The Community Council is often approached for views on various topics being reviewed by local or national government, or by other public bodies. You can respond to these as an individual if you want to. You can also contact any community council member, and we will consider your views as part of any response we make. Where community views are not clear we will generally take a neutral stance as a group and provide members of the community with information about where to find out more or make an individual submission.
Preliminary Review of Polling Districts
Each local authority is required to carry out such a review every four years, and the next compulsory review is scheduled to take place until October 2018. However, the Highland Council has agreed to initiate a preliminary review ahead of next year’s statutory review. The purpose being is to have a longer period of consultation to ascertain stakeholders’ view and opinions.
This review aims to ensure that there is reasonable facilities for voting and the accessibility of polling places to all electors, including those with a disability, so far as is reasonable and practicable.
Background information and consultation documents are available on the Council’s website at http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/elections/
Members Bill for 20mph Speed Limits
On Monday 15th May, Mark Russel MSP launched a consultation for his 20mph members bill in the Scottish Parliament. The community council have consistently campaigned for safer driving speed limits around our villages. We support this measure and will submit a response before the closing date on the 7thAugust. Individual residents are also encouraged to respond at the link below. Please make your views known.
The bill proposes reducing the default speed limit on restricted roads from 30mph to 20mph, whilst giving local councils the power to retain specific streets as 30mph zones where suitable, e.g. as designated through routes. Whilst many communities have already benefited from being reclassified as 20mph zones, the approach in Scotland to date has been piecemeal, resulting in some local councils having no permanent 20mph zones in place at all.
The MSP believes that setting a lower speed limit by default is the best way to address this inequality, and ensure all our communities are safe places to walk, cycle, scoot and play. The full consultation document can be downloaded from the Scottish Parliament Website.
As many communities as possible are being encouraged to have their say on these proposals, including those that have already benefited from 20mph zoning as well as those that would see a speed reduction if the bill were to pass. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please do get in touch on the details below.
Mark Ruskell MSP – Mid-Scotland & Fife Region
Scottish Green Party
The Scottish Parliament
P: 0131 348 6469
The consultations below have now ended, but we will leave the details and links her for a while for anyone interested in following the outcomes.
Highland Council Budget Consultation (Highland Council, Ends 5th February 2017)
Over the last 6 years around £135 million has been taken out of the Council’s budget. This year sees another substantial reduction in funding and together with increases in costs, the budget gap is around £26 million.
The Highland Council has identified a range of savings to reduce this gap. Before full proposals are put to Council, they would like to understand what is really important to people in the Highlands.
Highland Council is encouraging people across the region to have a go at balancing the Council’s books – using a budget simulator.
The online tool is a new way to do this and gives people the chance to understand the choices facing the local authority and consider how increasing spending in one area means reducing the spend in another. The simulator challenges residents to attempt the difficult task of cutting £14million from the budget.
By participating and showing how you would choose to allocate the budget, the council will gain a clearer understanding of people’s priorities across the region as we move forward to set the budget on 16 February.
The budget simulator can be accessed at here . It will be open until Monday 5 February.
Commission on Highland Democracy - Call for Evidence
The Highland Council, like every other Council in Scotland, makes daily decisions about everything from home care to bin collections and from building schools to cutting grass. But are they making these decisions in the right way for you or might you be making them instead?
The Highland Council believe that people’s lives are better when they have more control over decisions which affect them. They want your views about what happens now, and what the future of democracy in the Highlands might be.
The job of the Commission on Highland Democracy is to find out how local people want to be involved in decisions and services that directly affect their lives and their communities. We believe we should not even start our work without asking local people what you think of this issue and how we should move forward. They hope your answers will direct their work and tell them what problems, if any, you want to get sorted.
There are already some ideas about how individuals in communities might want to become involved. These are shown in the diagram on the final page of this document and let you see the range of influence and input that could be available. It may be helpful to look at that diagram before answering the questions that follow.
The 8 questions we are asking are designed to help you to say the things you want to say and to allow the commission to easily spot and interpret any common themes that your answers contain. However, if the questions are not helpful and you want to say something quite different, please say, as The Highland Council promise that every response will be taken into account as they move forward.
You can find out more about the commission HERE . Or you can e-mail your comments to Commission@highland.gov.uk,or write to “Commission on Highland Democracy, Policy Team, Highland Council HQ, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness. IV3 5NX.”
Removal of Public Phone Boxes (BT / Highland Council : first stage 24th October 2016)
Public opinion is being sought on BT’s proposal to remove 178 public payphones from across Highland. Regulation set out by Ofcom, the independent regulator, states that local authorities have the responsibility to co-ordinate consultations to gather views about proposed pay-phone removals.
The first stage of the consultation will run 30 of September to 24 of October. The first stage will invite comments on the proposed removals. Following the first stage, a first notice of decision will be published which will outline Highland Council’s initial position on the proposed removals. Communities and stakeholders will then be invited to consider the first notice of decision and then be given a further opportunity to comment on the proposed changes.