Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Taking a break

Pressure of work means that APTSec has to take a short blog break.

If you have any questions that you would like to raise or comments to make on anything you have read please contact us via the e mail given on the blog.

Why not take this opportunity to re-read some of the older items which may still be of interest?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Why not take a look

APTSec has made reference to this before but I think it is worth providing the link again:

"Development Viability

The Scottish Government agreed to work with the private sector to develop a firm programme to better explain the importance of development economics in planning. A Draft Guide on Development Viability has been prepared with the intention of finalising it following a series of dissemination events"

The draft guide can be found here

APTSec is currently awaiting some additional information from the Planning Directorate as to when and where these 'dissemination events' will be held.

Councillors Code of Conduct

APTSec would once again like to direct readers to the current consultation:

Proposal for Amendments to be made to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct

You are invited to respond before 18/02/2010

More details can be found here

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Ward forums to discuss budgets

It has come to this:

The next Black Isle Ward Forum, which takes place on Thursday (21 January), will focus on The Highland Council’s budget and take a look at the financial challenges facing Local Government and the rest of the public sector over the next four years.

Joining the Forum from The Highland Council will be Alistair Dodds, Chief Executive, Alan Geddes, Director of Finance and Cllr Sandy Park, Convener. Also present will be the Black Isle Ward Members, including Cllr David Alston who is the Council’s Budget Leader.

During the discussion and question and answer session people attending will be asked for their views on what the Council’s priorities should be when it has less money to spend on services.

For item click here

Council's Asset Rationalisation

Highland's strategic planning committee (the PED Committee) will be asked to approve the assets listed in Appendix 1 (of the committee report) as surplus to the operational requirements of the Planning and Development Service at their meeting on 20/01/2010


"The Planning and Development Service manages a wide variety of assets including countryside car parks, buildings and structures, vacant urban and industrial sites, footpaths, community woodlands and amenity land. In total these number some 225 sites throughout Highland. Some of these properties have been purchased for particular reasons, while others became the responsibility of the Service at the time of local government reorganisation in 1996 or subsequently
due to Council Service restructuring.

In support of the Council’s Corporate Improvement Programme Asset Management Project, Planning and Development will be undertaking a staged review of the Service asset portfolio in order to rationalise this in relation to resources and service delivery priorities."

To view the full list of the surplus assets in the committee report click here and for the PED meeting agenda click here

Note: Agenda item 2 deals with the subject of access to high speed broadband

Monday, 18 January 2010

"Successive governments asleep at the wheel..."

Another concise but very thought provoking item from Planning Magazine's Huw Morris:

"Shortly after becoming prime minister, Gordon Brown announced ambitious plans to build three million homes by 2020.

The initiative was effectively dead within months as the recession, credit crunch and collapse of the house building industry took hold. Last week, he was at it again with the Crown Estate's approval of nine giant offshore wind farms."

To carry on reading click here

Where does Inverness City fit in this?

Below is an extract from a report entitled Cities Outlook 2010

"A more realistic attitude to growth

Rather than swimming against the tide, and trying to attract an even spread of high-value businesses and jobs to all cities, Government policy to strengthen the recovery should take into account places’ differing strengths. This is particularly important in a time of fiscal constraints, where the effectiveness of public spending needs to be maximised.

Cities that do not have a high-value business base, or sufficient knowledge assets, may need
to adjust their economic aspirations. Rather than undertake poorly-targeted investments
to promote innovation and high-value sectors, residents of cities in this position, such as Rochdale or Barnsley, may be better served by attracting businesses that can generate jobs for
the local population, and connecting to higher value economic opportunities in nearby economic growth centres, like Manchester or Leeds."

The report ranks the economic performance of 64 of the UK's largest cities and towns and also includes an analysis of the economic performance of the City Regions, a wider definition of urban areas and a summary of City Regional devolution to date. It was an independent report financially supported by the Local Government Association. Scottish Cities included were Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

So where does Inverness fit in with this?

For more information on 'The Centre for Cities" click here