Agendas, reports and minutes

Communities and Place Committee

Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Agenda: Read the Agenda

A meeting of the Communities and Place Committee will take place REMOTELY on Wednesday 24 February 2021 at 11.30 am.

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. Apologies for Absence

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. Good News/Staff Achievements 
Naidheachdan Matha/Coileanaidhean Luchd-obrach 


4. Community Asset Transfer Requests
Iarrtasan Gluasad So-mhaoin Coimhearsnachd

There is circulated Report No CP/01/21 dated 22 January 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to:-

i. agree the sale of the former Maryburgh Primary School to Maryburgh Men’s Shed for £1, subject to the terms of transfer set out in section 2.1 of the report; and
ii. note the decision taken by the Chair of Communities and Place and the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place to approve a small increase in the extent of land transferred as part of the already agreed transfer to Cromarty Development Trust at Whitedykes Industrial Estate, Cromarty. This was agreed as part of the terms of transfer.

5. Sleat War Memorial Conservation Agreement
Aonta Glèidhteachais Cuimhneachan-Cogaidh Shlèite

There is circulated Report No CP/02/21 dated 27 January 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to:- 

i.     note the legal burden the agreement places on the tenant and landlord of the land on which the war memorial is sited; and 
ii.    agree the Council enter into the Conservation Agreement as detailed in the report to secure the long-term management and maintenance of the site of the Sleat War Memorial.

6. Progress report on the Framework for Community Participation and Involvement
Adhartas agus gnìomh bhon Fhrèam airson Com-pàirteachas Coimhearsnachd 

There is circulated Report No CP/03/21 dated 1 February 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to:- 

i.     note the engagement and support for third sector groups since then end of last year, including a weekly written briefing to over 400 community bodies, setting up 6 new local resilience networks, a new resource pack for information and signposting on mental health and wellbeing support, ongoing support and information to help people experiencing food and fuel poverty and the additional Covid ward funding availability designed to be even more accessible;
ii.    note the action underway by the Highland Third Sector Interface (HTSI) to understand the impacts of covid on volunteering as recently reported to the Highland Community Planning Partnership;
iii.   note how the motion agreed at Council will be progressed as outlined in section 6 of the report and in appendix 1, with the new action on a weekly virtual briefing commencing week beginning 15th February and reviewed after 3 months;
iv.    note the update on the progress against the participation and engagement framework including the shift in timescales due to the latest lockdown period; and
v.     agree to the revised timescales proposed for the Recovery Plan actions outlined in 7.5 and note that further actions will be developed based on the learning from this latest period and brought to this next committee for consideration.

Item 7 below will be considered at 2.00pm


7. Performance against the Highland Local Policing Plan 2020 - 2023
Coileanadh mu choinneamh Plana Poileasachd Ionadail na Gàidhealtachd  

Under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, the Local Authority has responsibility for monitoring and scrutinising performance of Police Scotland against the Local Policing Plan for their area.  The Local Plan has been approved by the Council as delegated to the Committee in 2019.

There is circulated Report No CP/04/21 dated 10 February 2021 by the Highland Local Policing Commander, Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett.

The Committee is invited to scrutinise the Local performance against the Highland 2020-2023 Policing Plan. 

8. Ongoing Covid-19 service impacts and adjustments
Buaidhean is atharrachaidhean seirbheis leantainneach Covid-19 

There is circulated Report No CP/05/21 dated 4 February 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to:- 

i.     note the five service risks and mitigating action now in place to support business continuity and our duty of care as an employer as set out in Appendix 1;
ii.    note the service adjustments in place for the Environmental Health Team given their need to prioritise public health tasks and support for business trading with EU countries, as set out in paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3;
iii.   note the seven new workstreams affecting the Environmental Health, Policy and Ward Management and Customer Services Teams, the re-start of the amenities review and new work on play areas, the service lead role in supporting NHS Highland’s vaccination programme, contributing to a Council Visitor Management Plan and participating in the running of elections; 
iv.    note the adjustments required for the Policy and Ward Management Team as set out in paragraph 6.5; 
v.     note that for the time being Committee business supported by the service will focus on urgent and time critical reports, supplemented by Member briefings and Ward Business Meetings;
vi.    agree the temporary re-prioritisation of waste, public conveniences and grounds maintenance services as set out in paragraph 6.3, although these would only be required if staff absence cannot be covered; and
vii.   agree that a longer timescale is sought for some statutory duties and requirements as set out in paragraph 6.10.

9. Update on the support for businesses exporting to, and importing from, the European Union (EU)
Fios às ùr mun taic do ghnothachasan ag às-mhalairt gu, agus ag ion-mhalairt às, an Aonadh Eòrpach

There is circulated Report No CP/06/21 dated 10 February 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to note:-

i.     the approach to taking forward the motions through the Brexit Working Group and workshop;
ii.    the demand from businesses in the region for support to trade with the EU and the enhanced service provided by the Environmental Health team as set out in paragraph 6.5; 
iii.   the shortfall in income of around £70k forecast to end March 2021; and
iv.    given uncertainty around the intentions of business following EU exit, the Committee previously agreed to a six-month review of service demand and provision to report to the Committee in August 2021.


10.    Communities and Place Revenue Monitoring Report to 31st December 2020 
Aithisg Sgrùdaidh Teachd-a-steach Choimhearsnachdan is Àite gu 31 Dùbhlachd 2020

There is circulated Report No CP/07/21 dated 6 February 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to note:- 

i.    the improved outturn forecast from Q2 with the budget gap forecast to reduce from £3.272m to £1.005m;
ii.    that the budget gap reported is associated mainly with shortfalls in income, disrupted by Covid and forecast to amount to £2.6m of external income. Government grant for income recompense will help reduce income shortfalls across the Council and is held corporately and not allocated to individual Services;
iii.    the budget gap has reduced because of further income recovery for grounds maintenance, Government Covid grant received and ongoing expenditure controls; and
iv.    on-going mitigation continues in Quarter 4 and includes ongoing expenditure controls, further income recovery where possible and claiming all potential Government grant.


11. Waste Projects Update
Fios às Ùr mu Phròiseactan Sgudail

There is circulated Report No CP/08/21 dated 5 February 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to note:-

i.     the Inverness waste transfer station tender evaluation has concluded, the capital allowance was confirmed by Council in January 2021 and senior management approval has been provided to proceed to the award of contract;
ii.    the tender specification for the Aviemore waste transfer station is currently out to tender;
iii.   discussions to identify the most suitable site in Fort William for the waste transfer station requirement are continuing;
iv.    the next phase of the planned progressive restoration of Seater landfill site will be undertaken mid-2021; 
v.     specifications are being developed for interim, medium-term waste management contract requirements to take to the market during 2021; 
vi.    work continues to ascertain the feasibility of progressing a proposal for an energy-from-waste facility; and 
vii.   minutes from the Members’ Waste Strategy Working Group of 23rd December 2020 as detailed later on in the Committee’s agenda.

12. Minutes of Waste Strategy Working Group
Geàrr-chunntas Buidheann-obrach Ro-innleachd Sgudail

There are circulated, for approval, the Minutes of the Waste Strategy Working Group held on 23 December 2020.


13. Response to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee call for views on the statutory instruments for short-term letting
Freagairt do ghairm Comataidh Riaghaltas Ionadail agus Choimhearsnachdan Pàrlamaid na h-Alba do bheachdan mu na h-innealan reachdail airson leigeil air mhàl san ùine ghoirid

There is circulated Report No CP/09/21 dated 27 January 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to:-

i.     note that the response requested clarification on the definition of the term guest house for licensing purposes;
ii.    note that the response requested clarification on the application of control areas to B&B accommodation;
iii.   note the request for a later implementation date if required by local authorities;
iv.    homologate the consultation response which was submitted to meet the Scottish Parliament deadline of 27th January 2021 as attached at Appendix 1; and
v.     note that Members previously agreed that after the regulations are finalised, the implementation of Planning Control areas should be the subject of a report to the Economy & Infrastructure Committee and following consultation with the Housing & Property Committee and relevant Local Committees and that the setting of fees for the proposed licensing scheme should be the subject of a report to the Licensing Committee.

14. Scottish Government Consultation on the Welfare of Animals during Transport
Freagairt co-chomhairle Riaghaltas na h-Alba – sochair bheathaichean ann an còmhdhail

There is circulated Report No CP/10/21 dated 29 January 2021 by the Executive Chief Officer Communities and Place.

The Committee is invited to:- 

i.    note the background to the recommendations to improve the welfare of animals during transport and the proposed consultation response; and 
ii.    agree the proposed response is submitted to the Scottish Government.