouring authority. The qualifying post codes will be provided to the
Lender(s) in a schedule to the Guarantee;
(g) that the Local Authority will authorise its Monitoring Officer to provide the
opinion letter in the required form confirming that the correct internal
procedures have been followed by the Local Authority in coming to the
decision to enter into the Scheme (the Monitoring Officer’s Opinion Letter);
(h) that the Local Authority will issue a side letter in the required form to
confirm that its Monitoring Officer has been appointed in line with the Local
Authority’s constitution, is authorised to opine on the matters within the
Monitoring Officer’s Opinion Letter and that the Local Authority assumes
responsibility for the content of and shall be liable to Lloyds TSB Bank plc
and/or its assignees and successors for any costs etc incurred by Lloyds TSB
Bank plc as consequence of reliance upon the Monitoring Officer’s Opinion
Letter (the Side Letter);
(i) to delegate authority to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services to
finalise the legal agreement, taking into account any minor changes which
might be required before the Scheme launch; and
(j) to revise the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy Statement and
Investment Statement to incorporate LAMS as a permitted investment
based on the information set out within the report.
21. Comunn na Gaidhlig – Membership, Memorandum and Articles of Association
Commun na Gaidhligh
There is circulated Report No. HC-11-13 (66kb pdf) dated 30 April 2013 by the Director of Education, Culture and Sport which confirms that the Council has been asked by the CnaG Board to consider a request to amend the Memorandum and Articles of Association following the recent resignations from membership of Highlands & Islands Enterprise and An Comunn Gaidhealach.
Members are asked to agree that the Chief Executive or his nominee should give notice to the Company of the Council’s intention to resign its membership of Comunn na Gaidhlig.
Members are also asked to agree that the Council should write to the Ceannard of CnaG to express the reservations set out in Paragraph 1.3 of the report in respect of the changes being made to the Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
22. Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership – Annual Report
Com-pàirteachas Ath-nuadhachaidh Ghallaibh is Chataibh a Tuath –
There is circulated Joint Report No. HC-12-13 (113kb pdf) dated 29 April 2013 by the Director of Planning and Development and the Corporate Manager which reviews the activities and achievements of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) over the past year, reports on current issues and sets out recommendations to support the delivery of Partnership priorities in the coming years.
Members are asked to agree:-
(i) that an options paper for administration and office support beyond April
2014 be presented to the relevant Council Committee by September 2013;
(ii) that discussions with partners take place on future resource funding for the
Programme Manager post by September 2013;
(iii) the need for the Partnership’s continue existence and the value of
producing an updated Plan to look beyond 2014;
(iv) that the Council should continue to work with Highlands & Islands
Enterprise (HIE) and other partners to ensure the successful delivery of the
Business and Industrial Park at Scrabster Harbour, CNSRP partners to ensure
support for Wick Harbour Authority’s ambitious plans to capture the
employment potential from the operation and maintenance of offshore wind
sites in the Moray Firth, Highlands & Islands Airport Limited and CNSRP
partners to ensure that the energy and tourism related opportunities at
Wick John O’Groats Airport are supported by development of appropriate
hangar facilities and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the
Babcock Dounreay Partnership (BDP) to maximise the impact of their
respective socio-economic activities in Caithness and North Sutherland,
including the early development of the NDA’s National Nuclear Archive
project for Wick and inward investment opportunities through BDP’s
corporate partners; and
(v) that the Partnership continues to work with HIE to ensure that the area’s
important business potential is recognised through settlements in Caithness
and North Sutherland being priorities for early connection to superfast
broadband through the HIE led Next Generation Access project.
23. Deeds Executed
Gnìomhan a Choileanadh
Members are asked to note that a List of Deeds (131kb pdf) and other documents executed on behalf of the Council since the meeting held on 7 March 2013 is available in the Members’ Library and on the Council’s Website.
- Highland Council Minutes - 29 May 2013 Minutes, 367.59 KB
- Item 13 Decision of Standards Commission for Scotland i Downloads, 57.39 KB
- Item 14 Responding to Challenges and Change: An Overview of Local Government in Scotland Downloads, 133.9 KB
- Item 15i Audit Scotland report: Improving Community Planning in Scotland Downloads, 554.87 KB
- Item 15ii The Draft SOA for the Highland Community Planning Partnership Downloads, 60.46 KB
- Item 15ii Draft Single Outcome Agreement Downloads, 1001.65 KB
- Item 16 External scrutiny: Assurance and Improvement Plan Update 2013-16 Downloads, 410.74 KB
- Item 17 Corporate Plan 2012-17 Downloads, 47.76 KB
- Item 17 Corporate Plan WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE HIGHLANDS 2012-17 Downloads, 257.45 KB
- Item 18 Europe Day Downloads, 101.41 KB
- Item 19i Community Transport: Parliamentary Inquiry Downloads, 226.19 KB
- Item 19ii Integrated Transport Project - Update Downloads, 182.82 KB
- Item 20 Local Authority Mortgage (Guarantee) Scheme - LAMS Downloads, 331.58 KB
- Item 21 Comunn na Gaidhlig-Membership, Memorandum and Articles of Association Downloads, 65.75 KB
- Item 22 Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership – Annual Report Downloads, 112.58 KB
- Item 23 List of Deeds Downloads, 130.24 KB