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More About Bill Fernie
Independent Highland Councillor For Wick

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Bill Fernie

Contact Details

Caithness.org web site enquiries
Telephone 01955 604648
email bill@caithness.org

  • Birthplace: Edinburgh

  • Education:
    Leith Walk Primary School
    Lismore Primary School
    Portobello High

    College of Commerce

Bill
Chairman Of Education Culture and Sport From 2007 to May 2012

Wick Vision
I believe Wick can and must improve its infrastructure to gain recognition as a great place to live and work.   Wick needs to live up to its logo "Wick Works Weil" and my thinking and efforts have been and are going it to move the town along several paths that I think complement one another and will in the next few years transform many aspects for the good of Wick and Caithness.

Working To Achieve
* A New Wick High School with improved sporting facilities.
* Two New Primary Schools - one north and south of the river.
* A new larger swimming pool.
* A new community library.
* New Council Offices in the town centre.
* A new children's home on ground at Rhind house.
* Improving services for young and elderly with the integration of health, social work and education.
* Encourage more investment in infrastructure projects such as the Wick * Harbour Authority's improvement plans to build on the successful marina and continue to Support efforts to get the Berridale Braes finally upgraded.
Support efforts to get the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency to bring its Nuclear Archive for the UK to wick creating 20 new jobs.

My Council Work to 2012
For the past five years I have been chairman of the Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport committee.  We have many achievements including new and refurbished schools and I am committed to doing many more and getting the best for our staff and pupils. I have been involved in several other committees and sub groups including Joint Committee for Children and Young People, ICT working group and many others.  I am an independent councillor and am part of the largest independent grouping that formed the administration of Highland council in partnership with the LibDem and Labour group.

Voluntary Work
Over many years I have worked on a range of volunteer committees and currently i have involvement as director/chairman of HomeStart Caithness, director/committee member of Laurandy Daycare Centre, director of Hi-Scot Credit Union, director of the Caithness Partnership, after requests for a Wick councillor to become involved I took up the challenge of becoming a director for the past few months of Caithness Heat and Power to ensure that recipients of the heating systems were dealt with correctly as the company was heading to wind up.

Other Activities
In my spare time I have continued to run the web sites I set up under the flagship of Caithness.org delivering as many free services as possible to help promote the Caithness community in all its guises including voluntary and business to ensure that we have as big a presence in the digital world as we possibly can.

As at May 2017 although no longer an elected councillor Bill continues his commitment to Caithness by his work as - 

Chairman - Laurandy Day Care Centre - Wick
Chairman - Caithness Health Action Team - CHAT
Director - HomeStart Caithness
Director - Hi-Scot Credit Union
All the above positions are voluntary and unpaid.

Bill continues his work on Caithnessorg and Caithness Business Index providing free services to the community and businesses.  Free property for sale ads and for rentals.  The web sites provide many free services such as the Whats On calendar.   Free job ads for employers.

May 2017 Election
Bill lost his place on the council in an election that had 9 candidates including 5 Independents and Caithness was reduced by 2 councillors.

Below is historical information about someof what Bill was invovled with in previous years.

From 7 May 2012 - May 2017
Bill was re-elected as one of three councillors for Wick at the May 2012 election.  He sits as an independent councillor in the opposition  - the new administration was formed by the three parties SNP, Lib Dem and Labour forming an alliance.  Indpendent councillors are still the largest grouping on the Highland council but are no longer in control.

In 2015
Became Chairman of the Resources Committee of Highland council in a minority administration.  
Member of the North P:lanning Committee
Member of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee
Sitting on several sub-committees from the Resources committee.

Positions and committees -
Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee - From August 2012
Main Highland Council Meetings
Children and Adult Services Committee
North Planning Committee
Audit and Scrutiny - Vice-chairman
Caithness District Health Partnership
Ward Business Meetings
Wick Ward Forum

Sub Committees
Culture and Leisure Contracts Scrutiny Committee
School meals
Culture Contracts Board
ICT Working Group

Directorships (Unpaid)
Highland Opportunity Ltd - Highland Council - From June 2012
Caithness Partnership Ltd - From 2007
HomeStart Caithness
Laurandy Day Care Centre
Hi-Scot Credit Union - appointed February 2012

Attends
Wick Community Council
Wick High School Parent Council

Period to May 2012
Bill Fernie was an Independent councillor and is a member of the administration group controlling Highland council.  The administration group was initially formed by the loose coalition of Independent councillors and the Scottish National Party (SNP) councillors following the election in May 2007.  In 2008 the SNP group decided to leave the coalition and the independents councillors formed a new administration with the Lib Dem and Labour groups.  Independent councillors still make up the biggest grouping of councillors in Highland.


Committees:
Bill attended the main meetings of the Highland council and wide range of other committees of the council and other bodies that affect the lives of people in Wick, Caithness and the Highlands.

Strategic:

  • Education Culture & Sport - From 7 September 2007
    Chairman
    This is the biggest of the Council’s services, with 6,900 full and part time staff, including 2,932 teaching staff.  The Service is responsible for 183 primary schools, 29 secondary schools, 156 nursery units; six special schools, 31,425 pupils; 15 leisure centres; 49 libraries (including 9 mobile libraries); 33 community education centres; a genealogy service; four dedicated art galleries; two regional museums; 3 hostels for pupils; 133 public access personal computers in community libraries; 2 day education centres; 3 outdoor and residential centres; 100 partner centres providing pre school education, 180 sports pitches and 2 archive centres.

  • Joint Committee For Children & Young People
  • Administration Group
  • Climate Change Working Group
  • Highland 2007 Legacy working Group
  • ICT Procurement Group - Dealing with new IT contract for the council - includes all IT services and school computers.
  • Sports Working Group
    Note - Bill also represents Highland Council at the All Scotland 2014 working group looking at the long term legacy for all of Scotland from the Commonwealth Games.
  • Chairs Interview Panels for appointment of head teachers
  • Neil Gunn  - Literary Competition
    Bill sits on this Highland Council committee working in partnership with the Neil Gunn Trust -  the main features are writing competitions for adults and school pupils.
  • LNCT  Group where council and unions meet - made up of councillors, council management staff, staff reps and union reps.
  • Resources Appeals Committee - mainly industrial disputes appeals and claims by employees.
  • Transport Appeals Committee - Related to Education Pupils School Transport.
  • North Highland Community Health Partnership (CHP)
    Bill Fernie and Councillor David Flear from Caithness represent the council on this group. North Highland Community Health Partnership (CHP) is part of NHS Highland. The CHP manages community health services in Caithness and Sutherland for around 39,000 people across 7,800 square km. It also provides some acute services, including a wide range of out-patient and in-patient services at our local hospitals.

Area Committee/Board:

  • Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Planning Application and Review Committee
  • Ward Forum Business Meetings
    Held every two weeks - not open to the public
  • Wick Ward Forum - Public meetings - Open to the public
    Each meeting usually has some business and reports from a variety of officials from council, police and others followed by an open 20 minute questions and answer session.  Members of the public are requested to put questions in to the ward manager in advance if they need detailed answers otherwise questions can be asked on the night. Questions that cannot be answered immediately will have follow up answers to the next meeting or sent to the person asking the questions or both.
  • Highland and Islands Fire Board   Fire and Rescue
    Ceased June 2008

Wick Committees

  • Wick Ward Forum
  • Wick Project Committee - Information Exchange -  For Councillors and local groups and other public bodies. - Ceased

Caithness Groups - Council Connected

Working Groups

  • Budget Working Group
  • Budget Strategy Group - (only members of the controlling Administration sit on this group - i.e. Independents and SNP) Ceased in 2008 when SNP group left the administration
  • Budget Information Group
    New group formed when Independents joined a new adminstration with Lib Dems and Labour in 2008.

Other Unpaid Directorships and Committees
Caithness

  • Laurandy Day Care Centre - Director
  • HomeStart Caithness - Director & chairman from 2008
  • Caithness Partnership - Director
  • Hi-Scot Credit Union - Director from February 2012
  • Highland Housing and Community Care Trust - Ceased 2010
    Bill has been a director of this charity since it was set up in 1998. Building houses for people with disabilities and frail elderly.  HHCCT has built houses in several parts of Highland for disabled and elderly people.  The houses were given to local housing associations in 2006 in order to ensure a more efficient management et up.  the agencies already managed the properties on behalf of the trust.  HHCCT continues to take on work  in respect of social housing.  The trust meets three or four times a year and has part time worker.  Many issues are now agreed by email or telephone.  Amongst other things work has been carried out in the past 18 months on A Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme for people who cannot obtain accommodation due to lack of funds to pay a deposit.

Business
Caithness.org
Since May 2001
Running web sites including  -
www.caithness.org
www.caithness-business.co.uk
www.sutherland-business.co.uk

Time Line:

  • 1958 - 1970 Brought Up In Portobello
  • 1960 - 1964 Portobello Secondary School
  • School Newspaper Round
  • 1964 Post Office (Left School aged 15 with no qualifications)
  • 1965 Passed Civil Service Entrance Exams
  • 1966 Scottish Education Department
  • 1968 Scottish Widows Life Assurance Co
  • 1968-1970 College of Commerce, Edinburgh (Nights)
  • 1970 Passed Civil Service Executive Officer Examinations
  • Dec 1970 Started with Inland Revenue (Edinburgh)
  • 1975 Transferred to Glasgow With Inland Revenue
  • 1981 Transferred to Wick With Inland Revenue
    Covering Caithness, Sutherland, Orkney & Shetland
  • 1995 Volunteer Development Scotland
  • 1996 Caithness Volunteer Link
  • 1997 Greenwich University, Birmingham.
    Distance Learning using Lotus Notes –  studying Social Firms – pilot project to evaluate course in this new topic.
  • 1998 Highland Volunteer Development Agency
  • 1999 Highland Health Council
    Organised of  a series of public meeting regarding the changes in the Health Service in the North of Scotland.
  • 1999 Visited Finland
    To look at emerging Social Firm ideas for the disabled and other disadvantaged groups.  Studying funding sources – Trusts, Local Authority and European etc
  • 1999 Caithness Community Web Site started
    Started new training courses for web site Development in Voluntary Sector in Caithness.
  • Easter 1999 Local Council Elections
    Stood as Independent candidate - Lost by 18 votes to Labour.
  • 2000 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
    Awarded Travelling Fellowship to go to United States to study small businesses for disabled people.  February 2000
  • April 2000 Volunteer Link paid work came to an end so decided to concentrate on Caithness.org full time or at least between the other activities.
  • March 2000 Appointed as a team leader for the 2001 Census in Caithness covering the Ord to Wick. Temporary post till June 2001.
  • 2001 Citizen Of The Year
  • May 2001 Started - a business to take forward Caithness.org and other Internet services after looking at various development models.
  • May 2003 Elected To Highland Council
  • June 2003 Appointed Director of Highland Prospect
  • October 2003 Appointed Director of Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise - now ceased
  • December 2003 Dounreay
    Radioactive Particles In The Environment BPEO - Steering Group representing local community.
  • January 2004 Press Officer for North Action Group fighting to save consultant led services at Caithness General Hospital.
  • May 2007 - Re-elected to represent the newly enlarge ward of Wick (there are three councillors for the Wick Ward)
  • September 2007 - Appointed to be chair of Education Culture and Sport committee of Highland Council

Previous Voluntary Involvement

  • Member Parents Teacher Association
  • Wick Town Improvements Association
  • Scout Hall Committee
  • Wick Amateur Swimming Club
  • Qualified Life Saver
  • Swimming Teacher
    Highland Health Council member for East Caithness Until September 2000
    Locality Planning Committee - Member
    Rural Forum – Action Network
    -
    Volunteer Development Scotland
    Networks – Supported Employment Partnership
    Caithness Community Care Forum
    Highland Community Care Forum -
    Director
    Network of Community Businesses
    One Parent Families Scotland
    Round Table - Wick

Current Volunteer Work includes:

  • Highland Housing & Community Care Trust - Director
  • Fund Raising for Marie Curie Cancer Care
    in the Wick area during Daffodil Week the annual fund raiser - since 1998.
  • HomeStart Caithness - Committee Member
    Bill Chairman in September 2008 - 2013
  • and is also a director.
  • North Highland Connections
    Director 2008 - 2011
    An arts group  - part of the North Highland Initiative
  • Laurandy Day Care Centre
  • HomeStart Caithness

       Also currently a member of:

  • Caithness Field Club
  • Rotary Club - Wick - Ceased May 2008 due to pressure or council work and being away on meeting nights.
  • Caithness Voluntary Group

Previous Directorships - Unpaid

  • Highland Prospect - Director - From May 2003 - Ceased when company was absorbed by Highland Opportunity and Bill became director of that company until June 2008.
    Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise
    From October 2003 - Ceased May 2007
    Highland Opportunity Ltd - Director to date

Bill And St Kilda

In the course of many of the above activities Bill attended training courses for both work and many of the voluntary sector groups.  Over the years he also attended a range of conferences and seminars in many parts of Scotland to gain experience of the sectors of interest pertaining to the particular groups or organisations.  He has taken a particular interest in small businesses and particular forms of social enterprises.  Connected to that has been looking into training and employment for people with disabilities.  Working for while in the voluntary sector he ran recruitment programmes in Caithness and gained experience of a number of committees at local and Highland area levels. 

The Caithness.org Web Site
Blended into all of this has been the development of Caithness.org and associated web sites that started as a voluntary exercise to assist Caithness from a number of viewpoints - information exchange, encouraging the use of the internet with the possibilities for small businesses if they could grasp the opportunities.  The ability to reach many people and promote the area for tourism and for local people and the wider population in Scotland to see what is not too far from them.  In order to keep this all happening Scorrie Internet Services was created to make the future of the operations more secure based on profits and not on state funding or charitable grants.  So far it has proved very successful.  the business does not make much money as yet.  It has paid wages to one employee Bill's son Niall who is the techy behind the whole set up.  He along with a friend Colin have been instrumental in bringing in all the scripting and html etc necessary to make the web sites work the way they do.

The Caithness.org web site has been very successful and  way beyond the initial thoughts.  Visitor numbers  on the web site have continued to grow year on year and show no sign of stopping with 2005 forecast looking to head for 1.75 million based on January 2005 stats.  The site started off to present information on the local Caithness voluntary groups - the who where when and had a small band of volunteers who were trained in the basics by Niall.  That was quickly achieved and they moved onto put details for some of the groups on to the pages.  Over the first year volunteers gradually left for jobs and education and it was felt that as the whole enterprise was growing it was no longer sustainable suing volunteers.  Scorrie Internet Services was set up and Bill and Niall threw themselves into the project full time (Often working up to 100 hours week for many months)  This pace has slackened but still requires full time input from Niall on all the other web sites whilst Bill who runs Caithness.org fits it in at all sorts of unusual hours between council and other meetings - in evenings and at the weekends.

Caithness.org won two Yell.com Awards in October 2001 for Best Community Web Site in the UK and Best Web site in all categories overall.  Caithness.org has grown massively since that time and now has over 25,000 photographs covering many aspects of local life on over 30,000 pages with more added almost every day.   Changes to the web site with regard to improvements are ongoing and while Bill looks at content Niall is working on upgrades constantly - the latest being innovative new methods for building the Caithness Business Index  With the new set up working and tested the way was opened up to add other areas and Sutherland Business Index is now on the same system and growing.  This cheap and effective way to advertise a local business is free to all businesses in the area but has the possibility of additional banner advertising and a place to find all of the business web sites.  It is a service to businesses and the area helping to ensure the businesses can be found by potential customers.  The FREE entries ensure every business can join making it useful for the wider community and available even to small cash strapped or new businesses from the outset.

What about the future? Well the future is change and improve constantly.

Caithness.org has been included in several pieces of research by academics and written about in many places around the world adding to the audience and helped by the fact that by 2005 the site was linked to by at least 5000 other web sites.

But it is the cooperation of local groups and individuals who now send in information, photographs and data that helps keep pushing it all forward making it more successful.  It has become part of the local lingo and people in the area often refer just to it as "THE ORG" rather than its whole name.  The success is part of the dynamic  and cooperative community that Caithness really is.

Sub Groups and Committees
In addition to the main committees above Bill sits on a range of sub groups and committees dealing with specific aspects of the work of the main committees.  

Former Council Committees

  • Audit and Scrutiny Committee Ceased 7 September 2007
    Bill became chairman of Education Culture and Sport and under the council rules chairmen of major committees are not allowed to sit on the Audit and Scrutiny committee to ensure scrutiny is independent..  Joined the Audit and Scrutitny committee once again in 2012 as Vice Chairman.
  • Planning, Environment and Development Committee
    Ceased 7 September 2007

Council Owned Companies

  • Highland Opportunities Limited
    Bill Fernie became a director and chairman of the company on 29th June 2007. Ceased to be Chairman October 2007 following becoming chairman of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee - left the committee in June 2008 in the reorganisation following change of administration.   Became a director once again in 2012 following the Council elections.
    The company is wholly owned by Highland Council.
    The company also manages a project Working For Families

Radioactive Particles In The Environment (BPEO) -
Ceased 2008 as the work of the group had been completed and a report was published by UKAEA.
Following the May 2007 election Bill Fernie continued to be chairman. He became chairman of Steering Group representing the local community. Bill joined the group in November 2003 and became chairman in February 2004.  The group tries to ensure that public participation is open and fair in this highly technical public consultation over the next two years.   Due to the many changes going on at Dounreay there no meetings after Feb 2004. All notes of meetings will be added to the UKAEA web site.  Other independent members of the group include John Thurso MP and Iain Baikie of KP Technology Ltd based in Wick.  The majority of those attending the meetings are technical experts in a range of capacities from nuclear safety and scientific experts and independent consultants assisting the process to ensure the public can give their views on this highly complex topic. - Completed Work Early 2008


Community Health Partnership (CHP)
Bill was selected to represent the council and has sat on the group since 2004.  He continues in that role from being re-elected in May 2007.  Councilllor David Flear (Caithness Landward) also sits on the CHP for the Highland Council.

Caithness Health Forum
A local watchdog group which was chaired by the late George Bruce MBE.  Since his death in 2009 the forum has not met.   George was the main driving force behind the forum in recent years and it remains to be seen whether it will meet again.

North Action Group
Formed to fight the downgrading of the maternity unit at Caithness General Hospital, Wick.  Bill Fernie acted as press officer for group the as well as being a committed member.  The threat to remove obstetricians and change to mid-wife only unit was successfully resisted after a two year campaign of action by way of the media, marches, demonstrations and lobbying.  North Action Group (NAG) continues to stay in existence with watching brief as the Health Board has returned three times in the past 6 years with downgrading agenda.  the public rallied round to support the campaign with both physical and financial support.  The committee agreed to retain most of the funds still in hand to fight any future downgrading suggested in the future by NHS Highland. The late George Bruce (died 2009) was chairman of NAG and did a magnificent job along with the committee and the help of Highland Council, HIE, Local Trade Unions and others to retain an obstetrician led service in Caithness.

May 2003  - 6 May 2007
Highland Councillor representing Wick West
Became a councillor in May 2003
Caithness Area Chair Housing and Social Work
All area committees in Caithness including -
Caithness Committee
Housing & Social Work
Resources
Education, Culture & Sport
Planning & Tourism
Licensing Board
Other Highland Council committees -
Audit & Standards
Social Work  - Main Committee
Social Work Portfolio Holders Group
Resources Committee
Children's Panel Area Committee (CPAC)
Digital Highland
Disability Sport - Highland
Wick Project Committee
Health Service Strategic Redesign Group
Children & Families Resource Group
Deputy  - Northern Police Board
Previous
Trustee - Wick Harbour Trust

Children's Champion - Caithness 2004 - Ceased May 2007
All areas of Highland Council have selected a councillor to be a Children's Champion to take a closer interest in changes particularly in Social Work and Education in respect of Highland's children.  From 2004 Bill therefor attends the Joint Committee On Children And Young People that is a partnership of Highland Council and NHS Highland.

Memberships Of Non Council Organisations
Wick Youth Club  - Ceased May 2007
Home-Start - charity helping families
Wick High School - Board Member - Ceased June 2007
Laurandy Day Care Centre - Laurandy Day Care is registered charity offers day care services for the elderly in the Wick area.  It receives some grant funding from Social Work department but also fund raises to ensure it can pay its way. It has paid staff and volunteers. Bill is still a director of Laurandy Day Care Centre as at 8 January 2010.

Directorships - Unpaid
Home Start
Bill is director and committee member of Homestart
Bill became chairman of the group at the 2008 AGM.

Laurandy Day Care Centre
Bill is a director and committee member of The Laurandy Daycare Centre

Highland Housing and Community Care Trust - Charity
Bill has been a director of this charity since it was set up in 1998. Building houses for people with disabilities and frail elderly.  HHCCT has built houses in several parts of Highland for disabled and elderly people.  The houses were given to local housing associations in 2006 in order to ensure a more efficient management et up.  the agencies already managed the properties on behalf of the trust.  HHCCT continues to take on work  in respect of social housing.  The trust meets three or four times a year and has part time worker.  Many issues are now agreed by email or telephone.  Amongst other things work has been carried out in the past 18 months on A Rent Deposit Scheme for people who cannot obtain accommodation due to lack of funds to pay a deposit.  The company ceased in 2012 and handed over al its houses to housing associations.

Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise
Attending regular board meeting to approve the ongoing work of the company.   Bill ceased to be a director in 2007 when local enterprise companies including Caithness and Sutherland enterprise were abolished and united under the Highlands and Islands Enterprise company.

Highland Prospect Ltd  - Owned By Highland Council
This company made soft loans to enterprises who may not be supported by banks and other traditional funders.  In 2005 it was amalgamated with Highland Opportunity Ltd another Highland council venture company.  Bill became a stand-in director of Highland Opportunity and attends meetings when there is shortage of directors for any reason.  Bill ceased this activity in 2007 when he took over the very time consuming role as chairman of the Education, Culture and sport committee of Highland council - see above.  Bil became a director again in 2012.

Radioactive Particles In The Environment (BPEO) -
Chairman of Steering Group representing the local community.
Bill joined the group in November 2003 and became chairman in February 2004. 


Wick Harbour Trust 2003 - 2005
Bill was a trustee representing Highland council on the Trust and was keen to take things forward after the new revision order was finally agreed (It has been under negotiation for three years with the Scottish Executive) and a new business plan being funded by CASE are in place hopefully by April/ May 2005
The New Wick Harbour Authority came into being in July 2005.  bill did not stand for this new body due to many other commitments and he felt that the new body needed to have as many new faces as possible.

North Action Group Member See Eye On Health
Nov 2003 - Dec 2005 (Main period) Still in existence to be ready to start if maternity unit threatened again.
Bill Fernie is a member of this action group fighting to defend maternity services at the Caithness General Hospital.  Bill acts as press officer for the group.  Press Releases are posted on the North Action Group web site at time of issue to the media.
Formed in February 2004 to pursue the retention of a consultant led maternity service in Caithness perceived by people in the county to be under threat with the third review in six years.
Success for the Maternity Campaign
On 6 December 2005 Bill Fernie (who acts as press officer), George Bruce (chair) and Mollie Baikie (committee member) attended the NHS highland board meeting on 6 December 2005 to hear them say they were no longer looking to downgrade the maternity unit and would be seeking to appoint three full time obstetricians. After more than two years of campaigning at meetings and out on the streets and a long string of papers to politicians, media and many others the NAG committee were elated by the news but decided to remain in business for a few months longer to oversee the process and make sure it actually happens.   the group raised around 10,000 donated by many individuals and groups and the balance will be donated to the Caithness General Hospital via the League of Friends who first asked for public support to save the unit. Many of the NAG committee had been to Inverness, Edinburgh and many many meetings in the two years of the campaign.
1 January 2007
North Action Group had intended to disband but on reflection decided to stay in existence and keep a watching brief on the maternity issue for some time to come and be in a position to tackle any future threats to the unit.

January 2005
Caithness And Sutherland Maternity Action Team
Bill Fernie will join the new group set up to find a solution to the Maternity question at Caithness General Hospital

Community Health Partnership CHP
Bill Fernie & David Flear the area convenor were appointed to be the Highland Council representatives on the newly created North Highland CHP in the last quarter of 2004 following steering group meetings.  The new group consists of Health and, social work staff and both council officials and elected representatives together with the voluntary sector are represented.

Looking At Alternative Business Models
Over the last few years Bill visited Finland and the United States looking at different solutions for employment and business.  He also visited many businesses in Scotland trying to develop employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Tourism Group
Bill has attended meetings of the new group formed in 2004 to look at ways of improving tourism in Caithness.

Getting Around
Finland -
Looking at small business models and places for people with mental health problems - in 1999 whilst working in the voluntary sector.
Yell.com Awards - London

Tallahassee, Florida
Bill has travelled to a number of places abroad before joining the council mainly in the United States including New York, Philadelphia and Florida (He never had time to visit Disneyland).  Whilst in these places he was looking at businesses and places of employment for people with mental health problems and learning difficulties. 

Dounreay Particles BPEO Stakeholders Steering Group
Bill Is Chairman 
Friday 13 February 2004 - Pdf doc.

In addition to the above Bill attends many seminars, conferences, training sessions and other meetings to learn about a huge range of topics affecting Caithness and the Highlands.  He meets regularly with managers in Housing and Social Work as he is the area chairman covering those departments in Caithness.

Wick Community Council
Although not a member of the Wick Community Council Bill attends most of that group's meetings to give the community councillors updates on any thing affecting Wick that the Highland Council might be doing and to answer any questions they might have.  The community council meets once a month in Assembly Rooms , Wick.