Committees

Minutes of Meeting of The Caithness Committee Held in Wick Town Hall on Monday 6th November, 2000

 

Mr. Alastair I. MacDonald
Mr. Roger Saxon
Mr. John S. Rosie
Mr. Falconer Waters Mr. David C. M. Flear
Mr. John H. Green
Mrs. Deirdre R. Steven
Mr. Graeme M. Smith

 

In Attendance

 

Mr. Brian M. Whitelaw, Caithness Area Manager
Mrs. Fiona I. Sinclair, Area Administrator/Solicitor
Mr. Bob Earnshaw, Area Protective Services Manager
Mr. Iain Ewart, Area Planning and Building Control Manager
Mr. Richard Guest, Area Roads and Transport Services Manager
Mr. Ian Hargrave, Area Housing Services Manager
Mr. Roddy Ferrier, Principal Accountant
Mr. John Gunn, Technician, Planning and Building Control
Mr. Andrew Parker, Graduate Planner
Mr. David Sutherland, Area Senior Architectural Technician
Mrs. Jean Boyle, Administrative Assistant, Corporate Services
Mr. John S. Rosie, Convener of the Caithness Committee, in the Chair.

 

1. Apologies for Absence

 

Apologies were submitted on behalf of Councillor James Oag and Councillor William Mowat.


2. Confirmation of Minutes

 

The Minutes of the Meetings of the Caithness Committee held on 11th September, 2000, copies of which had been circulated, were held as read and were unanimously approved.


3. Reports by Committees

 

The following minutes of Area Service Committee meetings, copies of which had been circulated, were approved:-


(a) Minutes of Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 11th
    September, 2000.
(b) Minutes of Meeting of the Protective Services Committee held on 11th 
     September, 2000.
(c) Minutes of Meeting of the Roads and Transport Committee held on 11th
     September, 2000.
(d) Minutes of Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 25th September,
     2000.
(e) Minutes of Meeting of the Education Committee held on 23rd October,
     2000
(f) Minutes of Meeting of the Cultural and Leisure Services Committee held on
     23rd October, 2000.
(g) Minutes of Meeting of the Housing Committee held on 23rd October,
     2000.
(h) Minutes of Meeting of the Social Work Committee held on 23rd October,
     2000.

 

Matters Arising from the Minutes:-

 

In response to Councillor Green, the Area Manager confirmed that the minutes of the special meeting of the Waste Strategy Group would be circulated at the next meeting.


4. Proposed Timetable of Meetings 2001

 

The Committee approved the proposed timetable of meetings for the Caithness Committee for 2001.


5. Executed Deeds

 

The Committee noted the contents of the list of deeds, which had been sealed and signed on behalf of the Council during the period from 30th August to 25th October, 2000.


6. Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 – Licences Granted

 

There had been circulated report (305/00) dated 30th October, 2000, by the Area Manager detailing applications for licences under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, which had been approved by him, under delegated powers during the period from 9th September to 24th October, 2000.

 

The Committee noted the terms of the report.


7. Planning Application – 29 Calder Square, Castletown

 

Councillor A MacDonald moved that Standing Orders be suspended to allow for the decision on a Planning Application for an extension to the dwelling house to form a new garage and driveway at 29 Calder Square, Castletown (00/00253/FULCA) to be reconsidered. Councillor MacDonald felt that the application had been treated unfairly in light of the limited time available for members to properly view the plans before the meeting.

 

The Area Manager advised that it would be inappropriate to reconsider the application, a notice of refusal already having been issued, the appeals procedure not having been invoked, and no notice of amendment having been lodged. In light of the fact that the applicant had been corresponding with the Area Roads and Transport Manager regarding the application it was agreed that the most appropriate course of action would be for the application to be submitted again. Councillor Smith requested that members receive agenda papers five days prior to meetings.


8. North of Scotland Water Authority

 

The Committee agreed the request from the Director of Operations (Highlands & Islands), North of Scotland Water Authority to attend a future meeting of the Committee to discuss issues of mutual interest.


9. River Thurso - Possible Designation as an Area of Conservation

 

There had been circulated a letter dated 20th September 2000, from Sarah Boyack MSP Minister for Transport and the Environment, advising that the River Thurso had been identified as possibly meeting scientific criteria for designation as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the European Commission Directive on Natural Habitats. During discussion clarification was sought on the following issues: the impact of designation, democratic accountability, control over fishing rights, and benefits to the community.

 

The Committee agreed that the views of the owners of the river should be sought and that Dr. Keatinge, Scottish Natural Heritage, be invited to a future meeting to discuss the implications and the scientific case for SAC designation. It was noted that the deadline for a response to the Minister was 13th December 2000.


10. Corporate Services – Budget Monitoring Statement

 

There had been circulated report (306/00) dated 23rd October, 2000, by the Area Manager and Principal Accountant advising Members of the current budget monitoring position for Area Corporate Services as at 30th September, 2000.

 

The Committee noted the terms of the report.


11. Chief Executive’s – Monitoring Statement

 

There had been circulated report (307/00) dated 23rd October, 2000, by the Area Manager and Principal Accountant advising Members of the budget monitoring position for the Chief Executive’s Section as at 30th September, 2000.

 

The Committee noted the terms of the report.


12. Finance Service – Budget Monitoring Statement

 

There had been circulated report (308/00) dated 18th October, 2000, by the Area Revenues Officer and Principal Accountant advising Members of the current budget monitoring position for the Area Revenues Section as at 30th September, 2000

 

The Committee noted the terms of the report.


13. Property Services – Budget Monitoring Statement

 

There had been circulated report (309/00) dated 30th October, 2000, by the Director of Property and Architectural Services, on the budget position for the Area Property and Architectural Service as at 30th September, 2000.

 

The Committee noted the terms of the report.


14. Planning and Development – Budget Monitoring Statement

 

There had been circulated report (310/00) dated 16th October, 2000, by the Area Economic Development Manager and Principal Accountant advising Members of the current budget monitoring position for the Area Economic Development Service as at 30th September, 2000.

 

The Committee noted the terms of the report.


15. Wick Airport Infrastructure and Air Services

 

There had been circulated report (311/00) dated 20th October, 2000, by the Area Development Manager describing the problems relating to deteriorating air services and airport infrastructure at Wick Airport.

 

After discussion it was unanimously agreed:

 

That the Area Committee lend its support to the appeal by Wick Airport Consultative Committee to Transport Minister Sarah Boyack for urgent measures to be introduced to arrest the decline in passenger numbers and air services throughout the Highlands and Islands.

 

That the Committee write to the Board of Highland and Islands Airports expressing concern over the threat to the Wick cross-runway and requesting that the essential maintenance work be undertaken without further delay. The Committee resolved to highlight the importance to the Air Ambulance service in addition to the matter detailed in the Report.


16. Wick Airport Consultative Committee - Membership

 

It was agreed that the following members of the Area Committee be nominated to serve on behalf of the Council on the Wick Airport Consultancy Committee: Councillor Graeme Smith, Councillor Deirdre Steven and Councillor Alistair MacDonald. It was agreed that the Area Manager send a letter to the former Provost Mr J Young thanking him for his services to the Consultative Committee on behalf of the Council.


17a) The Wick Project

 

There had been circulated report (312/00) dated 24th October, 2000, by the Area Development Manager, advising members of the progress being made on a number of developments within the Wick Project.

 

The Committee noted the terms of the Report, and in particular the following:-

 

(a) The commitment of the Planning and Development Service in progressing
      the Wick Project and

(b) The award of Heritage Lottery Funding for the preparation of the bid for
      the regeneration grant aid for Lower Pulteneytown and the forthcoming
      approach to be made to the Council for a contribution to complement
      this grant.


17b) Area Discretionary Budget

 

The Committee approved a grant of £5,000 towards the cost of a consultant in relation to the Wick Project, the total cost of which would be £50,000. It was noted that the Planning and Economic Development Service would also provide £5,000; Heritage Lottery £25,000; with the balance being sought from Scottish Homes and Case.


18. The Caithness Fund

 

There had been circulated report (313/00) dated 25th October, 2000, by the Area Development Manager advising members of the progress of The Caithness Fund from March 2000 to date.

 

Members welcomed the report which prompted discussion on eligibility criteria and elected member representation. The Committee noted the activities of the Caithness Fund Development Advisor and agreed to continue their support for the Fund and the current initiative. It was also agreed that reports on economic development activity would be submitted regularly to mainstream Area Committee meetings.

 

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