Agendas, reports and minutes

Highland Council

Date: Monday, 9 December 2019

Minutes: Read the Minutes (Part 2)

21. Equally Safe at Work
Co-ionannachd Sàbhailteachd aig an Obair

There had been circulated Report No. HC/66/19 dated 27 November 2019 by the Executive Chief Officer (Health & Social Care).

During discussion, Members raised the following issues: -

  • the positive action which had been detailed in the report was welcomed in relation to promotion of a zero tolerance culture towards gender based violence and in this respect personal examples of such violence were provided at the meeting;
  • whilst acknowledging the positive steps being taken, it had to be acknowledged that there was always more that could be done and in this regard further information was needed on what a zero tolerance culture would mean for the range of issues which had been detailed in the Action Plan and specifically those which had not yet been completed; 
  • it was of particular importance that women were encouraged to stand for elected office and that mentoring schemes were put in place to allow this to be highlighted and progressed;
  • in particular, the proposals within the Action Plan to run recruitment campaigns to encourage apprentices into non-traditional gender roles and create shadowing schemes for women in non-traditional gender and also leadership roles;
  • there was a need for further information on opportunities for part-time working and job sharing arrangements at Senior Council Officer and Teaching level;
  • consideration should also be given to offering specific training on awareness of gender based violence and domestic abuse to Members of the Highland Licensing Board and Highland Licensing Committee;      
  • the proposal to seek invitations from Elected Members to champion the work of Officers to progress gender equality at Highland Council was welcomed; and
  • it would be beneficial to also include male mentors in this work in future.   


The Council:-

  1. AGREED that invitations should be sought from Members to champion the work of Officers to progress gender equality at Highland Council;
  2. AGREED that Annual Reports should be taken to the Corporate Resources Committee to allow Members to scrutinise and celebrate progress towards accreditation;
  3. AGREED that training and information material should be made available to Members through induction and the Member Development Programme; and
  4. NOTED the progress made to date by the Joint Officer and Trade Union Working Group.

22. Organisational Transformation and Transition
Eadar-ghluasadan agus Cruth-atharrachadh 

There had been circulated Report No. HC/67/19 dated 3 December 2019 by the Chief Executive.

During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-

  • thanks should be conveyed to Officers for the considerable level of work which had been undertaken in relation to the issues within the report which it was expected would produce very positive outcomes for the Council;
  • it was important that Highland continued to be a ‘listening Council’ with continuous improvement over time and that a recognition was given to the fact that the Gaelic language had links with many areas of work;
  • it would be essential that any transformation measures did not impact ongoing service delivery in any way, particularly in relation to roads and winter maintenance which were two areas which needed to be strengthened and empowered in future;
  • it was highlighted that Fleet had been contained with ‘Communities and Place’ but also had very strong and obvious links to ‘Roads’ which had been listed under ‘Environment and Infrastructure’;
  • listing ‘Housing & Property’ under one heading was welcomed as it was felt that this could deliver improvements in future;
  • there was a need to acknowledge the hard work of all staff across the Council and to thank them for their co-operation with these new proposals;
  • there should be a strong focus on future proposals for Roads (Strategic and Operational) in order to ensure improvements across areas where there had been difficulties in the past;
  • further information on the timeline for and reporting of the review of the Named Person Scheme was required; and
  • in regard to Education Transformation, it would be essential to ensure continuous dialogue with staff in order to achieve the aspirations which had been listed in the report.         


 The Council: -

  1. NOTED the progress being made with the Organisational Transformation and Transition Programme;
  2. NOTED the emerging themes and principles for the transformation of Education, Care and Learning arising from engagement with staff, Members and wider stakeholders;
  3. NOTED the intention to bring detailed structure proposals to Strategic Committees and the Council in the early part of 2020; and
  4. NOTED the development of the Council’s Place-Based strategy and AGREED to hold a Members’ Seminar early in 2020 to explore the approach in greater depth.    

23. Review of the Scheme of Delegation
Ath-sgrùdadh dhen Sgeama Riochdachaidh 

There had been circulated Report No. HC/68/19 dated 3 December 2019 by the Executive Chief Officer (Performance & Governance).

In this regard, the proposed new Scheme of Delegation had been circulated separately.


The Council AGREED: -

  1. the revised Scheme of Delegation as circulated;
  2. the Climate Change Panel to be re-named the ‘Climate Change Working Group’ and to report to the Council;
  3. the ‘Tourism Working Group/Sub Committee’ to be re-named the ‘Tourism Committee’ and report to the Council;
  4. the Gaelic Implementation and Strategy Group to be re-named the ‘Gaelic Committee’ and report to the Council; and
  5. a Joint Wellbeing Sub-Committee comprising Members of the following Committees – Education, Health, Social Care & Wellbeing, Housing and Communities & Place - to be formally established in March 2020 once the new Committees had met for the first time to discuss and agree membership, a remit and terms of reference.  

24. Deeds Executed
Sgrìobhainnean Lagha a Bhuilicheadh

It was NOTED that a list of deeds and other documents executed on behalf of the Council since the meeting held on 31 October 2019 was available in the Members’ Library and on the Council’s Website.


The meeting ended at 5.20pm.