Agendas, reports and minutes

Highland Council

Date: Thursday, 24 October 2013

Minutes: Highland Council Minutes - 24 October 2013

Minutes of Meeting of the Highland Council held in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 10.40 am.


1.  Calling of the Roll and Apologies for Absence
A’ Gairm a’ Chlàir agus Leisgeulan




Dr D Alston, Mr R Balfour, Mr A Baxter, Mr D Bremner, Mr I Brown, Mrs C Caddick, Mrs I Campbell, Miss J Campbell, Mrs H Carmichael, Mr A Christie, Mr B Clark, Dr I Cockburn, Mrs G Coghill, Mr J Crawford, Mrs M Davidson, Mr N Donald, Ms J Douglas, Mr A Duffy, Mr D Fallows, Mr B Fernie, Mr M Finlayson, Mr J Ford, Mr C Fraser, Mr L Fraser, Mr H Fraser, Mr J Gordon, Mr K Gowans, Mr A Graham, Mr J Gray, Mr M Green, Mr R Greene, Mr A Henderson, Mr D Hendry, Mr E Hunter, Mr D Kerr, Mr R Laird, Mr B Lobban, Mr C Macaulay, Mrs L MacDonald, Mr N MacDonald, Mr J McGillivray, Mrs D Mackay, Mr D Mackay, Mr G MacKenzie, Mr A Mackinnon, Ms A MacLean, Mr T MacLennan, Mr K MacLeod, Mrs B McAllister, Mr D Millar, Mr H Morrison, Ms L Munro, Mr B Murphy, Mr F Parr, Mr G Phillips, Mr T Prag, Mr M Rattray, Mr I Renwick, Mr A Rhind, Mr G Rimell, Mrs F Robertson, Mr G Ross, Mr R Saxon, Mrs G Sinclair, Mrs J Slater, Ms M Smith, Ms K Stephen, Mr J Stone, Mrs C Wilson


In Attendance:


Chief Executive
Assistant Chief Executive
Director of Education, Culture and Sport
Director of Planning and Development Director of TEC Services
Director of Health and Social Care
Director of Finance
Interim Director of Housing and Property
Corporate Manager


Mr J Gray in the Chair


Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Mr G Farlow, Mr B Gormley, Mr W MacKay, Mrs I McCallum, Mrs M Paterson, Mr J Rosie, Ms G Ross, Dr A Sinclair and Mr H Wood.


Tribute to Councillor Billy Barclay


Prior to the commencement of the formal business, tributes were paid to the late Councillor Billy Barclay who had recently passed away. In this regard, it was confirmed that Councillor Barclay had been an extremely hardworking and committed Member of the Council and a devoted family man. Passionate about his representation of the Black Isle Ward, he would be remembered for his kindness to all who knew him and for his ‘can do’ approach at all times.


At this point, it was AGREED that, as a mark of respect, only certain items of essential business would be considered at the meeting.


It was also AGREED that Members’ Training on the Community Challenge Fund (which had been scheduled for the following day) and the Skye, Ross and Cromarty Area Committee meeting (scheduled for Monday, 28 October) should be postponed as a mark of respect.


Thereafter, the Council observed two minute’s silence in tribute to Mr Barclay and to commemorate Remembrance Day.


2.  Declarations of Interest
Foillseachaidhean Com-pàirt


The Council NOTED the following declarations of interest:–


Item 6 – Mr A Baxter, Ms M Smith and Mr A Henderson (all financial).


3.  Confirmation of Minutes
Daingneachadh a’ Gheàrr-chunntais


There had been submitted for confirmation as a correct record the Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 5 September 2013 as contained in the Volume which had been circulated separately – which were APPROVED.


4.  Minutes of Meetings of Committees
Geàrr-chunntasan Choinneamhan Chomataidhean


There had been 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 Volume circulated separately as undernoted:-


|Link to Minutes Index|

  • Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, 10 September
  • Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee, 12 September
  • Planning, Environment and Development Committee, 18 September
  • Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee, 19 September
  • Adult and Children’s Services Committee, 25 September
  • Audit & Scrutiny Committee, 26 September
  • Finance, Housing & Resources Committee, 9 October
  • City of Inverness Area Committee, 21 October

The minutes, having been moved and seconded were, except as undernoted, APPROVED – matters arising having been dealt with as follows :–


Adult and Children’s Services Committee, 25 September


*Starred Item* Page 588: Item 12: Amendments to Adult Services Performance Framework


The Council AGREED the amendments to the Performance Framework for Adult Services from 2013/14.


5.  Membership of Committees, etc 
Ballrachd air Comataidhean, is eile


It was NOTED that Mr A Baxter and Mr T Maclennan had left the Independent Group and had confirmed that they were now to be non-aligned. In this regard, the political make-up of the Council was now as follows:-


Ind (33) SNP (21) Lib Dem (14) Lab (8) Ind Nat (1) Non Aligned (2)


The formula in respect of the number of places on Strategic Committees was now 9/6/4/3.


Thereafter, the Council AGREED revised Committee Membership Tables (487kb pdf) to reflect the new arrangements.


6.  Lochaber Tourism Business Improvement District
BID Turasachd Loch Abar


Declarations of Interest – Mr A Baxter, Ms M Smith and Mr A Henderson all declared financial interests in this item on the grounds of their business interests in the area and left the Chamber.  


There had been circulated Report No. HC-46-13 (1012kb pdf) dated 9 October 2013 by the Corporate Manager which provided a summary of the proposals being made by the Living Lochaber Business Improvement District (BID) Steering Group in its attempt to establish a Tourism Business Improvement District for Lochaber.


The report also explained the Council’s involvement in the process and the benefits and resource implications for the Council in supporting the Tourism Business Improvement District by voting in favour at the ballot.




The Council NOTED that the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, at its meeting on 18 September 2013, had confirmed that there were no good grounds for the Council to exercise its statutory power to veto the Business Improvement District proposals.


The Council also NOTED that the Lochaber Area Committee, at its meeting on 26 August 2013, had generally welcomed the proposal to develop a Tourism Business Improvement District as the Business Improvement District concept had worked well in other areas.


Thereafter, the Council AGREED to instruct Officers to enter a vote in favour of a 5 year term from 1 January 2014 for the Living Lochaber Tourism Business Improvement District.


(At this point, Mr A Baxter, Ms M Smith and Mr A Henderson returned to the meeting).


7.  Timetable of Meetings
Clàr-ama Choinneamhan


(i) Timetable of Meetings - 2013


The Council AGREED the following change to the Timetable of Meetings in the current year –


Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee – meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, 10 December now to be held on Tuesday, 3 December.


(ii) Timetable of Meetings - 2014


There had been circulated Report No. HC-49-13 (966kb pdf) dated 10 October 2013 by the Chief Executive which outlined proposals in relation to the Timetable for Meetings for the full Council, Strategic Committees, City/Area Committees, etc in 2014.




The Council AGREED the proposed Timetable of Meetings for 2014.


It was also AGREED that:-


(i)  the cycle of meetings in January could be cancelled in circumstances where
     the relevant Chair, Vice Chair and Director(s) agreed that the level of business
     did not require a meeting to be called at that time;

(ii) a review of the extent to which business had been transferred from Strategic
    to Area Committees should be undertaken in 12 months’ time;

(iii) the business of the Pensions Committee should be integrated with that of the
     Investment Sub Committee from 1 January 2014 and that an annual review
    of Sub Committees and Working Groups should be undertaken as detailed in
    the report; and

(iv) the Assistant Chief Executive should consult Members and bring forward a 
     report setting out the logistics, benefits and savings associated with the
     option of paperless Committee meetings.


8.  Proposed Amendments to Service Structure
Atharrachaidhean air am Moladh do Structar nan Seirbheisean


There had been circulated Report No. HC-51-13 (990kb pdf) dated 14 October 2013 by the Chief Executive which detailed proposals for amendment of the Council’s Service structure in order to align teams into 5 Services (rather than the current 7 Services) as follows – Children, Education and Adult Services, Finance Service, Corporate Development Service, Capital and Development Service and Community Services.


The report also detailed the reasons for the proposed changes (and the associated phasing and timetable) which would reduce the number of Directors by 2 and, together with some consequential changes at a lower level, deliver savings of £350k per annum.


Responding to a comment raised at the meeting, the Chief Executive confirmed that a further report to the next meeting of the Council in December would include reference to issues in regard to NHS Highland and in particular scrutiny of the delivery of adult services.




Thereafter, the Council AGREED:-


i.  the amendments to the Service structure as contained in Paragraphs 2.3 to
    2.8 and as summarised in Appendix 2 and that these be implemented in 2
    phases by 30 September 2014;
ii.  that consultation with Trade Unions and Senior Managers should take place
    from 25 October 2013 and that detailed proposals relating to the deployment
    and responsibilities of posts in Service Management Teams be brought to the
    Council on 19 December 2013; and
iii. that the remits of Strategic Committees be reviewed to achieve better
    alignment with the revised Service structure and that a report and
    recommendations be brought to the Council on 19 December 2013.


9.  Exclusion of the Public


The Council RESOLVED that, under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the public should be excluded from the meeting during discussion of the following item on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Act.


10.  Proposed Civic Recognition


There had been circulated to Members only Report No. HC/52/13 dated 22 October 2013 by the Corporate Manager in regard to a proposed Civic Recognition.




The Council AGREED that Mr John Green, Heatherbell Cottages, John O’Groats, should be admitted as an Honorary Freeman of John O’Groats.


The meeting ended at 10.50 a.m.

Meeting Downloads