Minutes of Special Meeting of The Caithness Committee Held in Town Hall, Wick on Monday 16th September, 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 W. Oag
Councillor Graeme M. Smith


In Attendance


Councillor Ella Macrae, Vice-Chairman of the Resources Committee
Dr. Coutts, Director of Property and Architectural Services
Mr. Brian M. Whitelaw, Caithness Area Manager
Mrs. Elizabeth Marshall, Area Development Manager
Mrs. Fiona I. Sinclair, Area Solicitor/Administrator

1. Welcome


The Area Convener welcomed Councillor Macrae and Dr. Coutts to the meeting.

2. Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillor Steven and Councillor Saxon.

3. Resolution: Exempt Business


The Committee resolved that under Section 50A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the public be excluded from the meeting for the immediately following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part I of Schedule 7A of the Act.

4. Restructuring of Property and Architectural Services


There had been circulated to Members only a report dated 25th August, 2002, by the Director of Property and Architectural Services outlining proposals for restructuring Property and Architectural Services. The Vice-Chairman of the Resources Committee and the Director of Property and Architectural Services were in attendance at the meeting. The report invited Members to approve the realignment of staff within Property and Architectural Services as described in the report and invited Members to agree the changes in the Service Management Structure subject to staff and Trade Union consultation.
Members unanimously expressed the view that while they were able to support restructuring of the Service for the reasons detailed in the report, it was essential that Caithness had a full complement of staff in order that design projects for the Caithness area could be carried out in Caithness.


In response to an enquiry from Councillor Rosie, Dr. Coutts undertook to provide regular progress reports on the provision of the new Council offices in Wick.


Members expressed their gratitude to Dr. Coutts and Councillor Macrae for attending the meeting.

5. Area Tourist Board Review – Consultation


There had been re-circulated report (CC/221/02) dated 12th July, 2002, by the Area Development Manager and the Director of Planning and Development inviting Members to comment on the Review of Area Tourist Boards currently being undertaken at the request of the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport. In addition, there were circulated at the meeting copies of a note of the findings of a Working Group of Members and Officials which had met on Friday 13th September to discuss the review. After considerable discussion Members agreed to adopt the decision of the Working Group as the decision of the Committee, and agreed that an approved Marketing Strategy for tourism businesses in the County of Caithness was necessary, and that the small tourism businesses should join together for this purpose.