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…

Inverness ignoring priorities in Lochaber

Two parallel universes must exist in the council chamber in Fort William, as the press department sanctioned version of proceedings at the local area committee meeting differs from my experience of the same meeting. An important item on the agenda was the agreement of a set of priorities for Lochaber. These include things like the…

Historic graveyard knocked apart by council

Some people could ask is a stone wall really that important. Others would suggest the council shouldn’t spend money on replacing like for like. That was pretty much the attitude of my councillor colleagues when I tried to persuade them to replace the wall at this historic graveyard with another stone wall. Yet, one councillor told…

E-newsletter – Issue 3

In my latest newsletter there’s an update about plans for what would be the largest community land purchase in Scottish history and news of how council officers tried to extend the commercial grass cutting contracts across the Highlands without approval from councillors. You can read it in detail here.

Demand for pupil support answers

In a significant u-turn the council has confirmed that it will reverse a cut in funding Additional Support Needs in primary and secondary schools across the Highlands. This follows a backlash from councillors, parents and teachers, as new funding allocations for individual schools were announced earlier this month. Whilst this is good news, as the…

More info needed when Corran Ferry disrupted

Whenever there is disruption to the Corran Ferry, because of bad weather or an accident nearby on the A82, Lochaber residents inevitably turn to the council for information. After the last major disruption, I asked for a review of how the council communicates service information, because of complaints from local communities. That review is ongoing,…

E-newsletter – Issue 2

In my latest E-newsletter, there’s information about a chance for communities to grab a share of £30,000, as councillors set aside part of their ward discretionary budget for residents to decide how it should be spent. There’s an update on work being done to improve information for motorists and peninsula communities when there is significant…

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…