Minutes of Meeting of The Caithness Committee Held in Town Hall, Thurso on Monday 24th February, 2003



Councillor Alastair I. MacDonald (Vice-Convener of the Caithness Committee in the Chair)
Councillor David C. M. Flear
Councillor John H. Green
Councillor Thomas C. Jackson Councillor James W. Oag
Councillor Roger Saxon
Councillor Deirdre J. Steven
Councillor Graeme M. Smith


In Attendance:


Mr. Ian Hargrave, Acting Caithness Area Manager
Mr. Iain Ewart, Area Planning and Building Control Manager
Mr. Graham Nichols, Area Culture and Sport Manager
Ms. Annette Sharland, Area Education Manager
Ms. Dawn Grant, Area Children Services Manager
Mr. Alfred Gunn, Principal Environmental Health Officer, TEC Services
Mrs. Jennifer Irvine, Caithness Fund Development Officer
Mr. Jimmy McCarthy, Property Technician, Area Property and Architectural Services
Mrs Fiona Sinclair, Area Solicitor/Administrator
Mr David Sutherland, Area Project Co-ordinator, Area Property and Architectural Services

1. Apologies for Absence


At the commencement of the meeting the Vice-Convener referred to Councillor Rosie’s illness, and the Committee agreed to extend their good wishes to Councillor Rosie.


The Committee also noted that Ms. Elizabeth Marshall had recently suffered a family bereavement, and agreed to extend their sympathies to her.


Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillor Rosie.

2. Proposal for Study of Grid Strengthening and Grid Expansion from Dounreay to Beauly


There was circulated report (CC/64/03) dated 11th February, 2003, by the Area Development Manager, recommending approval of a proposal that The Highland Council, in conjunction with the DTI and other partners, commission a feasibility study to provide a cost/benefit analysis in strengthening and extending the electrical grid south from the hub at Dounreay to Beauly.


The report recommended that the Committee approved the spending of up to £10,000 in this financial year, to match proposed funds from DTI and potentially other funders to secure the study.


In the absence of Ms. Marshall, the Area Manager advised Members that the recommendations in the report were for the information of Members rather than direct action.


Following discussion, the Committee agreed to support the recommendations in the report.

3. Caithness Archaeology Trust


With the agreeement of the Committee, the Area Vice-Convener raised as an item of emergency business, the matter of the proposed appointment of an Archaeology Development Officer under the Leader Plus Programme. Councillor MacDonald explained that the Archaeology Trust had requested a letter of support from the Area Committee for the appointment, and had not requested any financial commitment from the Council at this stage.


The Committee agreed to support the appointment of an Archaeology Development Officer by the Caithness Archaeology Trust on the understanding that the Officer would, following his appointment, liaise with the Council Archaeologist. The Committee welcomed the proposal to appoint an Archaeology Development Officer to lead archaeology projects in the Caithness area.