Highland takes step towards local budgets for local decision-making
Localism and Community Empowerment have taken a huge leap forward with the decision taken by Members of The Highland Council, to ratify the disaggregation of the Community Services budget to the local areas along with the scheme of delegation to the relevant local committees. This decision was taken at a meeting of The Highland Council on 10 March.
The scheme of delegation includes budgets at a local level for:
- deployment of Council staff and plant or machinery,
- winter maintenance,
- road maintenance,
- public conveniences,
- grounds maintenance, and
- street cleaning.
Chair of Community Services Councillor Allan Henderson said: “Along with the agreement by local area committees to engage with communities to agree local priorities, this gives local communities the opportunity to decide what they want and see fit for their community and importantly the budget to pay for them. This is a convincing and not inconsiderable start to the delivery of local democracy and localism.”
Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson added: “We have agreed to hold local Member briefings which I am thoroughly looking forward to. Local Members will look at the details of individual disaggregated budgets for their areas; how we will be able to set local priorities with wider public participation; and how we will be able to scrutinise local service delivery within the council’s legal and policy commitments. This is a challenge that we all welcome to deliver local decision-making to our communities.”