Minutes of Special Meeting of The Caithness Committee Held in Town Hall, Wick on Monday 15th September, 2003


Councillor David C. M. Flear
Councillor William N. Fernie
Councillor John H. Green
Councillor Thomas C. Jackson
Councillor Alastair I. MacDonald Councillor Donald M. Mackay
Councillor Katrina MacNab
Councillor William A. Mowat
Councillor Graeme M. Smith

In Attendance:


Mr. Ian Hargrave, Acting Caithness Area Manager
Mr Iain Ewart, Area Planning and Building Control Manager
Mr. Alf Gunn, Principal Environmental Health Officer
Mrs Fiona Sinclair, Area Solicitor/Administrator

Caithness Committee

(Chairman – Councillor Flear, Convener)

1. Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillor Roger Saxon.

Housing and Social Work

(Portfolio Chairman – Councillor Fernie)

2. Highland Local Housing Strategy 2003-2008 – Caithness Draft Area Delivery Plan


There was circulated report (CC/214/03) dated 6th June 2003 by the Area Housing Manager inviting the Committee to comment on the Highland Local Housing Strategy Area Delivery Plan for Caithness, highlighting housing priorities and setting out local actions.  The Portfolio Chairman explained that in the absence of Hilary Parkey, the Housing Strategy Officer and author of the report, the Area Housing Manager would address the Committee.   Mr Hargrave circulated an amended preamble to the Appendix to the Report providing additional detail about the situation in Caithness.  The Appendix detailed the action planned, the performance indicator, the year in which the action was planned to take place and the Council’s key partners in implementing the action. 


The Committee endorsed the terms of the plan, and agreed (a) that the definition of vulnerable people in paragraph 18 of the appendix be increased to include those with learning difficulties as well as those with mental health problems, (b) that in relation to paragraph 2, efforts be made to supply affordable housing in the landward area as well as in the two main employment centres Wick and Thurso, and (c) that a land register of Housing land be prepared by the Area Manager.   

3. Local Health Service Issue


Councillor Flear expressed concern regarding the failure on the part of the Scottish Executive to consult the Council as part of the ongoing review of maternity services.  He  advised that the Executive’s lead officer in the review is Professor Andrew Calder, who will be visiting Caithness in October.  The Committee agreed that the Area Manager write a letter to the Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust seeking a meeting with Professor Calder during his visit to Caithness to discuss the review of maternity services, and other health services issues currently of concern.