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Bill Elected To Highland Council 1 May 2003 - re-elected May 2007. Re-lected May 2012. Not Re-elected May 2017.
Its been a very busy time since the team won the Yell.com Award and Bill was also voted Citizen of the year as someone who had done a lot for the county in 2001. Bill was presented with a Caithness Glass Bowl at a dinner by the Wick Rotary Club.
26 January 2001
After nearly 18 months the web site continues to grow in various directions. With the Business Sections expanding gradually we are aiming to get every business in the Caithness on the site. Local businesses only have to let us know by completing the submission form. The web group feel that this is one of the best services we can offer to help the community making it easier for both locals and those of you far of to know what is here in the most northerly part of the Highlands.
On other sections we have tried out a test German page and are proceeding to produce a range of new pages in German - we hope these will be in place by the end of the year well in advance of 2001 visitor season. Other languages may be looked at depending on how they are received and our feed back.
The Community Pages are undergoing a gradual tidy up but it will be a fairly lengthy process as we now have nearly 3000 pages on the site and we have had a very busy period trying out our photos. they have been a huge success as all the local kids have been emailing their friends and relatives round the world to tell them about their own photo. We should have recruited them - they have done a great job on publicity. We were lucky that Colin Manson set up Promotion world and gave us a hand with our marketing. We have shot up in the search engines and we can tell from our email just how successful has been and the links we are making around the world as a result have been to amazing.
My son Niall continues to upgrade the Business Pages and is adding
improvements such as indexes in each section. A separate search facility
is now in place for the business section to make the search
easier. We will shortly announce banner advertising prices for the
site. We have no funding from any source and hope to raise funds
from developing the site. Our longer term aim is to start a
community business and employ a high percentage of people with a
disability to get training and work on the site.
The idea of a community web site had occurred to me some time ago and was particularly brought home to me a couple of years ago when an attempt was made to get one going for Caithness Voluntary Group. The efforts ground to a halt due to lack of time and the fact that we were very unsure of how to do it. My son Niall who is the expert was not available having gone on his travels to Aberdeen. My part time post with Caithness volunteer Link has now come to an end (31 march 2000).
This year has been an extremely busy one for me and my involvement with several group has been very useful in gathering information for the web site. I visited the USA earlier this year following receiving a Churchill Fellowship. I was in New York, Philadelphia and Florida where I looked at a wide variety of employment situations for disabled people. This will be the subject of a separate report - and if I have the time a web site with the report and some of my photos. I made lots of contacts and was interested to see the problems groups had and how they tackled them - funding was as ever a perennial problem.
We have been concentrating on building the site in our spare time and although much needs to be done and essentially the changes and upgrading will go on as we learn the techniques we now feel able to take the initial steps towards becoming a real asset to the area. To this end we will gradually roll out a range of enhancements over the coming months. We will have had a busy period moving the web site right in the middle of trying to learn about photos on the web site - we have a long way to go. The web site move encountered several problems - won't bore the pants off you with them - we have cracked most of them and there remains some tidying up from that move.
However we are now in a much stronger position to move ourselves into becoming a business in our own right and will be able to offer web space and domain names shortly ourselves. The introduction of some commercial aspects will help us to pay our way and we would like to think that this will raise our profile in the local business community - where we will be offering valuable services for extremely competitive prices. Longer term we aim to gradually increase these aspects to in promoting Caithness from its local voluntary and community groups to businesses in the area. The distinctive look of the business section with its fast performance should ensure it will become a useful local resource. Our policy of making it free to every business is we feel a way of ensuring that every business no matter how small and whether established or starting out has an opportunity to be found on a web site with contact details.
We have been very fortunate to have the services of people with the technical know-how to start teaching the rest of us and some very enthusiastic volunteers and contributors. I certainly thank them for their dedication and commitment over the last 18 months. We have all learned a great deal.
Bill Fernie says -
you are interested in promoting your business or sponsoring parts of
this Community Web Site give me a call on 01955 604648 or
Stood as an