Highland Council’s new Programme “Highland First” has been agreed by Council

The Highland Council today agreed the a new programme “Highland First”.

The Programme is based on three main themes: A Community-Led, Well-Served and a Fairer Highland, in addition to promoting a thriving capital. The Programme focuses on a number of key priorities including promoting connectivity, addressing poverty and enhancing democracy.

The Programme received widespread support from across the Chamber. A number of amendments and additions were submitted and these will be considered by the Administration and the final Programme will be published in September.

Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: “This Programme is a Programme for the whole council and I have welcomed contributions and suggestions from across the council to achieve cross-party support and consensus as far as possible.

“We have been experiencing the worst recession for decades, but at the same time there has been economic growth and I want to acknowledge the work of this Council and the previous Administration in achieving this.  This Programme is an evolution of “Working Together for the Highlands” and many items have been delivered and many are now business as usual.

“It is important to say that we should be led by our communities and therefore there is a strong commitment to pushing democracy back to a local level. We want a fairer Highland and I believe social justice is close to all our hearts. Connectivity is a fundamental priority for us and we will be working to improve this for everyone across the Highlands.

“We have limited time and financial resources, so this Programme has to be realistic and achievable, as well as setting a direction of travel. There needs to be a clear recognition of what the Council can do for itself within our budget and our workforce. We can’t do everything on our own, so there is an increased emphasis on lobbying and on partnership working with other sectors, businesses and Europe.”

“I wish to thank all Members for their contributions today and for the widespread support for a way forward.”

13 Aug 2015
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