Agendas, reports and minutes
Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014
Agenda: Read the Agenda
A meeting of the Highland Council will be held in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Thursday, 30 October 2014 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.
Depute Chief Executive/
Director of Corporate Development
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. Presentation – University of the Highlands & Islands
Taisbeanadh – Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean
A Presentation will be undertaken at the meeting by Professor Clive Mulholland, Principal of the University of the Highlands & Islands.
4. Confirmation of Minutes
Daingneachadh a’ Gheàrr-chunntais
There are submitted for confirmation as a correct record the Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 4 September 2014 as contained in the Volume which has been circulated separately.
5. 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 Volume circulated separately as undernoted:-
Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee, 23 September
Audit & Scrutiny Committee, 24 September
Nairn & Badenoch & Strathspey Area Committee, 25 September
Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee, 1 October
6. Highland and Western Isles Valuation Joint Board
Co-Bhòrd Luachaidh na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean Siar
There is circulated for information Minute of Meeting of the Highlands and Western Isles Valuation Joint Board held on 1 May 2014.
7. Customer Services Board
Bòrd Sheirbheisean Luchd-ceannach
There is circulated for information Minute of Meeting of the Customer Services Board held on 16 September 2014.
8. Membership of Strategic Committees, etc
Ballrachd air Comataidhean Ro-innleachdail, msaa
Members are advised that Mr M Rattray has now left the Liberal Democrat Group within the Council and has confirmed that he is to be a Non-Aligned Liberal Democrat.
In this regard, the political make-up of the Council is now as follows –
Independent – 34/SNP – 21/Liberal Democrat – 13/Labour – 8/Independent Nationalist – 1/Non-Aligned Liberal Democrat - 1/Non-Aligned – 2
The formula in respect of the number of places on Strategic Committees remains as 10/6/4/2.
Members are also advised that confirmation will follow from the Liberal Democrat Group in relation to revised appointments to the Community Services Committee and the Education, Children and Adult Services Committee to replace Mr M Rattray.
9. Question Time
The following Questions have been received by the Depute Chief Executive/Director of Corporate Development in terms of Standing Order 42 –
(i) Mr A Baxter
To the Chair of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee
“What discussions, since your appointment, have you or Officers within the Development & Infrastructure Service had with either the Scottish Government or Transport Scotland about the Caol to Fort William Link Road?”
The response is circulated.
Mr Baxter will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Chair of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee.
(ii) Ms J Douglas
To the Chair of the Resources Committee
“Can I please have a list of all Members with enhanced positions within Highland Council, including details of any increased remuneration for those roles?”
The response is circulated.
Ms Douglas will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Chair of the Resources Committee.
(iii) Ms J Douglas
To the Leader of the Council
“Can I please have a list of all the Members who have been nominated by full Council (or its Service Committees) to represent the Council on any external bodies or groups?”
The response is circulated.
Ms Douglas will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Leader of the Council.
10. Notices of Motion
The following Notices of Motion have been received in accordance with Standing Order 10.1 –
(i) “The appropriate level of funding for NHS Highland is determined by a formula
Developed by the National Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC). NHS Highland funding is currently £11.3m below its NRAC share of Scottish health expenditure, a figure confirmed by the Auditor General.
When the NRAC formula was introduced in 2008, it was intended that underfunded Boards would move towards their ‘fair share’ over a number of years. However, changes to the way the formula is calculated have shown that NHSH was wrongly identified as over-funded and was therefore subject to reductions in its share rather than increases. Although the formula has been corrected, NHS Highland has been uniquely disadvantaged among Scottish Health Boards.
The cumulative impact of this has been a loss of £35m to health services in NHS Highland, with a continuing £11m underfunding in the current year.
Given the impact of this on health services in Highland and its potential impact on integrated health and social care services, the Highland Council calls on the Scottish Government to fund NHS Highland at the level determined by the NRAC formula.”
Signed: Dr D Alston Mr A Christie Ms K Stephen
(ii) “That the Highland Council reviews its policy on the display of election posters and to ask for Officers to bring a report to the next Council meeting to include information on the practices of other Councils in Scotland.”
Signed: Mrs M Davidson Mrs I McCallum
11. Emergency Towing Vessels (ETVs) – Update Report
Bàtaichean-slaodaidh Èiginn – Aithisg Ùrachaidh
There is circulated Report No. HC/25/14 dated 16 October 2014 by the Chief Executive which provides background to the Council’s campaign for the UK Government to reinstate adequate coastal protection measures for the Highlands and Islands.
The report also provides an update on the actions undertaken by the Council since the incident at the beginning of October when a fire on the MV Parida resulted in the vessel losing power whilst carrying a shipment of nuclear material from Scrabster to Antwerp.
Members are asked to note the terms of the report and agree that the Council should continue to press the UK Government to reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel in the Minches without further delay and to commit to extending the lease for the Emergency Towing Vessel based in Kirkwall beyond the current cut-off date of March 2016.
12. Community Empowerment Bill – Update, Implications and Opportunities
Bile Ùghdarrachadh Choimhearsnachdann
There is circulated Report No. HC/26/14 dated 14 October 2014 by the Head of Policy and Reform which summarises the provisions contained within the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, how Officers responded recently to a call for evidence from the Local Government and Regeneration Committee and the implications of and opportunities from the Bill for the Council.
Members are asked to note:-
(i) the key provisions contained within the eight parts of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill as introduced, with enactment expected by Summer 2015;
(ii) that most Bill provisions can be seen as a continuation of current practice, with implications mainly about the pace of change and the design of new processes. Some of these will have resource implications. Some implications will not become clear until guidance and regulations are published; and
(iii) the opportunity to provide oral evidence on 24th November in Fort William as set out in Paragraph 4.2 of the report;
Members are also asked to consider:-
(iv) the Officer evidence submitted during the pre-Referendum period to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee and agree whether any other points need to be raised as the Bill progresses through Parliament; and
(v) how the Council’s role in leading, promoting and supporting community empowerment can be enhanced by the Bill, building on the Council’s values, Programme, voter participation action plan, CPP priorities and feedback from the Citizens’ Panel on the appetite for democratic participation. The timing of the publication from the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy and the Smith Commission is supportive and feature as a separate item for this Council meeting.
13. Report of the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy
Coimisean air Deamocrasaidh Ionadail
There is circulated Report No. HC/27/14 dated 19 October 2014 by the Chief Executive which confirms that the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy brought together Local Government, civic society and a range of experts to consider what it would take to put local democracy at the heart of Scotland’s future. This paper introduces the final report of the Commission entitled ‘Effective Democracy: Reconnecting with Communities’.
Members are invited to welcome the final report and to consider the findings and recommendations and how they relate to the issues facing the Council and its communities.
Members are also asked to consider how the Council should seek to influence the debate.
14. Annual Treasury Management Report – 2013/14
Aithisg Bhliadhnail Rianachd Ionmhais – 2013/14
There is circulated Report No. HC/28/14 dated 20 October 2014 by the Director of Finance which highlights the Council’s Treasury Management activities undertaken, provides a commentary on the year and compares activity to the expected activities contained in the annual Treasury Strategy Statement and Investment Statement which was approved on 7 March 2013.
In addition, the Prudential Code requires the Council to report the actual prudential indicators after the financial year end and these are contained in the report.
Members are asked to approve the Annual Treasury Report for 2013/14 as presented and in compliance with the Code of Practice on Treasury Management in Local Authorities.
15. Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Ath-nuadhachadh Ghallaibh agus Chataibh
There is circulated Report No. HC/29/14 dated 15 October 2014 by the Director of Development and Infrastructure which reviews the activities and achievements of the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership 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:-
(i) note that the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership has continue to make good progress over the last twelve months;
(ii) note the value of the administrative and office support contributed by the Council to the Partnership and agree that an options paper for such support beyond April 2017 will be presented to the relevant Council Committee by September 2016;
(iii) agree the need for the Partnership’s continued existence and the value of producing an updated Plan to look beyond 2017;
(iv) agree that the Council will continue to work with Highlands & Islands Enterprise and other partners to ensure the successful delivery of the Business & Industrial Park at Scrabster Harbour;
(v) agree that the Council will continue to work with Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership 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;
(vi) agree that the Council will continue to work with Highlands and Islands Airports Limited and Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership partners to ensure that the energy and tourism related opportunities at Wick John O’Groats Airport are supported by development of appropriate hangar facilities;
(vii) agree that the Council continue to investigate sustainable future options for the B876 road between Hastigrow and Killimster in Caithness to ensure its continued role as a key transport route;
(viii) agree that the Council and other partners will continue to work with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Babcock Dounreay Partnership to maximise the impact of their respective socio-economic activities in Caithness & North Sutherland, including the early development of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s National Nuclear Archive project for Wick and inward investment opportunities through Babcock Dounreay Partnership’s corporate partners; and
(ix) agree the partnership continues to work with Highlands & Islands Enterprise to ensure that the area’s important business potential is recognised through the widest possible superfast broadband coverage for settlements in Caithness and North Sutherland through the Highlands & Islands Enterprise led Next Generation Access project.
16. Carbon Clever Programme Plan and Update
Carbon Ciallach – Cleachdadh Fearainn
There is circulated Report No. HC/30/14 dated 17 October 2014 by the Head of Policy and Reform which provides an update on the Carbon CLEVER Programme Plan and in particular the Chapter on Land Use and Resources. An update on a number of Carbon CLEVER projects is also provided.
The Council is asked to:-
(i) agree any changes to the draft Land Use and Resources chapter appended and note that the final draft will be subject to wider consultation with relevant groups;
(ii) note that the Carbon CLEVER Programme Plan will be presented at the second Carbon CLEVER Conference on 17 November 2014 to receive feedback and to identify priorities for the next 3 years; and
(iii) agree that £225k is allocated to accelerate the LED Street Lighting Programme as set out in Appendix 2 and to agree that this allocation increases to £425k as set out in Appendix 3 if no further capital projects are identified and approved by November 2014.
17. Citizens’ Panel 2014 - Performance and Attitudes Survey – Results
Pannal nan Saoranach 2014 - Suirbhidh Coileanaidh is Bheachdan – Toraidhean
There is circulated Report No. HC/31/14 dated 23 September 2014 by the Chief Executive which confirms that the survey results from the Citizens’ Panel show generally positive trends and improving satisfaction with most services surveyed over a five year period and positive perceptions of community life in the Highlands. In addition, a number of actions have been identified which should help sustain or improve public perception of the Council in the future.
The Council is asked to consider the key findings of the feedback from the Citizens’ Panel from this year’s survey, noting overall a set of positive results and the actions being taken to address areas for improvement.
Members are also asked to approve the follow up action to communicate the results widely and the specific actions set out in Paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3, as well as the action proposed in Section 4 of the report to continuously improve the survey process.
18. Nairn Common Good Fund, Restitution of Rental Income – Lochloy Caravan Park, Nairn
Maoin Math Coimhearsnachd Inbhir Narann, Ath-dhìoladh Teachd-a-steach Màil, Pàirc Charabhanaichean Lochloy, Inbhir Narann
There is circulated Report No. HC/32/14 dated 17 October 2014 by the Director of Finance which confirms that the Council administers property, including land and cash, held on the account of the Nairn Common Good Fun but has not met the standard of administration expected in relation to the management of a leasehold interest at the Lochloy Caravan Park, Nairn.
Members are asked to:-
(i) agree to accept that the Council has not met the standard of administration expected in respect of its duty to manage the funds and assets of the Nairn Common Good Fund account under control of the Council;
(ii) agree to pay restitution to the Nairn Common Good Fund account totalling £0.187m;
(iii) consider whether the Council should pay a cash settlement to the Nairn Common Good Fund or write down its investment in the Sandown Lands as per Paragraph 3.2 of the report; and
(iv) note progress with the ongoing review of the Nairn Common Good Fund.
19. Appointments to Major External Bodies and Arms’ Length Organisations
Ballrachd ann am Buidhnean air an Taobh A-Muigh
There is circulated Report No. HC/33/14 dated 21 October 2014 by the Depute Chief Executive/Director of Corporate Development which proposes revised arrangements for the appointment of Members to major external bodies and arms’ length organisations further to the recommendations of the Audit Scotland report which was reported to the Council in November 2011 and the follow-up report reported to the Audit & Scrutiny Committee in September 2014.
The Council is asked to consider and approve the procedure for the appointments to major external bodies and arms’ length organisations as detailed in Paragraph 2.1 of the report.
20. Scheme of Delegation and Administration to Strategic Committees and Sub-Committees and to Officers
Sgeama Tiomnaidh agus Rianachd do Chomataidhean is Fo-chomataidhean Ro-innleachdail agus Oifigearan
There is circulated Report No. HC/34/14 dated 17 October 2014 by the Depute Chief Executive/Director of Corporate Development which proposes further amendments to the Scheme of Delegation.
The Council is asked to agree the proposed amendments as detailed.
21. Deeds Executed
Sgrìobhainnean Lagha a Bhuilicheadh
Members are asked to note that a list of deeds and other documents executed on behalf of the Council since the meeting held on 4 September 2014 is available in the Members’ Library and on the Council’s Website.
- Item 6 Highland and Western Isles Valuation Joint Board Minutes - 1 May 2014 Report, 481.66 KB
- Item 7 Customer Services Board Minutes - 16 September 2014 Report, 479.77 KB
- Item 9i Question Time - Response to Mr A Baxter Report, 460.78 KB
- Item 9ii Question Time - Response to Ms J Douglas Report, 973.32 KB
- Item 9iii Question Time - Response to Ms J Douglas Report, 469.18 KB
- Item 11 Emergency Towing Vessels (ETVs) – Update Report Report, 467.87 KB
- Item 12 Community Empowerment Bill – Update, Implications and Opportunities Report, 620.28 KB
- Item 13 Report of the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy Report, 1.8 MB
- Item 14 Annual Treasury Management Report – 2013/14 Report, 1.16 MB
- Item 15 Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Report, 551.63 KB
- Item 16 Carbon Clever Programme Plan and Update Report, 651.56 KB
- Item 17 Citizens’ Panel 2014 - Performance and Attitudes Survey – Results Report, 536.83 KB
- Item 18 Nairn Common Good Fund, Restitution of Rental Income – Lochloy Caravan Report, 484.4 KB
- Item 19 Appointments to Major External Bodies and Arms’ Length Organisations Report, 491.84 KB
- Item 20 Scheme of Delegation Report, 492.14 KB
- Item 21 Deeds Executed Report, 29.21 KB