First meeting of the Ross and Cromarty Local Committee

The first meeting of the new Ross and Cromarty Local Committee was held in public on 3 February in Dingwall Council Chamber.

Councillors attended from Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh; Cromarty Firth; Tain and Easter Ross; Dingwall and Seaforth; and Black Isle Wards.

Cllr Margaret Paterson was elected as Chair of the Committee and Cllr Graham Mackenzie as Vice Chair.

The new Scheme of Delegation re-organises former powers and includes new powers for all Local Committees. The new powers include:

• Establishing appropriate links between the Committee and local community planning partnerships
• Taking forward the localism action plan in the locality
• Agreeing local community engagement approaches
• Ensuring productive working relationships with Community Councils
• Purchasing and disposing of Common Good Trust assets up to 10% of the value of the Common Good Fund: and
• Using participatory budgeting for any funds decided by the Local Committee
Future powers for local committees from April 2016 will include local devolved decision making on parts of the Community Services budget, including roads maintenance, winter maintenance, environmental services and street cleansing.
Members agreed that the committee meetings would not be webcast due to the costs involved.

The committee considered a presentation on the West Highland and Islands Local Development Plan Main Issues Report.

The most significant new sites and policies in the Main Issues Report for Wester Ross and Lochalsh include support for a distillery and further harbour expansion in Ullapool and proposals to expand harbour facilities in Gairloch.

Members approved the Main Issues Report and agreed a 10 week consultation period with communities and neighbours of identified sites across the area. This will include on-line publicity, drop in sessions and exhibitions across the Plan area.

Committee papers can be viewed on the Council’s website. 

4 Feb 2016
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