Agendas, reports and minutes

Highland Council

Date: Thursday, 1 October 2020

Agenda: Read the Agenda (Special Meeting)

A Special Meeting of the Highland Council will be held REMOTELY on Thursday, 1 October 2020 at 10.30am.

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
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. Leader of the Opposition – Appointment 
Ceannard nan Dùbhlanach – Cur an Dreuchd

Following the SNP Group’s AGM and following nomination, the Council is invited to agree that the Leader of the Opposition is Mr R Bremner.

4. Revenue Budget Update Report – October 2020     
Aithisg Ùrachaidh Buidseat Teachd-a-steach na – Dàmhair 2020

There is circulated Report No. HC/32/20 dated 24 September 2020 by the Executive Chief Officer, Resources and Finance.

The Council is asked to:-

i)    consider the changing context as outlined in this report and take these factors into consideration as part of any future decision-making; 

Agree the following recommendations as presented in the Council report of 10 September (which is provided as Appendix 2):-

ii)   agree to continue to lobby both UK and Scottish Governments for additional funding as outlined;
iii)  agree the release of the £3m Crown Estate Investment Funds;
iv)   agree to the release of the £2.293m Roads Investment Funds;
v)    agree to hold back spend on the remaining investment funds, as detailed in Section 10.4 (of Appendix 2), until there is greater certainty on the budget position;
vi)   consider the medium-term financial context and acknowledge the significant financial risks facing the Council;
vii)  note that budget update reports will continue to be provided to all Council meetings as agreed at the Council meeting on 25 June; and 
viii) agree to progress the capital projects as outlined in Appendix 2.

Members are additionally asked to:-

ix)  agree to set aside the sum of £10.9m from the Council’s General Fund non-earmarked reserve to offset the expected increase in the Council’s budget gap arising as a result of reduced expectations of funding from the income recompense scheme and changed expectation that the income from second homes council tax will be able to offset the budget gap, as outlined in Section 5.

5. Learning Estate Improvement Programme and Capital Priorities    
Prògram Tasgaidh / Prìomhachasan Calpa na h-Oighreachd Ionnsachaidh

There is circulated Report No. HC/33/20 dated 25 September 2020 by the Executive Chief Officer, Resources and Finance. 

The Council is asked to:-

i)    agree that, following its formal inclusion in Phase 1 of the LEIP, the Tain 3-18 Campus project continues to be developed to meet the August 2024 completion date expected for all Phase 1 projects, with a commitment to fund the project from the capital programme and deliver it in line with the Scottish Government’s outcomes-based revenue funding model, all as outlined in Section 5; 
ii)   agree that Broadford Primary School is nominated as the Council’s priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in Phase 2 of the LEIP with Nairn Academy also nominated as the next priority, as outlined in Section 6; 
iii)  agree that capital funding is allocated from the School Estate Improvement budget heading to enable Park Primary School to return to the Park campus while the long-term options for a new build are considered, as outlined in Section 7; and 
iv)   reaffirm the Council’s commitment to a replacement care facility to serve the Sutherland North Coast area and agree that an options appraisal is carried out on the alternative capital or revenue funding approaches as outlined in Section 8, and brought back to the Council meeting on 29th October with recommendations to ensure delivery of this commitment as a matter of urgency.