A credit union is a profit sharing, democratically run financial co-operative which offers convenient savings and low interest loans to its members. The council may offer support to local credit unions by providing advice and information to help them get started and manage their affairs in a legal and efficient way.
Benefits (Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction)
Housing Benefit is ‘means tested’ state benefits that helps people on low incomes to pay their rent. Council Tax Reduction is a Scottish scheme which assists people on low incomes by reducing their Council Tax.
Biodiversity (short for biological diversity) simply means the variety of all living things in the natural world. This includes all plants and animals from the smallest ladybird to the largest whale and it also includes YOU and ME. Biodiversity provides the essentials needed for life - oxygen, clean water, a range of foods, clothing, health and relaxation.
Birth - certificates - corrections and re-registrations
Re-registration of a birth may be required if there is a need to change the details of the original registration either because a mistake was made on the original registration or because of a change of circumstances. Re-registration is carried out by the Registration Service and a new birth certificate is issued.
All births must be registered within twenty one days by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The law requires the birth to be registered either in the registration district where the birth took place or in the registration district where the mother of the child lived (the district of "usual residence", which for this purpose means the address of the parental home in Scotland, not a temporary address at which the mother may reside for a short period before and after the birth, e.g. her own mother's home).
Every still-birth in Scotland must be registered in the district in which it takes place, normally within 21 days. This normally takes place at the Registration Service (although the still-birth may be registered in the hospital in which it took place). Following registration a certificate will be issued.
Provision of permanent and/or temporary boat moorings for boat owners. Moorings will be subject to charge and may be subject to restrictions (time, vessel size etc.). All boat owners are required to have a permanent mooring for their vessel.
A co-operative is a way for two or more people to go into business together and reducing personal financial risk. The council can help set up a new co-operative in any sector or help existing co-operatives by providing advice and information on issues such as business planning, finding premises, legal advice, business information, suppliers etc.
The local authority carries out regular checks on all food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained. Inspections take place on a frequency determined by the perceived risk in each premises and ensure that risks have been identified, staff are adequately trained and the condition and cleanliness of the premises meets required standards.
The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations made under it make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health. They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way. The council is responsible for ensuring that local businesses comply with these regulations.
Local businesses can apply to the council for information about their own business rates such as a statement of their account, details of their property valuation etc. New businesses must apply to the council for a valuation of their property and to set up a new business rate account.
The Regeneration team concentrates primarily on the delivery of economic outcomes from community-led projects - working flexibly in acknowledgment of the need to be responsive to the fast-moving, rapidly changing environment in which the service operates. Projects that necessitate a concentrated effort of team resources to achieve the greatest economic development benefits for communities take priority - with the team of non-area-specific Regeneration Officers addressing emerging issues as they arise in order to maximise opportunities.
The ability to locate a local business online should be simple, not a source of frustration. The online Outer Hebrides business directory aims to address this and in doing so, help to promote local businesses.
The directory has been developed by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Highlands & Islands Enterprise. The directory provides the most complete local online listing of businesses and organisations in the Outer Hebrides. The service is free and open to all local businesses and covers everything from Accountants to Youth Hostels. Visitors to the site can browse or use the powerful and intelligent search to find businesses by type, name or location.
Business owners can login to manage their own business listings, which can include images, descriptions and multiple contacts. The site is also fully bi-lingual with all non-user supplied content available in English and Gaelic.
Buy Local – that’s the message from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as part of an ongoing campaign to sustain the local economy in the Outer Hebrides.
Business seminars held with the private sector early in 2009 emphasised that peoples’ buying habits should be addressed through a “Buy Local” initiative, as a significant amount of money seems to be spent in mainland shops or via the internet and is therefore lost to the local economy.