Focus on local housing in Lochaber

highland councilAn increase of housing and specialist support provision have been named by members of Highland Council’s Lochaber Committee among a set of strategic priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

The Committee confirmed its commitment to working with partners to provide the mechanism to deliver suitable housing with the most appropriate support in areas of identified need.

The priorities are listed under a number of headings that also include transport and marine infrastructure and health and wellbeing.

There are also specific priority projects such as pursuing “University Town” status for Fort William, the construction of an A830 relief road, replacing the New Belford Hospital and establishing a Lochaber Common Good Fund.

At last week’s Committee meeting, members had the chance to discuss the list of proposed priorities before unanimously agreeing them.

Chair of the Committee, Councillor Thomas MacLennan, said: “Building on the localism agenda and the increased delegation of decision-making to local communities has given us the perfect opportunity as councillors to consider local priorities.

“The list of strategic council priorities we now have reflects the wide geographical diversity of our area and sets out our ambitions to make Lochaber an attractive place to live, learn, work and visit. This is very much a starting point and a working document which will be regularly reviewed and updated . Its giving an ongoing commitment to ensure our area is growing and sustainable. We’re all determination to see the priorities we have agreed delivered and having them will help us focus our future work.”

Highland Council depute leader, Councillor Alasdair Rhind, joined the committee to discuss their key priorities and look at ways the council can help progress work on addressing them.

He said: “The council has existing Highland-wide priorities but the local Members have done a great job in agreeing priorities for their own Wards. Coming here today has given me a much clearer understanding of the specific issues affecting people in Lochaber and the work needed to address these. Having a clear vision with priorities is a great way forward and will help the wider council when it comes to looking at ways we can support the work of the local committee.”

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