Sutherland County Committee confirms priorities
The provision of affordable housing, equality of capital investment, access to education, the impact of tourism on council services and involving communities in budgeting decisions have been flagged up as the top priorities the Sutherland County Committee.
Building on the localism agenda the Committee last year developed A Voice for Sutherland and its People which sets out aspirations and priorities in order for work to be focussed to bring benefit to local communities. Councillors have reaffirmed their commitment and refreshed the document to identify the immediate strategic priorities for the next 12 months. The Committee will work to ensure that these local needs and issues are taken into account by the Council as a whole. They are:
- Housing Development
- NC500 – promotion, impact on Council services
- Balanced / equitable Highland Council capital investment
- UHI/North Highland College/schools – equality of access to courses
- Community engagement in budgeting decisions
Committee Chair Cllr Linda Munro said: “These five key priorities will be our main focus over the next 12 months and have come about after my fellow councillors and I have heard what our communities have been saying to us. However, there will be an opportunity through the Sutherland Community Partnership and when we talk further with partner agencies, and our communities to consider wider shared priorities we can all work on over the term of the Council.
Priorities listed in A Voice for Sutherland and its People come under the heading of Community Empowerment, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Education and Skills Development, Care and Wellbeing and Land Use.
Councillor Munro added: “It is all about what is best for the communities of Sutherland and listening to what people tell us. There is more detailed work to be done on how we measure progress and we will be reviewing the priorities regularly but personally I am particularly pleased that they include ensuring our young people have access to further education opportunities and are not penalised due to where they live. I am also pleased that we will be concentrating efforts on making more affordable housing available so local people looking to set up homes don’t need to move away from the area and we have housing to attract new people.”