Agendas, reports and minutes
Date: Thursday, 19 December 2013
Minutes: Read the Minutes (Items 12-26)
12. Report to Members and the Controller of Audit on the 2012/13 Audit of Highland Council
Aithris Chunntasan agus Aithisg Sgrùdaidh do Bhuill airson na Bliadhna gu 31 Màrt 2013
There had been circulated Report No. HC-53-13 (929kb pdf) dated 4 December 2013 by the Director of Finance which provided information on the External Audit Report to Members in respect of the Final Accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2013.
In this regard, the External Audit Report (572kb pdf) had been circulated separately.
It was confirmed that the Auditor had issued an unqualified opinion on the accounts for 2012/13 by the due date of 30 September 2013. The Annual Report prepared for Members of the Highland Council and the Controller of Audit had been issued in October 2013 and had been presented to the Audit and Scrutiny Committee on 20 November 2013
The Council NOTED the External Auditor’s Report, the completed Action Plan incorporating the Council’s response and the Audited Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2013.
13. Treasury Management Reports
Bhliadhnail Rianachd Ionmhais
(i) Annual Report 2012/13
There had been circulated Report No. HC-44-13 (1007kb pdf) dated 10 October 2013 by the Director of Finance which highlighted the Council’s Treasury Management activities, provided a commentary on the year and compared activity to the expected activities contained in the Annual Treasury Strategy Statement and Investment Statement which had been approved by the Council on 1 March 2012.
In compliance with the Code, the attached Treasury Management Report 2012/13 had been submitted to the Finance, Housing and Resources Committee on 9 October for scrutiny and was now submitted to the Council for approval. In addition, the Prudential Code required the Council to report the actual prudential indicators after the financial year end and these were contained in this report.
The Council APPROVED the Annual Treasury Report for 2012/13 as detailed.
(ii) Mid-Year Review Report 2013/14
There had been circulated Report No. HC-54-13 (1061kb pdf) dated 6 December 2013 by the Director of Finance which contained details of the Treasury Management Mid-Year Review Report for 2013/14.
In this regard, it was confirmed that the Mid-Year Review Report provided an economic update for the first six months of 2013/14, a review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy, the Council’s investment portfolio for 2013/14, the Council’s borrowing strategy for 2013/14, any debt rescheduling undertaken during 2013/14 and compliance with Treasury and Prudential Limits for 2013/14.
The Council APPROVED the Mid-Year Review Report for 2013/14 as detailed.
14. Amendments to the Council’s Programme
Atharrachaidhean do Phrògram na Comhairle
There had been circulated Report No. HC-55-13 (942kb pdf) dated 9 December 2013 by the Chief Executive which proposed amendments to the Council’s Programme, ‘Working Together for the Highlands’, to reflect the commitments already met, those which would benefit from some change and new commitments.
During a summary of the report, it was confirmed that Appendix 1 detailed the proposed amendments to the Programme, including five completed commitments which required no further action or annual reporting, three completed commitments in year 1 but with annual performance updates and reporting required at least for 2013/14, eight commitments which would benefit from amendment to reflect progress made in 2012/13 or to reflect other changes (such as the carbon clever initiative, the partnership approach to economic recovery, feedback from the Citizens Panel and concerns about remote and rural communities) and ten new commitments which were proposed to provide further support to the economy, to deal with welfare reform and to improve infrastructure (including new approaches to dealing with energy prices), together with new commitments on empowering communities.
Changes to the Programme commitments would be followed through into new actions and indicators for performance to be monitored and reported and this would be the subject of a future report to the Council in due course.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- the substantial progress made to date and the number of commitments already achieved was welcomed;
- there was a need to replace ‘rural economy’ with ‘Highland economy’ on Page 57 of the report and specifically in relation to Commitment 3 – Caring Communities – as part of the new commitments proposed;
- it was extremely important that the Programme was regarded as a ‘living document’ and that it evolved over time;
- the commitment to devise a comprehensive strategy to bring about a reduction in energy costs in the Highlands, including particular support for fuel poor households and co-operative fuel buying, was especially important for the area;
- there was need to strongly support adoption of the principles of ‘shared space’ in order to find innovative solutions for reconciling traffic movement with quality public spaces in cities, towns and villages;
- development of the living wage was vitally important and had to be supported;
- there was a need to strongly campaign for incentives from the Scottish and UK Governments to reduce the negative impact that poorly maintained buildings had in communities across the Highland area; and
- there should be an exploration of the options available in terms of reducing the volume of printed material produced by the Council wherever possible.
The Council APPROVED the amendments proposed as set out in Appendix 1 to the report – subject to the following correction to the report –
Page 57 – New Commitments Proposed – Caring Communities – Commitment 3 – replacement of ‘rural economy’ with ‘Highland economy’.
The Council also NOTED that changes agreed for the Programme would be followed through into new actions and indicators so that performance could be monitored and reported.
The Council adjourned for lunch at 1.00 p.m. and resumed at 1.45 p.m.
15. Town Centre Regeneration
There had been circulated Report No. HC-56-13 (948kb pdf) dated 2 December 2013 by the Director of Planning and Development which provided an update on the Scottish Government’s recently published Town Centre Action Plan and outlined examples of regeneration activity within Highland town centres.
During a summary of the report, specific and detailed information was provided in relation to the Town Centre Action Plan across a range of issues, including Town Centre Living, Vibrant Local Economies, Enterprising Communities, Accessible Public Services, Digital Towns and Pro-active Planning.
In this regard, it was confirmed that town centres in the Highlands shared the challenge of regeneration with many other towns across Scotland and, whilst good work was underway, there was still much more work required. As such, the Town Centre Action Plan marked a significant shift in Scottish Government policy and should be seen as a framework to create the conditions for regeneration rather than a solution.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- there was a need to maximise the benefit from involvement in the Scottish Cities Alliance, particularly through collaboration with other Scottish cities;
- the backing of the Scottish Cities Alliance for Inverness to become ‘Scotland’s Cycling City’ was welcomed;
- it was extremely important that utilisation of the Scottish Government Empty Homes Loan Fund finance was undertaken in order to encourage property owners to bring back or convert property into residential use;
- notification had now been received that the bid for Scottish Government funding to run Charrette events in Fort William, Nairn and Tain had been successful and this would allow identification of actions and proposals to deliver town centre regeneration;
- it was important that all agencies and groups across the Highlands shared good practice and ideas across a range of issues as part of a future Conference;
- there was a need for future Action Plans to be formulated and monitored as a priority in order to take forward initiatives, particularly at an Area level;
- working together and sharing ideas with the Inverness Business Improvement District was important for the overall success of projects in the city;
- in terms of town and city centre regeneration, there was a need to use funding from the Business Rates Incentivisation Scheme wherever possible;
- receipt of the funding for the Charrette events would enable consideration to be undertaken in relation to future initiatives, most particularly through identification of actions and proposals for delivering regeneration;
- there was a need for further information on investment zones;
- consideration of proposals in line with the Empty Homes Initiative should be given a high priority, particularly in relation to the city centre;
- adequate parking in the city centre was imperative in terms of competing with out-of-town retail parks;
- it would be helpful if funding streams could be identified for the demolition of dangerous buildings where necessary across the area;
- consideration should be given to town centre leases (and specifically the options for breaks every five years if feasible) with a report to a future meeting to provide further information in this regard; and
- there were real opportunities for regeneration across the Highlands and these opportunities had to be pursued wherever and whenever possible.
The Council NOTED regeneration activity within Highland town centres and the emerging developments arising from the Scottish Government’s recently published Town Centre Action Plan.
The Council also AGREED to continue to develop support for town centres through focused activity and community consultation.
16. Proposed Amendments to Service Management Teams and Strategic Committees
Atharrachaidhean air am Moladh do Structar nan Seirbheisean
(a) Service Management Teams
There had been circulated Report No. HC-57-13 (1048kb pdf) dated 10 December 2013 by the Chief Executive which, further to the amendments to the Service structure agreed by the Council on 24 October, presented proposals to realign the Council’s Service Management Teams into 5 Directorates.
In this regard, it was explained that, since the last meeting, Directors had been consulting with Senior Managers and staff representatives on the deployment and responsibilities of posts at Service Management Team level. As a result of the feedback from this very positive and essential consultation, it was now proposed to amend two Directorate titles to better describe their roles, namely the Directorate previously described as ‘Director of Children, Education and Adult Services’ would now become ‘Director of Care and Learning’ and the Directorate previously described as ‘Director of Capital and Development’ would now become ‘Director of Development and Infrastructure’.
In addition, it was proposed to re-title the post of ‘Corporate Manager’ to ‘Head of Community & Democratic Engagement’ and, following the appointment of Michelle Morris to the role of Depute Chief Executive, to combine that additional role with her post of ‘Director of Corporate Development’.
Following a detailed outline of the responsibilities of the five new Directorates, it was confirmed that there would need to be further decisions taken on alignment and deployment of posts below Service Management Team level with any amendments to posts arising from such decisions being submitted to the relevant Committee for approval. This process would not involve additional salary costs but would follow the Council policy of avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible, as well as involving consultation with the staff affected and their trade union representatives.
In relation to the phasing and timetable for the proposed changes, it was confirmed that the first phase would be the creation of 2 new Services, namely Development & Infrastructure and Community Services, and the re-focusing of 2 existing Services, namely Finance and Corporate Development. If agreed, it was intended that full implementation would proceed in January and be completed by 31 March 2014. The second phase would see the formation of the new Care and Learning Service with full implementation no later than 30 September 2014. In this regard, the current Directors would work together as a team during this time with one of the Directors becoming Director Designate of Care and Learning in April 2014.
Further information in regard to relation to appointments to Service Management Team posts and cost was also provided within the report.
During discussion, Members welcomed the well thought out, well planned and well executed work which had been undertaken to date and the proposals for the new Services which it was considered would be highly effective in terms of delivering for the people of the Highlands.
In particular, reference was made to the new Community Services Directorate and it was stressed that it was essential that services involved and included local communities wherever possible in future, including Community Councils, in order to ensure success.
The Council AGREED:-
(i) the amendments to the titles of 2 Directorates and 1 post as described in
Paragraphs 1.2 and 1.3; and
(ii) the amendments to the Service Management Teams as described in
Paragraphs 2.3 to 2.7 and shown in Appendices 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and that
they be implemented in 2 phases by no later than 30 September 2014.
(b) Strategic Committees
There had been circulated Report No. HC-58-13 (970kb pdf) dated 5 December 2013 by the Depute Chief Executive which proposed the re-naming of Strategic Committees and changes to the scope of delegation in each case in order to achieve better alignment with the agreed changes to the Council’s Service Structure.
In this regard, proposals for the re-naming of Strategic Committees with effect from 1 April 2014 were as follows –
- Resources Committee
- Education, Children and Adult Services
- Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee
- Community Services Committee
Changes to the scope of delegation in each case had been attached as an appendix to the report and, if agreed, further work would be undertaken by Officers to highlight the detail within each delegation with a further report to the next meeting.
The Council APPROVED the amendments in relation to Strategic Committees as detailed on the basis that a further report would be submitted for consideration in March 2014 and full implementation undertaken with effect from 1 April 2014.
17. Engaging with Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in their reviews of services
A’ Conaltradh ri Poilis na h-Alba agus Seirbheis Smalaidh is Teasairginn na h-Alba sna h-Ath-sgrudaidhean aca air Seirbheisean
There had been circulated Report No. HC-43-13 (944kb pdf) dated 14 October 2013 by the Depute Chief Executive which described the nature of the engagement the Council had undertaken and was planning for the reviews currently underway by Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service at that time.
In this regard, it was noted that the Council had been engaged fully in the reviews of services by Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and would continue to make the case for avoiding any adverse impacts on the services for people in the Highlands whilst being aware of the budget challenges facing all public services at this time.
There had also been circulated Report No. HC-59-13 (927kb pdf) dated 8 December 2013 by the Depute Chief Executive which provided an update on the current position in relation to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Estates Review and Police Scotland reviews.
In regard to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Estates Review, it was confirmed that in late October 2013 the Council Leader had written to the Board Chair and Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service with a proposal for co-located emergency control rooms in a shared building in Inverness. However, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board had postponed a decision until late January 2014 to allow time for all options to be explored.
In terms of Police Scotland reviews, and specifically Police Public Counter opening hours, it was advised that 21 contact points were in scope for review and of these no change was proposed for 11 (including 6 co-located with Council services), with an increase in hours proposed for 4 locations, a decrease for 2 locations by 2 hours a day and a move to further part-time opening in 4 locations. After consideration, the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee had highlighted concerns from Local Members regarding the move to part-time working in Glencoe and Mallaig and other points had been fed back through the consultation process in relation to concerns over the potentially disproportionate impact in rural and remote areas and the Council’s on-going willingness to continue to co-locate services to help to sustain services in rural areas.
In this regard, the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee had also considered the issue of Police Scotland’s decision to move away from employing Traffic Wardens and had agreed that the Council should continue to work with Police Scotland to find a solution for the future whilst expressing disappointment in the timing and approach of the decision making on this matter.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- the Council should continue to work vigorously in terms of taking forward the proposal for co-located emergency control rooms in a shared building in Inverness. In this regard, it was suggested that this represented a unique opportunity for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies to participate in an advanced community planning partnership model in terms of emergency response facilities;
- there was a huge amount of helicopter traffic in the area and it was essential that local knowledge and experience was utilised in terms of an emergency response if and when necessary;
- continuous positive engagement with all agencies was imperative in relation to taking forward all issues as part of the various reviews;
- it would be extremely helpful if engagement with Members at an Area Committee level could be undertaken in order to allow both scrutiny and involvement at that level;
- consideration should be given to the setting up of a similar group to the previous Joint Consultative Group, involving the Convener, Leader of the Council and the Chair of the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee, to allow staff to raise and discuss concerns which might arise from the transition to a single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service;
- clarification was required in regard to the Council response to the Police consultation on Public Counter opening hours and specifically whether it was based on the premise that the proposals were to simply reduce the hours at Glencoe Police Station and if that was the case to make an additional representation on the basis that Local Members were concerned about the proposals to close the Public Counter at Glencoe Police Station altogether; and
- it would be helpful if further information could be provided in regard to the review of Traffic Warden services with a view to sustaining the service in future if possible.
The Council NOTED the position on reviews being conducted by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland as agreed at the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee and through the proposals made by the Council Leader.
It was further NOTED that, subject to legal advice being sought and confirmation received that there were no legal limitations or restrictions, consideration would be given to the setting up of a similar group to the previous Joint Consultative Group, involving the Convener, Leader and Chair of the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee, to allow staff to raise and discuss concerns which might arise from the transition to a single Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.
18. Highland Armed Forces Community Covenant Update
Cùmhnant nam Feachdan Armaichte
Declaration of Interest – Mr J Stone declared a non-financial interest in this item on the grounds that a family member was currently serving in the Armed Forces but, having applied the test outlined in Paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, concluded that his interest did not preclude his involvement in the discussion.
There had been circulated Report No. HC-45-13 (1045kb pdf) dated 9 October 2013 by the Corporate Manager which outlined the work carried out by the partners to the Highland Armed Forces Community Covenant in the twelve months since it had been established and set out future priorities.
It was confirmed that two full partner meetings had been held following which two working groups had been established to reflect the priority which the partners were to give to the issues of ‘Health and Housing’ and ‘Education and Employment’. In this regard, an update on the work of each group had been detailed in the report, together with information in relation to other Highland Community Covenant Partnership activity, the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme and the Support Fund for Schools with Service Children.
In regard to future priorities, it was noted that the partnership would continue to monitor the changing situations in relation to its Armed Forces Community, with actions to mitigate any negative change being identified through the two working groups as well as instigation of any necessary support.
It was also noted that the partnership was mindful of the World War 1 commemorations which would take place between 2014 and 2018 and would encourage and help communities to deliver appropriate events.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- the update which had been provided was warmly welcomed in terms of the progress which had been achieved and this represented an excellent example of partnership working across a range of agencies in the Highlands which had been recognised on a national level;
- there was a need to consider opportunities for utilising the skills of veterans within and across communities wherever possible;
- the successful applications for funding to date, including the Early Years Project, Lochaber Archaeological Society Project and the Raigmore Primary School Outdoor Classroom and Adventure Area Project, were welcomed and it was stressed that all communities across the Highlands should look for opportunities to bid into future funding streams;
- thanks should be conveyed to the Veterans Champion and the Officers involved for the excellent work which had been undertaken to date; and
- the Covenant had positively affected a number of other initiatives in the areas and there was therefore a need to encourage more agencies to become involved if possible.
The Council AGREED to welcome the work of the Highland Community Covenant Partnership which had been undertaken to date and to endorse the actions outlined at Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of the report.
19. Highland Common Good Funds – Policy, Management and Reporting Maoin Maith Choitchinn na Gàidhealtachd
There had been circulated Report No. HC/47/13 dated 3 October 2013 by the Corporate Manager which provided an update on progress with the implementation of the Common Good Fund policy and associated actions, identified gaps and inconsistencies between the management of different Common Good Funds, proposed a route towards future management of Common Good Funds and developed a consistent reporting template for future reports.
In this regard, a correction to the wording within the report was highlighted in relation to the Functions Referred/Powers and Duties Delegated to City/Area Committees whereby it was confirmed that the proposed delegation/wording should be ‘to approve Common Good Fund and Local Authority Trust costs and grant applications in excess of £10,000 and to administer Common Good Funds and the assets owned by Common Good Funds and Local Authority Trusts as required and agreed within Council policy. (For the avoidance of doubt, purchase and disposal of Common Good and Trust assets is reserved for Highland Council).’
In regard to Common Good Funds, a summary of progress to date in regard to mapping of non-moveable assets (land and buildings), governance arrangements, the Asset Register, expenditure, applications, use of funds, evidence of value for money, the schedule for income, monitoring, reporting and assurance arrangements, training sessions and administration had been detailed within the report. Proposals for further actions required, including outstanding requirements, governance, management and reporting, had also been provided.
During discussion, Members suggested that a review should be undertaken to establish both the original purposes of Common Good Funds and whether it was possible to target funds in a more strategic way in future, including investment in planned regeneration activity in respective areas across the Highlands if this was possible.
The Council NOTED the progress on actions proposed to the Resources Committee in 2009 and the different scale and complexity of the Inverness Common Good Fund as compared with all other Common Good Funds in Highland.
The Council also AGREED the proposed amendments to the Scheme of Delegation, subject to the following change to the wording within the report –
Pages 103-104 – Functions Referred/Powers and Duties Delegated – City/Area Committees – to approve Common Good Fund and Local Authority Trust costs and grant applications in excess of £10,000 and to administer Common Good Funds and the assets owned by Common Good Funds and Local Authority Trusts as required and agreed within Council policy. (For the avoidance of doubt, purchase and disposal of Common Good and Trust assets is reserved for Highland Council).
It was further AGREED that Common Good Funds out-with Inverness should continue to be managed by the relevant Ward Manager with support from Finance and other Services as required and that Annual Reports (as outlined in Section 3.4 of the report) should be presented to Area Committees to enable Members to set the Common Good Fund budget, monitor expenditure and ensure that the property and assets of each Common Good Fund were managed effectively.
20. Creation of a New Highland Charities Trust
There had been circulated Report No. HC-60-13 (1127kb pdf) dated 29 November 2013 by the Director of Finance which detailed the progress of the project to re-organise a number of small charitable trusts, bequests and funds which had been administered by the Council into a new Highland-wide Highland Charities Trust in order to ensure their efficient administration and compliance with the Charities Act and related Regulations.
The report also sought approval of the resolution which was required by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) as part of this process.
In this regard, it was explained that once the new Highland Charities Trust had been established and had obtained charitable status, re-organisation schemes for each individual charitable trust would be prepared. These schemes would detail the original trust purpose so far as this could be ascertained and justify re-organisation into the Highland Charities Trust. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator would also consider and approve each individual re-organisation scheme and would have the final decision on whether a transfer of funds was appropriate.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- in terms of applications for funding, clarification was required in relation to the role of Trustees and the process to be followed in this regard;
- there was a need for further information to be provided on the distribution of trust funds across Ward areas and for Local Members and communities to be fully involved and engaged in the process going forward;
- it was important that recognition was given to the original purposes of trusts and if possible specific details in each case provided for local historical groups for record purposes;
- assurances were required that where trust funds had been earmarked by local communities for specific projects that such funds could be retained by those communities for future spend;
- it would be advantageous for local communities with their own trust funds across the Highlands to be informed of these proposals for audit which were coming from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in order that they could make the necessary arrangements within their own respective areas;
- as part of the process, the obligation to comply wherever possible with the specific aims of the trusts involved should be paramount; and
- as much discussion as possible should be undertaken with Ward Members and Community Councils across the Highlands to ensure that funds arising from local trusts were distributed within relevant areas and in line with original trust purposes.
The Council AGREED:-
(i) the creation of a new trust to be known as “Highland Charities Trust” in
terms of the draft Deed of Trust attached to the report (Appendix 3),
subject to the approval in principle of the Office of the Scottish Charity
Regulator to the Trust being eligible to become registered as a Scottish
(ii) in principle, the reorganisation and transfer into the new Highland Charities
Trust of the assets of any existing small charitable trusts administered by
the Council where the purposes equated to the purposes of the
Highland Charitable Trust, once the Highland Charities Trust was registered
as a Scottish Charity in accordance with the provisions of the Charity and
Trustees Investment (Scotland) Act 2005;
(iii) the winding up of any existing small charitable trust once its funds had
been transferred to the Highland Charities Trust; and
(iv) that the administration of the Highland Charities Trust be delegated to
the Corporate Manager so far as making grants of under £10,000 was
concerned, with grants of over £10,000 or grants covering an area
greater than a 4 Ward area being brought back to the Finance, Housing
and Resources Committee for consideration.
21. Election Administration 2014
Rianachd Taghaidh 2014
There had been circulated Report No. HC-61-13 (938kb pdf) dated 15 November 2013 by the Returning Officer which advised as to the impact that Election Administration for the forthcoming European Parliamentary Election (Thursday, 22 May 2014) and the Scottish Independence Referendum (Thursday, 18 September 2014) would have on the operation of the Council.
The report also highlighted the statutory framework which governed the conduct of the Election and the Referendum and the need to have arrangements in place from January to October 2014.
In this regard, the staffing and other related arrangements which were required to ensure the smooth administration of the European Parliamentary Election and the Scottish Independence Referendum were detailed, including arrangements for accommodation, election accounts, polling and counting staff, polling stations, count venue and election costs.
The Council AGREED the administrative arrangements as detailed in the report.
22. Planning and Licensing Applications – Protocol on the use of Speaking
Dealbhadh agus Ceadachd – Protocal a thaobh Chòraichean Labhairt
There had been circulated Report No. HC-48-13 (981kb pdf) dated 3 October 2013 by the Depute Chief Executive which outlined an updated Protocol for the use of Speaking Rights in regard to Planning and Licensing Applications as requested at the meeting of the Council on 5 September 2013.
In this regard, a list of frequently asked questions in relation to using speaking rights under Standing Order 13.1 for Planning and Licensing applications had also been circulated.
The Council AGREED the proposed and updated Protocol on the use of Speaking Rights in relation to Planning and Licensing Applications as detailed and as attached as Appendix 1 to the report.
23. Scheme of Delegation and Administration to Strategic Committees and Sub Committees and to Officers
Raòn Ùghdarrais agus Rianachd gu Comataidhean Ro-innleachdail agus Fo-chomataidhean agus gu Oifigearan
(i) Amendments to current Scheme of Delegation
There had been circulated Report No. HC-50-13 (1016kb pdf) dated 8 October 2013 by the Depute Chief Executive which outlined further amendments which had been received in regard to the Scheme of Delegation and Administration to Strategic Committees and Sub Committees and to Officers.
The Council AGREED the further amendments to the Scheme of Delegation as detailed.
(ii) Pension and Investment Sub Committee
There had been circulated Report No. HC-62-13 (936kb pdf) dated 4 December 2013 by the Director of Finance which set out the remit of a Pension and Investment Sub Committee following the decision of the Council on 24 October to integrate the business of the former Pensions Committee with that of the current Investment Sub Committee.
During discussion, reference was made to the further review of arrangements which might be necessary in 2014 in order to take account of any governance requirements emerging from the Local Government Pension Scheme Reform in Scotland and the Public Service Pensions Act.
It was also suggested that further clarification was required on why it was now considered acceptable to combine the previously separate remits of the Pensions Committee and the Investment Sub Committee when it had been advised in the past that this was not possible.
The Council AGREED TO DEFER consideration of this item meantime pending further clarification as to whether there was still a requirement to have a Pensions Committee in place (in addition to – and separate from – the Investment Sub Committee).
24. High Life Highland
High Life na Gàidhealtachd
Declarations of Interest – Mr F Parr, Ms J Douglas, Mr K Gowans and Mr D Millar declared non-financial interests in this item on the grounds of being Directors of High Life Highland but, having applied the test outlined in Paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, concluded that their interests did not preclude their involvement in the discussion.
(i) Amendments to Articles of Association
There had been circulated Report No. HC-63-13 (945kb pdf) dated 6 December 2013 by the Director of Education, Culture and Sport which confirmed that the Council had been asked to consider a request from the Board of High Life Highland to amend the Articles of Association in regard to the retiral of Independent Directors and to make the necessary resolution.
The Council AGREED the amendment to the Articles of Association as outlined in the report and that the Chief Executive, or his nominee, should sign the special resolution on the Council’s behalf.
(ii) Appointment of Independent Directors
The Council was advised that the High Life Highland Nominations Committee had agreed to recommend that Mr William (Ian) Ross and Ms Jennifer Clarke should be appointed as Independent Directors of High Life Highland.
The Council AGREED the recommendation from the High Life Highland Nominations Committee as detailed.
25. New Prison – HMP Grampian – Appointment to Visiting Committee
Prìosan Ùr – Prìosan na Banrigh, Am Monadh – Cur an dreuchd a thaobh Comataidh Tadhail
The Council was advised that a request had been received from the Scottish Prison Service for a Member to be appointed to the Visiting Committee for the new Prison – HMP Grampian – which would open in March 2014. This appointment was required in light of the fact that the new Prison would hold prisoners from the Highland Council area.
In this regard, it was noted that as the Cabinet Secretary for Justice intended to replace Visiting Committees with Prison Monitors in the autumn of 2014, this would be a short term appointment for approximately 6-9 months.
The Council AGREED to appoint Mrs Margaret Paterson to the Visiting Committee of HMP Grampian as detailed.
26. Deeds Executed
Sgriobhainnean Lagha a Bhuilicheadh
It was NOTED that a List of Deeds (32kb pdf) and other documents executed on behalf of the Council since the meeting held on 24 October 2013 was available in the Members’ Library and on the Council’s Website.
The meeting ended at 4.15pm.
- Item 7 Appointments Panel (Depute Chief Executive) Downloads, 915.85 KB
- Item 8 PLANNING APPLICATION COMMITTEES Downloads, 913.81 KB
- Item 9i Response to Mr A Baxter Downloads, 14.91 KB
- Item 9ii Response to Mr A Baxter Downloads, 14.99 KB
- Item 9iii Response to Mrs M Davidson Downloads, 17.83 KB
- Item 9iv Response to Mr M Green Downloads, 40.45 KB
- Item 9v Response to Miss J Campbell Downloads, 33.19 KB
- Item 11 Revenue Budget and Council Tax 2014 to 2015 Downloads, 999.21 KB
- Item 12 Audit of the Highland Council Downloads, 928.33 KB
- Item 12 External Audit Report Downloads, 571.28 KB
- Item 13i Annual Treasury Management Report – 2012 to 2013 Downloads, 1006.11 KB
- Item 13ii Treasury Management Mid-year Review Report 2013 to 2014 Downloads, 1.04 MB
- Item 14 Amendments proposed to the Council’s Programme ‘Working together for the Highlands’ Downloads, 941.89 KB
- Item 15 TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION Downloads, 947.04 KB
- Item 16a Proposed Amendments to Service Management Teams Downloads, 1.02 MB
- Item 16b PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO STRATEGIC COMMITTEES Downloads, 969.16 KB
- Item 17 Engaging with Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in their reviews of services. Downloads, 943.61 KB
- Item 17 Update on engaging with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland Downloads, 926.13 KB
- Item 18 HIGHLAND ARMED FORCES COMMUNITY COVENANT UPDATE Downloads, 1.02 MB
- Item 19 Highland Common Good Funds – Policy, Management and Reporting Downloads, 984.75 KB
- Item 20 Creation of a New Highland Charities Trust Downloads, 1.1 MB
- Item 21 Election Administration 2014 Downloads, 937.22 KB
- Item 22 PLANNING AND LICENSING APPLICATIONS PROTOCOL ON THE USE OF SPEAKING RIGHTS Downloads, 980.66 KB
- Item 23i SCHEME OF DELEGATION AND ADMINISTRATION TO COMMITTEES AND SUB COMMITTEES AND TO OFFICERS – FURTHER AMENDMENTS Downloads, 1015.44 KB
- Item 23ii Scheme of Delegation – Pension and Investment Sub-Committee Downloads, 935.23 KB
- Item 24i Scheme of Delegation – Pension and Investment Sub-Committee Downloads, 944.33 KB
- Item 26 List of Deeds Downloads, 31.88 KB