Highland Council is set to look at new income generation options but details remain murky
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Highland Council is set to look at new income generation options but details remain murky because the official papers have not been published yet to scrutinise the detail of the proposal.
The council says that councillors will consider “innovative approaches to generate additional income to maintain public services” at next week’s full meeting of the local authority, the last of the year.
Some revenue options have already been tabled like the £28m solar farm plan that could see the council make almost £120m and raising parking charges while the tourist tax remains on the agenda too.
The council is facing a £62 million budget deficit and last week officers presented income generation options to the redesign board – a body set-up to streamline and reform operations – which agreed to recommend them for approval at full council.
The recommendations will focus on three key areas in which income generation can grow as the current levels of income, excluding Council Tax, equate to just eight per cent of the council’s budget.
A strategy to increase this is one way to sustain levels of service and support essential redesign (reform) activity and initial responses to the council’s budget survey and simulator supports this as an approach.
Council leader Raymond Bremner said: “There are considerable opportunities to derive more income to support the overall work of Highland Council to sustain both communities and important services to people.
“There are a few ways in which this can be achieved: by reviewing the rates of existing fees and charges; and considering mechanisms to derive more income from tourism and opportunities to raise revenues from renewable energy and new technologies.”