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Updates on Community Council activities, and other local news are included here.  If you have information for us to share or a comment on any of the articles please let us know. 

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08 May 2020Highland Council Help for Families in Need

Council support to families in time of need

Help is at hand for bereaved families in Highland who may find the unexpected cost of funerals out of their reach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Highland Council has provided funeral directors in the region with information leaflets to ensure that they are aware of the financial support that is available to relatives for some funeral costs in specific circumstances.  Depending on the individual circumstances of bereaving families, help may be available through the ‘Bereavement Support Payment’ and ‘Funeral Support Payment’.

Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee Chair, Cllr Linda Munro said: “The Council is acutely aware of the unexpected pain and hardship that the sudden loss of a loved one can cause for surviving relatives and the financial hardship this can cause to surviving relatives especially where the deceased was the main source of income in their home. That is why we are keen to share this information about support that is available.”

To help those most in need at this difficult time, the Council’s Welfare Support Team can assist eligible families to apply for help with funeral costs and to claim all entitlements that may be due because of such a significant change within their home. 

There may also be additional benefits and help available on an ongoing basis to help with living costs.  For example, a 25% discount from the council tax bill may be available together with a further reduction from the means-tested Council Tax Reduction scheme. Furthermore, some households may be entitled to Pension Credit to top-up their state pension on a weekly basis.

The support is free and confidential, and the Welfare Support Team can be contacted by emailing:welfare.support@highland.gov.uk or by phoning 0800 090 1004. 

Contact can also be made by completing a secure online form at www.highland.gov.uk/welfaresupport

 

01 May 2020Highland Council Covid-19 Free Helpline

The Highland Council have launched a free helpline to give assistance to, and collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The generic number is 0300 303 1362 and will connect you to the relevant Council specialist teams. This will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm with all calls coming with no charge.

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact the Helpline using ContactSCOTLAND-BSL

You will be able to get advice on benefits and personal support, education and social care and there will also be advice for businesses who may need help with financial support. Helpline staff will also be signposting callers to other organisations that can provide help and assistance as well as gathering offers from individuals or community groups wishing to volunteer. 

The new helpline is just one of several proactive actions we are taking.  Work to set up a number of Humanitarian Assistance Centres across the Highlands is underway. 

The council also continuie to co-ordinate all offers of community group support, while the Highland's third sector is co-ordinating individual offers of support.  There will be close joint working to maximise the valuable offers of support from community groups and individuals.

For more information and advice, visit the COVID-19 homepage.

01 May 2020COVI19 Community Response - Kessock Kindness

Kesock Kindness is being coordinated by the Residents Association of North kessock (RANK). Volunteers look after small groups of households and are able to help with picking up shopping, posting mail, urgent supplies or even a friendly phone call for thise who are self-isolating or shielding. There are now 25 zones set up, with a couple yet to be covered. Kilmuir has its own whatsapp group. Befriender training is also being organised for the wider area.

Anyone in the area who would like to provide or receive help can register their details  at the Kessock Kindness survey link here 

Virtual coffee mernings are also being held every week via Zoom. See the RANK facebook page for updates and details of dates and how to join in. Everyone is welcome. 

01 May 2020Knockbain CC COVID 19 Community Response Munlochy

Hello Munlochy Folks,

I am conscious that there may be things going on in the community to help those who have had a sudden loss of income as a result of CV19 and I commend those who are quietly getting on with this.

The Community Council, assisted by some locals can supply emergency food parcels to anyone in this situation, whether single, couples or families. We can then refer onto Highland Council Hub to ensure that a regular supply continues.

We understand entirely that asking for help can be difficult, but I can assure you that we will not compromise your confidentiality.

Please contact either:-

John Stott 0780 135 6485 or Serena Ferguson 07710 617472

We are also seeking donations of non-perishable goods to assist and would ask that these are dropped off at the shop. 

Government funded emergency food hampers are also being held by the Red Cross, for anyone in genuine need? Just call the local branch (based in Inverness) to register the individual/family, and they should get the parcel that day.

If we can assist in any other way, please ask!

Please Stay Safe

John Stott, KCC Chair

29 April 2020Brown Bin Collections Resume

Garden Waste Collection Service- resuming normal service

The Highland Council is pleased to announce that the Garden Waste Collection Service will be resumed from Monday 11th May 2020. Householders who have purchased a 2019/20 permit for the fortnightly collection of their garden waste are urged to check their calendars on The Highland Council’s website for their collection day. https://www.highland.gov.uk/directory/54/bin_calendars 

Carron McDiarmid, Chief Executive Officer, Communities and Place said: “It has been a challenge to deliver services during these exceptionally testing times and I’m very pleased to announce that the Garden Waste Collection Service can return to some normality. Your patience and understanding has been most appreciated whilst we have had to prioritise delivery of other essential services.”

She continued: “The Garden Waste Collection Service was suspended on Monday 23rd March due to the impact of Covid-19 on staff resources. The Highland Council is currently operating with a shortfall of approximately 30% - 40% in waste operations staff and therefore priority was given to the collection of statutory household rubbish (green bin), recycling (blue bin) and food waste collections in Inverness.  The staffing situation has now been reviewed and additional staff resources have been identified which now allows for the recommencement of the Garden Waste Collection Service.”

Chair of the Communities and Place Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: “Arrangements we able to be finalised yesterday so I look forward to the service starting up from Monday 11 May. Some people may not be sure which is their collection week, so I strongly urge permit holders to check their calendars on The Highland Council website and share this information with their immediate neighbours where possible.”

When the collections resume on the 11th May, there will have been 3-4 missed brown bin collections depending on the collection week. To compensate customers for these missed collections, the current collection permits will be extended by a period of 9 weeks beyond their current expiry date at the end of June. All current permits are now valid until the end of August 2020.

The brown bins must be presented with a valid permit and the bin lids fully closed, no extra side waste will be collected. 

As a reminder, the Garden Waste Collection Service is for the recycling of the following from your garden: grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, twigs and small branches, flowers, plants and weeds.  Customers are asked to check the contents of their bin to ensure it contains no contamination.  To help reduce the spread of Coronavirus the public should regularly clean their bin handles and lids as well as washing their hands before and after touching their bins.

Crews are operating on safe distancing procedures due to the continuing threat of COVID-19. This may mean collections take longer to complete than usual so please put your bin out for 7.00am on your scheduled collection day. Collections may also be suspended at short notice if there are further circumstances outwith our control and customers are advised to regularly check the Council’s website for updates.

To check for your collection date and view your calendar please seehttps://www.highland.gov.uk/directory/54/bin_calendars

Details of the Garden Waste Collection Service can be found here:www.highland.gov.uk/gardenwaste

All enquiries please e-mail recycle@highland.gov.uk

While Garden Waste collection will resume the public are being reminded that all Highland Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) remain closed due to the Government’s decision to restrict all but non-essential movement. The Council is closely monitoring the situation across the country and as soon as it is permittable, the sites will be re-opened. Residents are being asked to act responsibly by not putting waste you may have taken to a HWRC in your household bins as it may overwhelm collection services. In addition, householders are advised to avoid carrying out large DIY projects or spring cleans unless they have space to store the waste.

 

 

25 March 2020COVID19 Highland Helpline

The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The number will be live from 2pm today (Wednesday 25 March) 

The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free. 

Callers will be able to get advice on benefits and personal support, education and social care and there will also be advice for businesses who may need help with financial support. Helpline staff will also be signposting callers to other organisations that can provide help and assistance as well as gathering offers from individuals or community groups wishing to volunteer. 

The service is operated by council staff and Eden Court volunteers who will be home based. Staffing levels will be kept under review to respond to the demand. 

Chief Executive Donna Manson said: “I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work for getting this helpline up and running in such a short time. As well as Highland Council employees volunteering we are also very grateful for the assistance of Eden Court staff. The Helpline is now in place to help those most in need of assistance, so we are requesting that anyone who can continue to use our on-line forms and resources do so as much as possible.” 

To make a payment visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/pay

To report a problem visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/report

To request a service visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/request

 The new helpline is just one of several proactive actions the council is taking.  Work to set up a number of Humanitarian Assistance Centres across the Highlands is also underway with details to be published soon.

The Council is continuing to co-ordinate all offers of community group support, while the Highland’s 3rd Sector is co-ordinating individual offers of support.  There will be close joint working to maximise the valuable offers of support from community groups and individuals.

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