Agendas, reports and minutes

Highland Council

Date: Thursday, 8 March 2018

Agenda: Read the Agenda

A meeting of the Highland Council will be held in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Thursday, 8 March 2018 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.

Yours faithfully,

Stewart Fraser
Head of Corporate Governance 


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

2. Declarations of Interest
Foillseachaidhean Com-pàirt

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 – Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)
Taisbeanadh – Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean

The Council is advised that Mr Lorne Crerar and Ms Charlotte Wright, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE), will be in attendance at the meeting and will undertake a presentation on HIE’s priorities and projects in the Highland Council area.  

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 14 December 2017 and of the Special Meeting held on 15 February 2018 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:-

Lochaber Committee, 17 January
People Committee, 25 January
Ross & Cromarty Committee, 31 January
Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee, 1 February
Pensions Committee/Pensions Board, 8 February
*Badenoch & Strathspey Area Committee, 13 February
Caithness Committee, 21 February
*City of Inverness Area Committee, 22 February
Sutherland County Committee, 27 February
Corporate Resources Committee, 28 February
Isle of Skye & Raasay Committee, 5 March     

6. 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 Valuation Joint Board held on 24 November 2017 (approved by the Board on 18 January 2018).

7. Committee Structure
Structar na Comataidh

The Council is asked to agree the following – 

‘People’ Committee to now become the ‘Care, Learning and Housing’ Committee 

8. Membership of Committees, etc
Ballarachd Chomataidhean, msaa

Pensions Board  

Members will be aware that currently Ms L Munro and Mr G Cruickshank are the Council representatives on the Pensions Board. 

In this regard, the Board have now requested that a named Substitute Member also be appointed in order to provide extra flexibility and with a view to future succession planning. This Member – who cannot be a Member of the Pensions Committee - would have to undertake the specific training requirements associated with the role. 

The Council is therefore asked to appoint 1 Substitute Member to the Pensions Board as detailed.      

Poverty and Inequalities Working Group 

The Council is asked to agree to include Mr A Christie on the Poverty and Inequalities Working Group as the representative from the Liberal Democrat Group. 

Items 9 and 10 (below) will be considered at 2.00pm.

9. Question Time 
Am Ceiste

The following Questions have been received by the Head of Corporate Governance in terms of Standing Order 42 – 

(i)  Mr C Smith

To the Leader of the Council 

“What engagements have you and your Administration had with Her Majesty’s Government and the Devolved Scottish Administration since the last full Council?”

The response is circulated

Mr Smith will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Leader.

(ii)  Mr R Laird 

To the Leader of the Council

“What discussions have the Council had with NHS Highland over the future of the Health & Social Care Partnership?”

The response is circulated 

Mr Laird will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Leader.

(iii)  Mrs L MacDonald

To the Leader of the Council  

“Could you please give me details of how communities have been involved in the decision making process of the Redesign Board as outlined in Section 3 of the remit of the Redesign Board?”

The response is circulated 

Mrs MacDonald will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Leader.

(iv)  Ms K Currie

To the Leader of the Council   

“What steps they you taken to mitigate the impact that your recent budget will have on people with protected characteristics which are defined in the 2010 Equality Act?”

The response is circulated 

Ms Currie will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Leader. 

(v)  Ms K Currie

To the Chair of the Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee 

“What discussions did the Council have with the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust over the imposition of car parking charges revealed in the budget savings at the Falls of Shin?”

The response is circulated

Ms Currie will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Chair of the Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee.  
10.  Notices of Motion  
Brathan Gluasaid

The following Notices of Motion have been received in accordance with Standing Order 10.1 – 

“Council believes that the current review of Highland bus timetables by Stagecoach PLC will have a detrimental effect on both citizens and communities; notes with interest the Scottish Government's forthcoming Transport Bill which seeks to address many of the current problems in the commercial bus sector; and resolves to conduct feasibility work on the options for enhancing Highland bus services, including franchising and the creation of a publicly-owned bus operator, if and when such powers become available to local authorities.”

Signed:  R MacWilliam, D Louden, M Smith 

“Quarterly Accounts – the Highland Council instructs the Director of Corporate Resources to produce accurate accrual-adjusted quarterly accounts in order to improve ongoing scrutiny of the Council’s finances”.

Signed:  D Louden, R Bremner                                                

11. Redesign of Highland Council – Update and Review Recommendations     
Ath-dhealbhadh Chomhairle na Gaidhealtachd – Aithisg Adhartais

There is circulated Report No. HC/3/18 dated 27 February 2017 by the Chief Executive.

There are also circulated Minutes of Meeting of the Redesign Board held on 19 December 2017 and 27 February 2018

The Council is asked to note:-

(i)    the improvements staff identified in the Lean reviews reported in this period for billing in wrap around care for early years and childcare and in fly-tipping;
(ii)   that the Lean programme is continuing with more staff ideas being considered for projects, more staff to be trained in the methods to use, new ways of appreciating staff efforts are to be developed and that an annual evaluation report is planned for a future Council meeting;
(iii)  that the Board’s recommendations on music tuition were agreed by the People Committee and are now being implemented;
(iv)  that the Board’s recommendations on investing in solar PV on the Council’s estate are being reported to the Corporate Resources Committee in February 2018 with a view to income generation;
(v)   that the Board’s grey fleet review recommendations will reduce cost, carbon emissions and corporate risk. These can be achieved by reducing the need to travel and making it easier to access alternatives to grey fleet (greater use of pool cars, car clubs and pool bike schemes where appropriate) with an estimated saving of £500k annually.  These actions can be delegated to officers with the Depute Chief Executive/Director of Corporate Resources responsible for implementation with the plan set out in Appendix 1; 
(vi)  that the Board recommends in-sourcing some procured legal services with actions delegated to officers as set out in paragraph 4.14 which would be at least cost neutral and expected to avoid further cost and reduce expenditure;
(vii)  that Members with ideas for reviews can contact the Chair of the Board or Head of Policy and Reform; and
(viii) that other types of reviews focused on savings will need to be developed given the savings target agreed for the Redesign Board in 2018/19.

The Council is asked to agree that staff travel policies are reviewed to support the implementation of the grey fleet review. Changes to the travel policy identified from the review would be delegated to the Corporate Resources Committee.

The Council is also asked to agree to the Board’s recommendations to in-source some procured legal services as follows:-

(a)    to reduce dependency on and the cost of commissioned legal services, a Solicitor post is established at a cost of £45,000 (including on-costs) with the full time post recruited to either on a full time or part time basis which would at a minimum be cost neutral, to focus on employment and some procurement and litigation activity; and
(b)   to establish a Paralegal Apprenticeship post at a cost of £32,000 (including on-costs) once qualified. This would strengthen conveyancing capacity to deliver financial savings and additional income for the Council. 

12. Treasury Management Strategy Report     
Aithisg Ro-innleachd Rianachd Ionmhais

There will follow Report No. HC/4/18 by the Depute Chief Executive/Director of Corporate Resources.

13. Islands (Scotland) Bill 2018 – Update Report    
Bile nan Eilean (Alba) 2018 – Aithisg Ùrachaidh

There is circulated Report No. HC/5/18 dated 22 February 2018 by the Chief Executive. 
The Council is asked to note the progress of the Bill and welcome the numerous positive changes being proposed in the Stage 1 report.

The Council is also asked to agree to lobby the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee to seek an amendment to the Bill’s Financial Memorandum to ensure the full costs to Local Government arising from the new legislation will be provided for by the Scottish Government.  

14. Response to Scottish Government Consultation on Electoral Reform        
Freagairt do Cho-chomhairle Riaghaltas na h-Alba air Ath-leasachadh Taghaidh

There will follow Report No. HC/6/18 by the Chief Executive.

15. The Highland Partnership Integration Scheme: Revision in line with the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016     
Sgeama Amalachaidh Com-pàirteachas na Gàidhealtachd: Ath-sgrùdadh a rèir Achd an Luchd-cùraim (Alba) 2016

There is circulated Joint Report No. HC/7/18 dated 12 February 2018 by the Director of Care & Learning, Highland Council and the Director of Adult Care, NHS Highland. 

The Council is asked to agree that the revised Highland Integration Scheme be submitted for approval by Scottish Ministers. 

16. Local and National Statutory Performance Indicators 2016/17              
Comharran Coileanaidh Reachdail Ionadail agus Nàiseanta 2016/17

There is circulated Report No. HC/8/18 dated 26 February 2018 by the Chief Executive.

The Council is asked to note and comment on the performance of SPIs for 2016/17 and where relevant their national benchmark position.

The Council is also asked to note that Service Plans will be presented to the first round of Strategic Committee meetings in 2018/19 and therefore Members should expect the opportunity to scrutinise plans in response to the information contained in this report at that time.  

17. Highland Opportunity (Investments) Limited 
Cothrom dhan Ghàidhealtachd (Tasgaidhean) Earranta 

The Council is advised that there are currently 2 vacant places on Highland Opportunity (Investments) Limited – a company which creates and sustains employment in the Highlands through investment in businesses and community enterprises. There are six meetings held during the year and the role of Directors is to consider individual investment proposals and decide on their merit and set out the strategic policy of the company. It is considered desirable for Directors to have appropriate business orientated experience and in this regard there is circulated Role Profile and Skills Set. 

The Council is asked to appoint 2 Members to Highland Opportunity (Investments) Limited as detailed.

In this regard, the Administration will move the appointment of Mrs C Caddick and Mr D MacKay. 

18. Establishment of Waste Strategy Member Group 
Stèidheachadh Buidheann Bhall Ro-innleachd Sgudail

Members are advised that the previous Council – at a meeting in March 2017 – agreed to recommend to this Council that a cross-party Member Group should be established to enable oversight of key actions in relation to the Council’s Waste Strategy. 

On that basis, it is now proposed that this short life Group – comprising 9 Members of the Council (4/3/1/1) – should now be set up and the first meeting arranged in the next few weeks.

The Council is therefore asked to agree the establishment of the Waste Strategy Member Group as detailed.  

19. Standing Orders - Alteration   
Òrdughan Seasmhach – Atharrachadh

Members are advised that it is intended to submit a report to the next scheduled full Council meeting on Thursday, 10 May to allow consideration/clarification in relation to specific aspects of the current Standing Orders, including arrangements for Special Meetings of the Council and the submission of Questions and Notices of Motion (including the formal acceptance of email signatories).

The Council is therefore asked to agree that a report should be submitted to the next meeting on Standing Orders as detailed.

20. Timetable of Meetings 
Clàr-ama Choinneamhan 

Members are asked to agree the following changes to the timetable of meetings - 

People Committee – to now be held on 22 August (instead of 29 August)
Corporate Resources Committee – to now be held on 29 August (instead of 22 August)
Lochaber Committee – to now be held on 30 August (instead of 15 August)   

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 14 December 2017 is available in the Members’ Library and on the Council’s Website.