Minutes of Special Meeting of The Caithness Committee Held in Thurso Town Hall on Monday 14th January, 2002


Councillor John S. Rosie (Convener of the Caithness Committee in the Chair)
Councillor David C.M. Flear
Councillor John H. Green
Councillor Thomas C. Jackson
Councillor Alastair I. MacDonald
Councillor William A Mowat
Councillor James Oag
Councillor Roger Saxon,
Councillor Graeme M. Smith
Councillor Deirdre J. Steven


In Attendance:


Mr. Brian M. Whitelaw, Caithness Area Manager
Mr. Alistair Bernard, Accounting Technician
Mrs. Jennifer Irvine, Development Service
Mr. Graham Nichols, Area Cultural & Leisure Services Manager
Mr. Sandy Riddell, Head of Client Services, Social Work Service
Miss Annette Sharland, Area Education Manager
Mr. Bob Silverwood, Area Social Work Manager
Mrs. Fiona I Sinclair, Area Solicitor/Administrator


1. Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.

2. Resolution: Exempt Business


On the recommendation of the Convener, the Committee agreed to consider items 3, 4 and 5 before item 2. The Committee resolves that under Section 50(A) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the public be excluded from the meeting for items 4 and 5 on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 6 and 9 of Part I of Schedule 7A of the Act.

3. Caithness Partnership – Review


Following the decision of the Caithness Committee at its meeting on 17th December, 2001, to defer consideration of this item, pending the attendance of the Chairman of Caithness Partnership Limited at the Area Committee meeting, the Convener introduced Mr George Bruce, Chairman of the Caithness Partnership.


In response to questions from Members, Mr Bruce explained that full meetings of the Partnership are held twice per year, that the Board of the Partnership meet every two months, and the Executive Committee meet approximately every six weeks. He explained that the Partnership Board has fifteen Members, comprising three representatives of CASE, three from the Highland Council, and nine from various other Local Bodies. The Executive Committee comprises the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and five other Members of the Board. Discussion followed on the role of Directors, the role of the Partnership Board, the role of the Executive Committee and the role of the Chief Executive. Following the discussions the Committee unanimously approved the contents of the report prepared by the Company Secretary (circulated to the meeting of 17 December 2001) seeking to review the functions of the company.

4. Wick Tourist Information Centre


There had been circulated report (CC/19/02) dated 7th January, 2002, by the Caithness Area Manager, advising Members of the potential closure of the Tourist Information Centre in Wick.


After discussion the Committee agreed to permit Officers to have discussions with HOST with a view to establishing the feasibility, or otherwise, of the Council becoming involved in the operation of the Tourist Information Centre in Wick. It was agreed that the Officials would report back to the Committee at a future date.

5. Area Discretionary Budget


There had been circulated report (CC/17/02) dated 7th January, 2002, by the Caithness Area Manager advising Members of the current position of the Area Discretionary Budget in the current year, and presenting new bids. The Committee agreed the grant of £10,000 in respect of the Girnigoe Castle Visitor Project, and agreed in principal to support the Bignold Park Play Area Project, as recommended in the report.