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Highland Council recovery board to plan for life after lockdown

By Gregor White

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Councillor Alasdair Christie will lead the new recovery board.
Councillor Alasdair Christie will lead the new recovery board.

A Highland Council recovery board has been set up to lead and plan the local authority’s emergence from lockdown.

The board will provide strategic co-ordination for a recovery action plan for council services and will also provide oversight and direction for the authority’s partnerships with communities and other organisations.

The board will be chaired by the council’s depute leader, Alasdair Christie, and will also report and make recommendations to the full council for its consideration.

The composition of the board will be "on the basis of political balance".

Early priorities for the board include restoring council governance to normal as well as plans for how to return the workforce safely.

Prioritising services and a focus on budget and resource will be on the agenda, in addition to addressing the wider economic situation.

Councillor Christie said: “This is perhaps the most difficult, complex and important challenge that the council has ever had to address. The extent of the damage caused by coronavirus in Highland will take us a very long time to recover from.

"The board will work with individuals, groups, businesses and partners to ensure we have a dedicated team established to take on board views and ideas as we set about starting this mammoth task."

He added: "The assessment of impact on our staff, on partners and on our communities will also be an important part of what guides us in decision-making."

The board will present a draft plan and seek ratification at the next meeting of Highland Council, planned for June.

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