Capital plan to be reviewed in March
The Council will consider a revised Capital Plan at its meeting in March, following decisions on available revenue at the Council’s budget setting meeting on 15th February.
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson said:
“Our revised Capital Plan will propose continued investment enabling us to do some very important projects over the next 5 years, including new school buildings and Phase 2 of the West Link and other road improvements. However, it is imperative that we get our Capital Plan into an affordable place in the light of the funding available to us.
“Highland is a region with unique issues and pressures which need to be taken into account in the level of funding we receive. Investment in our infrastructure is also of vital importance to a thriving economy. We will be continuing to lobby the Scottish Government to make this point and some of our Highland MSPs have been very supportive in this respect.”
Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon added: “The Highland Council has been delivering an ambitious Capital Plan which has invested in major flood schemes, roads, bridges, and in new school estate in Lochaber, Wick, Inverness and Skye in recent years. We also recognise the importance of the Council’s investment in these projects to the local economy of the Highlands.”
However, Councillor Mackinnon is determined that the Council must live within its means and trim its Capital plans accordingly over the coming years. He said:
“We need a 5 year plan that is affordable and on that basis we will be asking Council to agree a more realistic Capital spend over the coming years. It is our priority to protect frontline services, our staff and road maintenance and in order to do that we must cut our cloth accordingly.”
He went on to say: “We will do everything we can to look at other sources of funding and make a specific case for the Highlands.”
The Capital Plan will be taken to Council on 8 March for approval of the Highland Council.