N E W S F E E D S >>>
Caithness Partnership Index

Caithness Partnership Newsletter Index


The Caithness Partnership
May 2006

Caithness Partnership – eBulletin May 2006
Welcome to another edition of the Caithness Partnership ebulletin. The bulletin both circulates information that has come in to the Partnership office, and is a tool for the Partners to share information. If you have anything you want included in the next issue please get in touch. If you have difficulty accessing any of the web links we can get you a paper copy. Please forward the bulletin within your organization if appropriate.

Inside this issue:
Committee on Radioactive Waste Management draft recommendations Thurso consultation
Highland Council Audit of Best Value and Community Planning
Wick Harbour new website
NDA prioritises North Highlands
Power to the People – A report into the state of democracy in Britain
HIE and Communities Scotland sign Framework Agreement
Highland Biodiversity News
Consultation on Scottish Forestry Strategy
Age and Experience – consultation on the strategy for a Scotland with an ageing population
A forward strategy for Scottish Agriculture
Rural petrol price survey
Which road do you hate driving most?

Natural Talent Scheme
Introduction to Economic Development course

Calor Gas community of the year awards
Big Lottery – Investing in Communities
Bioenergy Capital Grants Scheme
B&Q Better Neighbourhood
Awards for All
Young Scot Action Fund
Northern Peripheries Programme

All Energy Exhibition and Conference
World Class Scottish Projects Series: Marine Energy
Development Trusts Association Scotland annual conference
Delivering the benefits of community involvement in forestry

Committee on Nuclear Waste Management – consultation event to be held in Thurso on Wednesday 17 May at the Pentland Hotel
A public meeting on Wednesday 15 May in the Pentland Hotel at 18.45. It will be an opportunity for all those concerned about the long term management of waste to have their say. After a short presentation CoRWM will seek views on a number of the issues CoRWM members are particularly seeking the public’s views on including:

  • CoRWM’s assessment processes - how the shortlisted options for managing radioactive waste were assessed
  • The integrated package of draft recommendations on preferred options and proposed implementation
  • How public confidence in the recommendations could be increased

The draft recommendations can be found at www.corwm.org.uk/content-898 or click on the “opportunity to comment” listed under the welcome menu on the CoRWM website www.corwm.org.uk  or click here for the Draft Recommendations and Rationale

Highland Council audited re Best Value and Community Planning
Audit Scotland has produced a report on the Highland Council in relation to Best Value and Community Planning. The Commission’s findings on the performance of Highland Council can be found at the address below. The report takes a closer look at what goes on in Caithness and Lochaber, using the two areas as case studies (and the Caithness Partnership gets a favourable, if brief, mention).

Wick Harbour website
Wick Harbour has entered a positive new era being managed as a Harbour Authority and has developed a new website to keep the local community and the wider world informed and to let people see and understand the changes being made to regenerate the harbour and its annexes. It can be found at www.wickharbour.co.uk

Nuclear Decomissioning Agency prioritises North Highlands
In a report to the Dounreay Stakeholder Group the NDA has indicated that North Highland is one of the highest priorities for their organisation. See the full paper, and other agency reports to the local group, at the Dounreay Stakeholder Group website http://www.dounreaystakeholdergroup.org/display.php?doc=112

Power to the People – A report into the state of democracy in Britain
Commissioned by government to find out what is happening to democracy in the UK, this report looks for reasons why people are disengaging from formal democratic politics and makes recommendations to address the problem. The report by Joseph Rowantree Foundation found that the problems of democratic government “run too deep” to be cured by the election of new leaders to the political parties, and other drama in Westminster, and recommends major political reform. Find it at the website of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister using the following link:

HIE and Communities Scotland Framework Agreement
To build on existing working arrangements and to ensure that their respective responsibilities are clearly defined and understood, .the two agencies have together developed a framework agreement. The Agreement sets out how the two organisations will work to deliver economic and community development across Highlands & Islands through co-operation and joint working.

Highland Biodiversity News
The most recent Highland Biodiversity newsletter can be accessed at

Consultation on Scottish Forestry Strategy
The final round of consultation on the revised Scottish forestry Strategy closes on 29 May. If you want to respond look at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-6C3D4G

Age and Experience – consultation on a strategy for a Scotland with an ageing population
Scottish Executive is preparing for a Scotland with an ageing population and want our views on services for older people, pensions, housing and transport. Contribute your comments and opinions by 5 June. See the dedicated website www.infoscotland.com/experience

A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture
An examination of the future direction of the farming and food industry has recently been produced by the Scottish Executive’s Agriculture and Strategy Group. Find it at

Rural petrol price survey
A recent survey found that fuel prices in Thurso were among the most expensive in the country – but we already knew that! Spare a thought for the people of Arran who pay £1.06 a gallon. For more details have a look at

Which road do you hate driving most? >
Most of us have a favourite road we like to drive or travel on, but which one would you rather avoid? Rural Gateway has selected 13 key routes across the length and breadth of rural Scotland to carry out a poll on the worst road in the country and you will find the A9 featured there. To vote (anonymously) please visit: http://www.ruralgateway.org.uk/poll  and the final results will be passed on to the Scottish Executive.

Natural Talent Scheme – Are you wild about wildlife? BTCV has a scheme to turn your passion into a profession through the Natural Talent HLF Training Bursary Scheme. Twenty people across Scotland and Northern Ireland will be given the opportunity to undertake a full time 12 – 20 month apprenticeship to learn specialist skills in the areas of wildlife habitat management and species identification of fungi, invertebrates and ‘lower’ plants such as ferns, mosses and lichens. To find out more contact Vicky Walls on 01786 479697 or email v.walls@btcv.org.uk 

Introduction to Economic Development Course -
Professor Alan McGregor of Glasgow University's Training and Employment Research Unit will lead a 2 day course on 'Policy and Practice for Local Economic Development'. £400 per person. See the EDAS website for details: http://www.edascot.org.uk/events.php

Calor Gas Scottish Community of the Year Awards
Open tot any properly constituted voluntary group in Scotland the awards carry a total prize fund of £5,000 and cover every aspect of community life. In 2006 the awards will be made upof four separate categories: business, environment, people and communications. The judges will be looking for initiatives that are community driven rather than being led by agencies. Applications can be made on line at www.communityoftheyear.org.uk

Big Lottery Fund
For details of the whole programme see

Two programmes of particular interest are:
Investing in communities
Investing in Communities is a Big Lottery programme launched on 2 May and investment will be made in the following:
· Growing Community Assets – to help communities become stronger by acquiring or developing assets for their own use.
· Dynamic Inclusive Communities – to help build stronger more vibrant communities
· Life Transitions – to support projects that help people deal with change in their lives and encourage them to move on.
· Supporting 21 century life – to invest in project that enable people to cope with new patterns of life and pace of change that communities are experiencing
Most of the grants made will be between £10,000 and £1M.

Bioenergy Capital Grants scheme – a Big Lottery programme recently introduced to provide commercial companies, local authorities, charitable or not-for-profit companies and regional development and other agencies grants to assist with the installation or supply of biomass heating and combined heat and power developments. Application must be made by 31 July 2006. See
http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/programmes/renewable/index.htm  for guidance notes and application form.
B&Q Better Neighbourhood Grants Scheme provides schools, community groups and charities with support to get community projects up and running. B&Q will provide £50 - £500 (at retail cost) B&Q materials per project. See Here

Awards for All grant for community groups for just about anything has recently had its upper limit raised to £10,000 from 9 May. See www.awardsforall.org.uk

Young Scot – Action Fund provides grants of up to £200 for young individuals and £700 for groups of young people to ‘help themselves’ (training, business start-up etc), ‘help others’ and ‘help in their community’. Awards are made 6 times a year.

Northern Peripheries Programme
There is still some money left in the Northern Peripheries Programme Priority 1 ERDF budget. Projects must relate Communications or Transportation, Logistics and Transportation Infrastructure or Access to Information Technology and involve partners from the northern periphery countries. For full details see

24/25 May 2006
, Aberdeen. All Energy Exhibition and Conference. The All-Energy exhibition and conference is the UK’s largest event devoted to renewable energy. Admission to the exhibition and conference is free of charge to all with a professional interest in renewable/sustainable energy. http://www.all-energy.co.uk/home.html 

4/5 June 2006 Dundee. Development Trusts Association Scotland Conference – “Securing the Future – Assets and Enterprise” see the DTAS website http://www.dtascot.org.uk/

8 June 2006, Inverness. World Class Scottish Projects Series: Marine Energy -
Second in the World Class Scottish Projects Series, this is an invaluable lunchtime networking opportunity and update combined. See the EDAS website for more details http://www.edascot.org.uk/events.php

6-9 September 2006, Stromness Delivering the benefits of community involvement in forestry, a conference to share and develop techniques and best practice for community involvement and multi-purpose forest management – email the conference co-ordinator Malcolm.wield@forestry.gsi.gov.uk  for more information.