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New Chair for Sutherland Committee

15th November 2018

Photograph of New Chair for Sutherland Committee

Councillor Richard Gale who represents the East Sutherland and Edderton ward of The Highland Council has taken over the reins of the Sutherland County Committee.

At the start of today's meeting (Thursday 15 November) the first thing he did when taking the chair was to thank his fellow Sutherland councillors. He particularly paid tribute to Cllr Linda Munro who has chaired the committee since June 2017.

He said: "I would like to sincerely thank Linda for her time as chair. I recognise that she has had to deal with some difficult challenges during the period and at no time did she shy away from the tough decisions that had to be taken."

“Sutherland faces all of the challenges that are prevalent across the Highlands including the need for inward investment in the area. I want to work with the Community Planning Partnership to ensure that the identified needs are addressed in partnership with local groups across the County.”

He added: “I look forward to my new role as chair will be working hard to ensure our committee is relevant, effective and reflective of the unique communities we represent.”

Cllr Munro, who represents the North, West and Central Ward of The Highland Council is taking on the role of Vice Chair of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee.

Speaking of her time as chair of the Sutherland Committee she said: “Our group of six elected councillors from across Sutherland have all pulled together and I have felt very supported in the time I have been chair. It is very much a team effort, with every member playing a part and leading for their particular geographical area.

“Between us we have a vast amount of experience, expertise and knowledge and we are galvanised by our commitment and passion of ensuring the aspirations and priorities of our very diverse communities are to the fore of our work.”

In her new role as Vice Chair of a strategic committee, one of her top priorities will be addressing poverty in Highland. She said: “At a recent presentation made to members at the Care. Learning and Housing Committee we learned that a staggering 65% of people living in poverty are in employment. While this forms part of my work with the committee it is absolutely relevant to Sutherland with our very high proportion of seasonal workers and the known challenges of Universal Credit.”

During today’s Sutherland he Committee members had the chance to scrutinise the local performance report for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, consider and approve the Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan Action Programme and discuss housing investment before approving a two year capital programme. After a presentation by the Council’s Principal Tourism and Film Officer, members considered issues around tourism and ways to ensure communities maximise the benefits from the recent boom in visitor numbers.

Cllr Munro who has been appointed Vice Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee and Cllr Richard Gale, the new chair of the Sutherland County Committee

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