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The Caithness Partnership
November 2005

Caithness Partnership – eBulletin November 2005
Welcome to another edition of the Caithness Partnership ebulletin. The bulletin was set up to both circulate information that has come in to the Partnership office, and in order for the Partners to be able to share information. A bulletin will not be issued in December, so if you have anything you want circulated before January please get in touch. If you have difficulty accessing any of the web links we can get you a paper copy. Please forward the bulletin within your organization.

Inside this issue:
National Online Manpower Information System (NOMIS)
Caithness Biodiversity Action Group Newsletter
Creating the infrastructure for engagement
Business rates reduction for Scotland
Old mobile phones and ink cartridges wanted
Top tips for terrible meetings
Investment with a Difference

Training – HNC Working with Communities (UHI)
· Tourism is Everyone’s Business – Highland Council Annual Tourism Seminar 7th December, Inverness
· Access Information Day - 12 December, Newtonmore
· Scottish Centre for Regeneration events
· Community Voices consultation event - 16 December, Perth

National Online Manpower Information System (NOMIS)
For up to date labour market statistics the Office for National Statistics offer an online service, free of charge. An extremely useful source of information on unemployment, benefit recipient numbers and other statistics down to ward level. For instructions on how to use the site and a link into the site itself follow this link:

Caithness Biodiversity Action Group Newsletter
Osprey poles, sandmartin barrels and a water vole survey – just some of the things the CBAG members have been up to. They have just issued another Biodivesity Newletter for Caithness – well worth a look at

Creating the infrastructure for engagement
Concerned about communities suffering consultation fatigue? Then this article will interest you…Jeff Bishop takes stock of the burgeoning world of engagement initiatives and proposes a moratorium until the ‘infrastructure’ for more effective engagement is established in key organisations. The paper asks key questions of how public sector bodies in particular approach stakeholder engagement and the issue of building capacity to design and deliver it well. It then goes on to identify how they could focus their efforts in a more coordinated and effective way.

“if anything moves someone, somewhere will demand to be consulted on it…not surprisingly many commentators are now worrying about overload, about people being consulted to death.” http://www.interactnetworks.co.uk/documents/CreatingtheInfrastructureforEngmt_000.pdf

Scottish business rates reduction announcement
The rate is currently 46.1p in Scotland and 41.5p in England. The rate in Scotland will be cut to 44.9p from April 1, 2006. Finance and Public Service Reform Minister Tom McCabe announced recently that the small business rates relief scheme - which benefits 72 per cent of businesses in Scotland - will continue and that the surcharge for bigger businesses has been reduced.

"Our top priority is growing the economy and creating an environment where all businesses - large and small - can thrive. We have underlined that commitment by pledging to bring our business rates poundage in line with England. This is the first step towards delivering fully on our pledge by April 2007.” Follow this link to get the full story: http://www.edascot.org.uk/news_story.php?id=165

Got any old mobile phones or ink cartridges?
Lynne Whitelaw from Thurso Swimming Pool is collecting old mobile phones and ink cartridges for the local Autism Group and would be grateful for any.

Top tips for terrible meetings
Want to make the meetings you organize memorable? Then read on…

Investment with a Difference
Futurebuilders England Ltd has now agreed 90 investments to community enterprises totalling £35 million. The programme has completed its first application round investing in voluntary organisations providing public services – to find out what happened see: http://www.futurebuilders-england.org.uk/

HNC in Working with Communities
This is a part-time course designed to interest people working in the field of community learning and development and part-time workers in the voluntary sector, with flexible remote learning opportunities.

7 December 2005 Council Chamber Inverness, “Tourism is everyone’s business” Highland Council’s Tourism Seminar. Places are limited – for more information contact Gordon Ireland Gordon.Ireland@highland.gov.uk  or phone 01463 710729

12 December 2005 , Newtonmore Access Information Day
The Paths for All Partnership and the Community Land Unit have organised an access information day to be held in Newtonmore on the 12th December this year. There is a programme planned which will appeal to landowners/managers and those involved with community ownership, those already involved with access initiatives in their local areas and also those who may be thinking of improving the access resource within their locality.
If you would like any further information please contact; Cath Clark at the Paths for All Partnership cath.clark@pathsforall.org.uk  or Janette Carrison at janette.carrison@pathsforall.org.uk  Tel. 08454 534 215

Scottish Centre for Regeneration continues its programme of events over the next few months aimed at people involved in regeneration projects. The Scottish Centre for Regeneration is part of Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive's housing and regeneration agency, and works to help improve the effectiveness of people and organisations trying to achieve the Scottish Executive's Closing the Opportunity Gap objectives. The aim of the events is to support those involved in community regeneration to improve their effectiveness:
8 December 2005 Edinburgh, Creating Heathier Communities
23 February 2006, Edinburgh, International Perspectives on Community Regeneration
2 March Glasgow, Integrating Sustainable Development into Community Regeneration
For more information on all these events have a look at http://www.zealey.com/SCR/

16th December Stirling, Digital Inclusion Consultation - Community Voices Network
The Scottish Executive is reviewing its Digital Inclusion policy – ensuring that people from disadvantaged areas had access to the internet was a key element of the Scottish Executives social justice strategy. For more information on this event see: http://www.zealey.com/cvoices/DI/Consultations.htm

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