Further delay to the new Wick Campus.
Mr Brian Porter, Highland Council Head of Resources, issued this statement to stakeholder group members on Tuesday 29th November:
“The Highland Council has been notified by hub North Scotland Limited that the expected handover date for the Wick Campus facility is now Thursday 8 December 2016, slipped from Friday 2 December as previously notified to stakeholders.
The Council is deeply disappointed by this further delay, and has escalated concerns with hub North Scotland Limited and Morrison Construction Limited to understand reasons for the delay, and seek assurances on the revised handover date.
This delay has implications for the planned operational date of the new facilities, targeted for early January 2017, which will now also be delayed.
The Council’s priority remains the successful handover of the facility, to a standard that meets the Council’s expectations, and to effect a smooth decant and transition into the new Campus for the school and community facilities. The Council will be working with the schools, High Life Highland, and the contractors, to revise transition plans, and to then notify stakeholders as early as possible of expected operational dates for the new facilities in 2017.”
The Highland Council is asking people in the Highlands – ‘Are you ready for winter?’
The Council is again supporting the Scottish Government’s Ready Scotland campaign at www.readyscotland.org (external link) and urges people in the Highlands to take some time to get ready for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Highland Council’s Chair of Community Services Committee, said: “Are you ready at home and on the move for winter? Have you got a winter kit in your car? Are you prepared for all eventualities? Are you looking out for elderly neighbours? Do you know how to find out and what to do if your school is closed? I urge folks to be prepared and be ready for winter so that you are not caught out.”
Within its winter roads maintenance budget of £5.22 million for 2016/17, the Council is ready to salt - according to its policy – the 6,744km of roads for which the Council has responsibility. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Highland Council’s road salt stocks are currently at 35,000 tonnes. Another 25,000 tonnes of salt are on order and due for delivery by 1 November. Arrangements are in place to re-stock during the winter if the rate of use is high. The Council’s suppliers have adequate reserves for this to happen and no shortage is anticipated.
The Council has 105 gritters, 45 footpath tractors and 1 snow cutter with over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.
Roads are gritted according to policy and priority. Primary routes are gritted Mondays to Saturdays 6am to 9pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 7am to 9pm. Secondary routes will follow the completion of Primary routes and are gritted Mondays to Saturdays from 6am to 6pm within available resources. ‘Other’ routes are treated as resources permit. In extreme conditions all efforts will be made to keep Primary routes clear.
Grit/salt bins on council roads have a telephone number displayed on them to allow the public to request a refill. The Council’s Winter Maintenance Policy and existing local area gritting maps are on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.
Report into the safety of Caithness maternity services published
The review was triggered by the potentially avoidable death of a newborn baby in Caithness General Hospital (CGH) in September 2015.
Formally commissioned by the board’s medical director, Dr Roderick Harvey, the review was conducted by Professor Hugo van Woerden, NHS Highland’s director of public health and policy, and included input from external experts in obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and midwifery.
Professor Hugo van Woerden, said: “Before commenting on the finding of the report I want to put on public record that local people have been uppermost in my mind. In conducting the review, what I was hoping to achieve was to provide impartial and undisputable evidence that will help people make informed decisions.
“I hope the findings show that there are ways of providing a safer service in Caithness and significantly reduce something similar ever happening again. But at the same time it should also be possible to make sure that the vast majority of antenatal, gynaecological care and community paediatrics are still provided locally.
“While the board has still to take a decision, I would like to reassure local women, who may already be pregnant or thinking about starting a family, that since October last year Caithness General has, in effect, been acting as Community Maternity Unit. The model works well in other parts of Highland and has proven to be safer.
Village Hall Grant Scheme A reminder for all halls in our area.
It is time for village halls to submit their applications for Highland Council grants again. The closing date is December 31st 2016 and funding is available up to £1,000. Halls are able to apply for up to 30 per cent of their annual running costs and groups need to meet the following criteria:
· Halls must be independently owned or leased on a secure and long-term basis to the community
· The applicant must be a properly constituted, non-profit-making organisation which exists for public benefit
· The facilities must be available, within reason, to all members of the community
· Halls must be run and managed by an elected, representative committee from the community
Priority will be given to halls serving communities with a population of less than 3,000. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, only one hall in each community will be supported. Ward managers will nominate the facility they wish to support where there is more than one hall serving the community. For an application form, go to http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/3809/village_halls_grant_scheme_application_form
Funding from BIlbster fund was used towards the creation of the Tartan project.
S6 pupils were given a Wick High School tartan tie in recognition of their time in the school. The ties were gifted to the pupils on behalf of our Parent Council and it is hoped that this event will become a regular occurrence in coming years, both to mark our senior students' final year in the school as well as standing as an encouragement to younger students to incorporate the tartan in to their school clothing as we look to designing other items using the unique pattern such as scarves, bags and even shoes.
In attendance at this morning's proceedings was Mr Martin Gill of Blackstairs Highlandwear who, along with Mr Craig Ross, was instrumental in the creation of the tartan.
The £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project has been given the green light for construction by owners SSE (40%), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) (35%) and SDIC Power (25%) after reaching Financial Close on 23 May 2016. The project will be one of the largest private investments ever made in Scottish infrastructure.
The 588MW, 84 turbine, wind farm will be situated in the Outer Moray Firth and is expected to power approximately 450,000 homes (around three times the number of homes in the Moray and Highland regions).
Construction at the new £10m operations and maintenance facility in Wick and the transmission works in Moray will commence this year. Offshore construction will begin in 2017 and the wind farm is expected to become fully operational in 2019.
Beatrice is expected to bring a range of socio-economic benefits to the local, regional, Scottish and UK economies during both the construction and operational phases. Expected opportunities include job creation, skills training, investment in Scottish ports and harbours, supply chain opportunities and community benefit funding.
The wind farm is being developed with a tier 1 supply chain comprising Seaway Heavy Lifting, Subsea 7, Nexans and Siemens and is expected to deliver c. £680m into the UK and Scottish economy via employment and supply chain opportunities during the construction phase and c. £400m- £525m during the wind farm’s 25 year operational life.
In 2015 we held three supply chain events through SSE’s Open4Business procurement portal, engaging with interested businesses and providing information on possible contracts. If you were unable to attend the events, the slides presented by BOWL, Open4Business and our Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors can found below. To view the latest opportunities please visit and register for free on the Open4Business portal.
The eatwell guide !
The Eatwell Guide replaces the Eatwell Plate. The main message remains in that the primary components of the diet should be fruit and vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, however there have also been a number of important changes in light of new evidence. The knife and fork have been removed to clarify that this is the recommended proportions eaten over a day or more, not necessarily in one mealtime.
Imptoving Caithness Community Healthcare
Designed to equip local residents with the skills set to help make improvements within their community, Naomi Watson, Carlene Rosie, and Morena Mackenzie, have gained their Health in the Community (HIIC) part one certificates.
Organised by community food and health practitioner, Pat Groves, the HIIC programme aims to increase community capacity, participation and support for community development approaches to tackling inequalities in health.
Naomi, Carlene, and Morena were awarded their certificates after completing the eight-week long course, a presentation to the public and writing a 1,500 word assignment to gain five points at SCQF level 6.
Pat said: “Morena Mackenzie researched and spoke about domestic abuse and has now gone on to study child health and social care at North Highland College.
“Carlene Rosie spoke about addiction and now volunteers at SMART Recovery meetings for people trying to recover from addictive behaviours and she has also been trained to carry out acupuncture to help people with addictive problems.
“Naomi Watson did a lot of research into loneliness and has been actively involved with Dunbeath and District Health and Wellbeing Centre. The centre has been set up to improve the health and community spirit of the area.”
Theft at Wick school construction site. Plea for Information
Detective Sergeant Diane Smith of Caithness CID, who is investigating the incident, said: "A number of the items stolen have unique markings and labelling.
"If anyone is offered any power tools and they suspect them to be stolen, I would urge them to get in touch.”
“Similarly, anyone with information regarding the theft or who witnessed anyone in the vicinity between Saturday night and Sunday morning is encouraged to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they wish to remain anonymous".
Caithness Health Action team held a succesful bed push from Thurso to Wick to Highlight concerns over the future of services at Caithness General Hospital. They raised an amazing £688.10 on the journey.
Follow them on facebook
Wick High School Tartan Revealed
The tartan was designed over the course of this year by S3 pupils, the Art Department
and Martin Gill of Blackstairs Highlandwear and we think you’ll agree that it is a beautiful
piece of work which we hope will represent the school for generations to come.
Work will now begin on creative projects designed to showcase the unique design, ranging
from incorporating it in to items of clothing from our dress code to products such as bags,
mobile phone covers etc.
We also hope to see our tartan used as a visual representation of the school; featuring
on the school website and other official communications.
Funding from the Bilbster fund was applied for and granted towards the costs of this project.
Has anyone got a copy of this CD its the musical map of Caithness?
A musical way to encourage people to visit areas in Caithness
It is available to buy at all of the attractions on the album, hotels, local shops and from the website
Have a look at some amazing talented riders set in some astounding scenery
Your Community Council are on Facebook come and see us
Now that the better weather is here you may be thinking of getting out and about.
Below is a link to a very handy brochure of the top places to see in and around our area, Caithness and Sutherland.
Have you visited the Yarrows Archaeological Trail ?
Find Yarrows Heritage Trust on Facebook.
We truly live in a beautiful area
Sarclet looking South
Could we ask that all organisations who have received funding from The Bilbster fund and from the Camster Micro Grant awards please ensure you are up to date with what is required as part of your grant. We would ask that if you have completed your project under the Bilbster criteria you have to send in your feedback forms and copies of receipts or if you have received Micro Grant Funding we ask that you send in your acknowledgement of this if you have not already done so.
This website is administered by Tannach and District Community Council and provides news and information from the community council and a place where community groups can post information, news etc.
Please also use the same address to report broken links etc