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Caithness Partnership Index

Caithness Partnership Newsletter Index

The Caithness Partnership
November 2006

Caithness Partnership – eBulletin November 2006
Welcome to another edition of the Caithness Partnership ebulletin. The bulletin both circulates information that has come in to the Partnership office, and is a tool for the Partners to share information. If you have anything you want included in the next issue please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you have difficulty accessing any of the web links we can send you information on paper. Please forward the bulletin within your organisation if appropriate.

Inside this issue:
Wellbeing Alliance Partners rethink community planning
2 more of Scotland’s most deprived areas identified in Caithness
Caithness Community Council Elections
HIE Annual Report 2005-2006
Highland Council Beyond 2007
DEFRA response to CoRWM recommendations
Waterwatch Scotland
Implications of new fire safety law
NDA Socio-economic policy consultation
SEPA’s new flood map
Funding and Awards
· Caithness & Sutherland pilot Small Grants Scheme
· Big Lottery Fund in Scotland
· BBC Breathing Spaces
· Scotland unLTD
· The National eWell-Being Awards
· Aspen event
· EU Funding and Scotland’s Economic Regeneration and Development: the Future
· An Agenda for Regeneration in Scotland
· Sharing the Celtic Experience: different approaches to community planning
· World Class Scottish Projects
· Sustainable communities? Decommissioning and the future of Sellafield and Dounreay
· Business and biodiversity
· Scotland’s changing NHS: the Kerr report 18 months on

The Highland Wellbeing Alliance partners at regional level have had a rethink on community planning and how the agenda will fit with reorganisation of the Highland Council. Seven areas of partnership lines of business have been identified and a proposal has been made for changes at a pan-Highland level which involves rationalizing partnership working. For detail of this see http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/news/whatsnew/beyond2007.htm

SIMD results 2006 show two more of Scotland most deprived data zones are in Caithness. Scottish Executive recently announced the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation figures for 2006 revealing that two areas in Wick that were previously amongst the worst 20% in Scotland have now moved into the bottom 15% most deprived areas in Scotland. Figures from 2004 showed that only one area of Wick (part of Upper Pulteneytown zone SO1003977) was at this level whereas this year a further zone in upper Pulteneytown (SO1003976) and a zone in north Wick (SO1003977) have been shown to have edged further down the deprivation scale.
A map of the data zones in Highland is available from the Partnership Office (01955606483 or email caithnesspartnership@btinternet.com ) and the Scottish Executive’s website holds the detailed information and statistics on the data zones http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/SIMD/Overview

Caithness Community Council Elections – elections for new community councils throughout Caithness are currently taking place. Nomination forms are available from the Highland Council Service Points in Wick and Thurso or by phoning 01955607791. Nomination forms must be received by the returning officer, Highland Council Caithness Area Manager Ian Hargrave by 4.00pm on Thursday 9 November.

Highlands & Islands Enterprise Annual Report 2005/6– find out what happened across the HIE Network, highlights for each area, and the local enterprise companies’ priorities for 2006/7. Go to
http://www.hie.co.uk/annual-report-2005-2006.html?sksearchtext=annual%20report%202005-2006  for the downloadable report. We have a copy here in the office for anyone who prefers paper.

Highland Council Beyond 2007
The Council has agreed that future service delivery should be organised around the 22 new multi-member wards that will be put in place following the May 2007 election; that there should also be three operational management areas and that the number of Services should be reduced from nine to six. Up to date information on the changes in the Highland Council, multi-member wards, members remuneration, community forum arrangements and other details are available at

DEFRA response to the Report and Recommendations from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)
On 25 October the Government announced its response to the CoRWM report into future management and disposal of radioactive waste in the UK. The Government accepted that geological disposal coupled with safe and secure interim storage in the way forward for the long term management of the UK’s higher activity wastes. The Nuclear Decomissioning Authority (NDA) will be given the responsibility for planning and implementing geological disposal. The Government is keen to explore how an approach based on voluntarism and partnership with host communities as recommended by CoRWM. The implementation programme will be staged to incorporate a series of decision points with a public consultation period on the implementation process beginning in 2007 and decisions on siting, partnership approach, and geological disposal delivery programme being made in 2008. For the full (short) Government response go to http://www.defra.gov.uk/Environment/radioactivity/waste/index.htm

Having trouble with your water? From 1 April 2006 Waterwatch Scotland assumed greatly extended powers including acting as an ombudsman role, investigating complaints on behalf of domestic and business customers, representing the views and interests of all water customers, making statutory recommendations and influencing policy. See www.waterwatchscotland.org  for more information

Changes in fire safety law – from 1 October 2006 fire safety law changed in Scotland in that anyone with control to any extent of non-domestic premises are required to take steps to prevent fire and mitigate the detrimental effects of a fire on the premises. The principles of the regime and legal responsibilities are laid out here. Better check it out if you are responsible for any non domestic premises.
See Here

A draft of the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency’s Socio-Economic Policy has gone out for consultation until 19 January 2007. The NDA recognizes that the lead for socio-economic regeneration lies with the established socio-economic organisations in the localities, such as Local Authorities, Regional Development Agencies, Enterprise Networks, etc. and does not intend to usurp or compete with these organisations. Rather, NDA intends to support and partner them in developing and in some cases financing proposals that will have a long-term socio-economic benefit in those areas affected by decommissioning. A Socio-Economic Sub-committee of the NDA Board is being set up to receive and consider funding proposals from such organisations. Find the consultation document at http://www.nda.gov.uk/Our_Business--Socio-Economic_Policy_-_Draft_for_Consultation_2006_(1950).aspx?pg=1950

SEPA’s new flood map – could the area you live be threatened with flooding? Check the new flood map prepared by SEPA on

Caithness & Sutherland Community Small Grants Scheme Pilot
CASE has recently devolved a small budget to the local Councils of Voluntary Service to administer on a pilot basis. The scheme will run from 0ct 06 to Sept 07 providing £20,000 in small grants to voluntary organisations across Caithness and Sutherland. Applications for funds for small capital items up to £1,500 (can be up to 100% although other part funding is encouraged) and for training (any sort of training that will benefit your organisation) up to a maximum of £1,000 are invited. Applications will take no more than 2 months to turn around. Application forms and guidance can be obtained from niall@cvg.org.uk  or by telephoning 01955603453. The scheme is available to any voluntary groups in Caithness & Sutherland except sports clubs (because a similar scheme for sports clubs is run in conjunction with the Caithness & Sutherland Sports Council) faith groups or political organisations.

BIG Lottery fund in Scotland
The Big Lottery Fund in Scotland has £257 million to spend between 2006 and 2009 and they want to invest this money to bring real improvements to communities and to the lives of people most in need. The Lottery will invest in:
Growing Community Assets through which the Lottery will help communities become stronger by acquiring or developing assets for their own use. The Big Lottery Fund Scotland's 'Growing Community Assets' (GCA) got formally underway recently with the signing of the contract between BLF and the delivery consortium headed by Highland and Islands Enterprise. £50m cash will be available until March 2009 both for rural and urban communities to buy land and property.
Dynamic Inclusive Communities through which the Lottery will help build stronger more vibrant communities
Life Transitions through which the Lottery will support projects that help people deal with change in their lives and encourage them to move on.
Supporting 21st Century Life through which the Lottery will invest in projects that enable people to cope with new patterns of life and the pace of change communities are experiencing.
BBC Breathing Places
£4.5 million of BIG Lottery Fund money is available through the BBC Breathing Places campaign which is led by the BBC in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and BTCV Scotland. Together with local community groups, they aim to transform places into people and wildlife havens.
Who can apply for BIG Lottery funding?
A constituted group or voluntary organisation, school, town or community council (with a registered bank account requiring two signatories)
What is a breathing place?
A breathing place could be anywhere that is publicly accessible, such as:
· Neighbourhood park
· School or library grounds
· Workplace surroundings
· River banks
· Coastal areas
· Cemeteries, grounds of village halls
· Local nature reserves

£300 to £10,000 is available to create, maintain or improve local breathing places
This can help fund:
· plants and trees
· equipment to create and maintain a Breathing Place
· good access provision e.g. signage and pathways
· professional fees for expert help and advice
· volunteers’ expenses.
Application deadline: 13 December 2006

Scotland unLTD is offering to resource emerging social entrepreneurs with a grant of up to £5,000 and for rising social entrepreneurs there is potential of an award of up to £20,000. For full details see

The National eWell-Being Awards are the only UK-based awards that recognise uses of ICT that deliver social and/or environmental benefits. Since its inception in 2002 the Awards programme has attracted over 400 high quality entries across a range of categories, highlighting the importance and potential of ICT to benefit organisations, the environment and peoples’ lives. For more information see http://www.sustainit.org/ewell-being-awards/index.php

18 November 2006
Dunbeath. Aspen Event – the ecology, history and management of a very rare tree species in the company of some of Scotland’s aspen experts. Booking is essential 01408633986.

21 November 2006 (afternoon), Highland Council Chambers, Inverness.
EU Funding and Scotland’s Economic Regeneration and Development: the Future
Find out about alternative and innovative funding opportunities for Scotland – an Economic Development Association (Scotland) event in collaboration with Highland Council which will focus on the development of current Structural Fund programmes and update on alternative and innovative funding streams. Fee of £25 and booking required.

28 November 2006, Glasgow. An Agenda for Regeneration in Scotland examining the key issues contained in the Scottish Executive’s regeneration strategy and what actually works on the ground. http://www.holyrood.com/conference.asp

30 November 2006, Edinburgh. Sharing the Celtic Experience: different approaches to community planning. 3 years after the 2003 Local Government in Scotland Act placed a statutory duty on local authorities to prepare a community plan with other service providers and the communities they serve how is the process evolving? What differing models have evolved? What can Scotland learn from its neighbours in Ireland and Wales? If you think these are good questions got to: http://www.ultrasoft.hostinguk.com/mackayhannah/CelticPlan.pdf

30 November 2006, Enterprise House, Dundee. World Class Scottish Projects. How to deliver a world class project featuring some of Scotland’s best. Each presentation will give an industry overview outlining Scotland’s competitive position, future developments, opportunities and economic benefits (industries to be discussed include science & technology and renewable energies). For more details see

1 December 2006, University of Central Lancashire. Sustainable communities? Decommissioning and the future of Sellafield and Dounreay a one day conference looking at the implications of decommissioning on the two communities, discussion of how to make communities sustainable, influencing a future programme of collaboration between Caithness and West Cumbria. For more information see http://www.westlakes.org/live/docs/events/sust_comm.pdf

6 December 2006 Blair Atholl. Business and biodiversity – biodiversity can benefit rural businesses and the Scottish economy and business can contribute to biodiversity. http://www.snh.org.uk/calendar/oct.asp for full details.

6 December 2006, Glasgow. Scotland’s changing NHS: the Kerr report 18 months on. NHS service reform is reputedly the most contentious issue in Scottish public policy. The publication of the Kerr report, Building a health service fit for the future, 18 months ago was supposed to respond to public protests about local service changes by creating a shared national vision of how Scotland’s health services should adapt and develop for the 21st century. The Scottish Executive and NHS leaders back Professor Kerr’s prescription for change, but the public and politicians apparently remain far from convinced and local communities continue to demonstrate their anger and concern. The future of local health services looks likely to be a key argument in many constituencies during next year’s Scottish Parliament election campaign. See www.holyrood.com/conference.asp  for more details.