Good practice from across the Environment Development and Infrastructure department is supporting the council’s ambitions to create a diverse and thriving economy and safer, stronger communities.
A report considered by the Environment Development and Infrastructure Committee today (12 September) set out key progress achieved to date including:
- Campbeltown Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme has completed four priority projects with four more in progress. Eighty flats and shops have been given grant aid to enable repairs which have safeguarded homes, businesses and jobs, and created investment opportunities;
- Rothesay’s iconic Winter Gardens was refurbishment through the local Townscape Heritage Initiative and provides a base for tourism information for Bute;
- A successful bid to the Regional Capital Grant Fund secured funding for Kilmartin Museum. Previous RCGF funding means work has already started on Oban’s Rockfield Centre, Cairndow Childcare Centre and Tobermory Industrial Estate, bringing more opportunities for work, businesses and support for families;
- Secret shopping tests, organised by our Trading Standards Team, to highlight new legislation on vaping and e-liquids identified that none of the premises visited sold to an under-aged customer. This protects the health and wellbeing of our young people;
- Information and advice services have ensured that more vulnerable people received the benefits they are entitle to. Annual income generated through Welfare Rights intervention rose from £2.9m in 2017/18 to. £3.6m;
- More than three quarters of our lighting network has been changed to energy efficient LEDs, which are a saving us money and reducing carbon emissions;
- With support from Scottish Government funding we have fitted 16 electric vehicle chargers around Argyll and Bute and having secured a further £150,000, will increase the number of installations;
- Our planning department supports keeping Argyll and Bute open for business by working with applicants to ensure that approvals for planning applications are above the national average. Our approval rate currently sits at 97.4%, 2% above target; and
- We are consulting with communities in Oban, Tarbert, Lochgilphead, Helensburgh and Clachan for their views on local flooding so we can bid for Scottish Government funding to support the areas at most risk.
Councillor Aileen Morton, Policy Lead for Economic Development, said: “The range of services delivered by this department is wide and varied. What connects them all is how they touch the day to day lives of individuals and communities throughout Argyll and Bute.
“Our vision is of an Argyll and Bute where everyone can prosper. This is not without its challenges but our commitment is to invest, whenever we can, to grow the economy. On a daily basis, we continue to provide services that keep our communities safe, preserve our towns for future generations, and keep Argyll and Bute open for business.”