Swedish houses set for timber repair

Two year’s ago I raised the council’s failure to maintain the external cladding on their “Swedish Houses” across Lochaber. I am pleased to report that the council listened to my concerns and undertook a survey of the houses. This revealed that up to 10% of the external cladding boards require replacing, along with some porch…

Green light for earlier gritting

We’ve been blessed with some good weather as we enter the autumn months, and unlike previous years the council’s winter maintenance teams haven’t needed to swing into serious action yet. Last year Lochaber councillors rejected the winter plans presented by officers, as inadequate and inconsistent with our area’s needs. That caused an enormous row with…

Reassurance sought on fire stations

When the national Police and Fire services were created by the Scottish Government, councillors lost any real ability to scrutinise the work of these services in their area. Whereas before councillors set priorities based on the needs of their local communities, these decisions are effectively now made at a national level. There are opportunities to…

Council leader challenged on city/region deal

This morning the Press and Journal contains an article with the headline “Inverness is in the money,” about the likely signing of the contract between Highland Council and both the British and Scottish Governments, that will see money allocated to the City/Region Deal released. This £315 million package has been applauded by senior councillors and…

Call to scrap new office artwork

Last week, work started on the renovation of the derelict Fort William Secondary School building at the West End entrance to the town. The work will see the building transformed over the next year into a new council headquarters. Transferring council staff from numerous town centre buildings to this new centre, will enable the council…

Changes to local ward discretionary fund

Many people will know about the ward discretionary fund, a pot of money given to ward councillors that local groups and organisations can apply to for financial assistance. Every year we assist a wide range of local projects, from local events to village maintenance schemes. This year we have decided to change how we operate…

Welcome for lower speed limit through Nether Lochaber

Transport Scotland headquarters sent out a lot of confusing messages over the last few months, following their review of speed limits along the A82. First of all, they recommended reducing the limit to 50mph from the Ballachulish Bridge roundabout through to the Onich Hotel. Then they decided their traffic data didn’t support this reduction, so…

Questions asked about crime scene response times

Unfortunately, there’s been a spate of house burglaries or break-ins in the South Lochaber area in the past few weeks. Whilst local police officers have attended quickly, residents expressed concern about a delay in getting forensic officers to examine the crime scene. Upon investigating, Fort William based Inspector Donald Campbell explained to me that since…