Public Consultations

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Details of the current 90-day consultation can be found at: Highland Community Councils – Your Service Your Voice copy

The consultation will close on 14th May, 2018

6th April 2018

Bank Closures – Three Surveys by HIE

On Friday, March 16th, 2018 Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) launched three surveys to gather views from the public about bank closures. The findings will be used to gather feedback from individual households, businesses and community groups in areas to be affected by the closures.  HIE has commissioned the Indigo House Group to carry out the work as part of a wider study into the social and economic importance of access to local banks.

HIE asks individuals, community groups and businesses in all communities to complete the surveys, for which web links are included below.

Surveys can be made available by hard copy, and HIE would welcome communities’ help in distributing these.  Please contact Indigo House if your community would like hard copies for completion.  The e-mail address to obtain hard copies is  The following website provides more information about this survey:

Web links to the survey are:

Business Survey

Residents Survey

Community Groups Survey

Anna Evans

Director Indigo House Group

07747 352 813

0131 564 0309 and

24th March 2018

Bank Closures – An Inquiry by the Scottish Government

Highland Council has been asked by Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee to share information about their inquiry into the impact of back closures.

The main inspiration behind the Committee’s inquiry is that the number of bank branches across Scotland reduced by a third between 2010 and 2017.

The Committee wants to hear from as many people as possible (both as members of a community council, as a business owner or as an individual). The Committee are keen to find out how branch closures have impacted communities at as local a level as possible.

More information can be found in the hyperlinks below.

Bank closures: impact on local businesses, consumers and the Scottish economy inquiry –

Call for Views: For this survey there isn’t a requirement to answer every question, only the ones that are relevant to the community –

Committee is also running a survey that is targeted more to individuals and businesses. in order to capture as many views as possible and the call for views is there to allow a more detailed response –

If there are any questions about the inquiry please send an e-mail to –

Lynn Sharp

Project Officer – Knowledge Management – Improvement Service

01506 283 827 and 07990 531 029

24th March 2018

Consultation on Core Path Proposals around Edderton

Comments regarding this consultation must be with Highland Council by the end of the working day on March 30th, 2018.

Edderton Community Council is supportive of the proposals apart from RC15.10(C) – Casandamff Woodland to the Struie Road (B9176).   A formal objection to RC15.10(C) will be sent to Highland Council by Edderton Community Council.

The following pictures were taken by Mary O’Hara and clearly show how inappropriate the RC15.10(C) extension would be.

Dusty conditions
Wide loads on narrow tracks
Heavily laden vehicles
An industrial route
Heavy machinery, too!

Ted Venn – 22nd March 2018

Proposed Core Path Extensions – A Consultation by Highland Council

Highland Council is currently undertaking a public consultation on proposals to extend the Core Path Network.  Five footpaths in the Edderton area have been identified as possibilities within the Caithness and Sutherland Ward of Highland Council.  These are: (1) Casandamff Woodland to the Struie Road – RC15.10(C);  (2) Edderton Hill to Tarlogie – RC15.11(C);  (3) Dounie Hill Fort – RC15.12(C);  (4) Struie Ridge – RC15.13(C); and  (5) a short section on Edderton Hill that will link up with Ross-shire Core Paths leading to Quebec Bridge and East Lamington – RC15.14(C).  Comments are invited in respect of this consultation, but can only be made on-line using the following link to Highland Council’s website –  Once the home page has been accessed, click on the tab “Consultations” and then select “Core Paths Plan (Caithness and Sutherland)”.  It should be borne in mind that comments have to be specifically made against each individual proposal.   The map below shows the five locations of proposed Core Paths extensions.There is considerable concern over the proposal to use the newly laid forestry track connecting Casandamff Woodland with the B9176 Struie Road – RC15.10(C) – on the grounds of health and safety and the fact that this new track was specifically constructed by Fountains Forestry to avoid heavily laden timber vehicles from using the U1878 (connects A836 and B9176) and U1880 (to Admiral’s Farm) single track roads that ultimately pass the school and along School Brae to reach the A836 at Edderton crossroads. The new track that Highland Council wishes to incorporate into the Core Path Network is also a Strategic Timber Extraction Route and because of that Fountains Forestry is hopeful that Edderton Community Council will formally oppose this proposal.

Of the other four proposals for the Edderton area, it is only the Struie Ridge – RC15.13(C) – that requires any comment, and that relates to start of the walk at the western end where it meets the B9176.  Starting and ending this walk at that point will require a short section of the B9176 to be followed from and to an unofficial car parking area, as well as crossing over an unbridged ditch.  It is suggested that a roadside path and a bridge over the ditch should be constructed.

Whilst the need for the Core Path Network to be expanded at this time of austerity is questionable, as is the consultation itself, participation in the consultation process is to be recommended.

Ted Venn – 09 02 2018


I am pleased to inform you that the Scottish Government has launched a public consultation to explore electoral reforms which Scottish citizens may wish to see taken forward in future.

The Scottish Government is committed to increasing participation in elections both in terms of voter turnout and encouraging citizens to stand for election. Democratic participation for all challenges the inequalities of power and influence that exist in society, and an electoral system that supports and empowers the engagement of the Scottish people in their own elections plays a crucial role in this. The 2016-2017 Programme for Government included a commitment to take forward a consultation exercise to find out what electoral reforms Scottish citizens would like to see taken forward in future legislation.

We are keen to elicit views on a number of issues related to Local Government and Scottish Parliament elections, including: how often these elections should be held; who runs these and how they are run; who can register and vote; and who may stand for election.

We would welcome your comments as part of our consultation exercise. The consultation paper and online response system can be accessed using the following link:

If you wish to respond then please return the online questionnaire template by 12 March 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with the Elections policy team at

Rebecca Whyte – 5th February 2018

Elections Team, Strategy, Elections and Freedom of Information Division,

Scottish Government, Area 2 West,

St Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh  EH1 3DG

Tel: 0131 244 1947

Closure of the Tain Branch of RBS

This closure is planned for June 20th, 2018. Public concern has prompted Gail Ross MSP to raise the matter with the Scottish Government. In order to demonstrate the catastrophic impact that the closure would have on Tain and its economy, Gail is currently undertaking a survey and asks that as many people as possible complete the survey and return it to her. As so many banks are closing branches, and particularly branches in rural areas, the survey is intended for the customers of all banks; not just RBS customers.

The survey can be accessed on-line using the following link:

Gail can also be contacted by sending an e-mail to:

Ted Venn – 24th January 2018