Public Consultations

Proposed Core Path Extensions – A Consultation by Highland Council

Highland Council is currently undertaking a public consultation on proposals to extend the Core Path Network.  Five footpaths in the Edderton area have been identified as possibilities within the Caithness and Sutherland Ward of Highland Council.  These are: (1) Casandamff Woodland to the Struie Road – RC15.10(C);  (2) Edderton Hill to Tarlogie – RC15.11(C);  (3) Dounie Hill Fort – RC15.12(C);  (4) Struie Ridge – RC15.13(C); and  (5) a short section on Edderton Hill that will link up with Ross-shire Core Paths leading to Quebec Bridge and East Lamington – RC15.14(C).  Comments are invited in respect of this consultation, but can only be made on-line using the following link to Highland Council’s website – www.highland.gov.uk.  Once the home page has been accessed, click on the tab “Consultations” and then select “Core Paths Plan (Caithness and Sutherland)”.  It should be borne in mind that comments have to be specifically made against each individual proposal.   The map below shows the five locations of proposed Core Paths extensions.There is considerable concern over the proposal to use the newly laid forestry track connecting Casandamff Woodland with the B9176 Struie Road – RC15.10(C) – on the grounds of health and safety and the fact that this new track was specifically constructed by Fountains Forestry to avoid heavily laden timber vehicles from using the U1878 (connects A836 and B9176) and U1880 (to Admiral’s Farm) single track roads that ultimately pass the school and along School Brae to reach the A836 at Edderton crossroads. The new track that Highland Council wishes to incorporate into the Core Path Network is also a Strategic Timber Extraction Route and because of that Fountains Forestry is hopeful that Edderton Community Council will formally oppose this proposal.

Of the other four proposals for the Edderton area, it is only the Struie Ridge – RC15.13(C) – that requires any comment, and that relates to start of the walk at the western end where it meets the B9176.  Starting and ending this walk at that point will require a short section of the B9176 to be followed from and to an unofficial car parking area, as well as crossing over an unbridged ditch.  It is suggested that a roadside path and a bridge over the ditch should be constructed.

Whilst the need for the Core Path Network to be expanded at this time of austerity is questionable, as is the consultation itself, participation in the consultation process is to be recommended.

Ted Venn – 09 02 2018


ELECTORAL REFORM IN SCOTLAND – PUBLIC CONSULTATION

I am pleased to inform you that the Scottish Government has launched a public consultation to explore electoral reforms which Scottish citizens may wish to see taken forward in future.

The Scottish Government is committed to increasing participation in elections both in terms of voter turnout and encouraging citizens to stand for election. Democratic participation for all challenges the inequalities of power and influence that exist in society, and an electoral system that supports and empowers the engagement of the Scottish people in their own elections plays a crucial role in this. The 2016-2017 Programme for Government included a commitment to take forward a consultation exercise to find out what electoral reforms Scottish citizens would like to see taken forward in future legislation.

We are keen to elicit views on a number of issues related to Local Government and Scottish Parliament elections, including: how often these elections should be held; who runs these and how they are run; who can register and vote; and who may stand for election.

We would welcome your comments as part of our consultation exercise. The consultation paper and online response system can be accessed using the following link: https://consult.gov.scot/elections/electoral-reform

If you wish to respond then please return the online questionnaire template by 12 March 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with the Elections policy team at ElectionsTeam@gov.scot.

Rebecca Whyte – 5th February 2018

Elections Team, Strategy, Elections and Freedom of Information Division,

Scottish Government, Area 2 West,

St Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh  EH1 3DG

Tel: 0131 244 1947


Closure of the Tain Branch of RBS

This closure is planned for June 20th, 2018. Public concern has prompted Gail Ross MSP to raise the matter with the Scottish Government. In order to demonstrate the catastrophic impact that the closure would have on Tain and its economy, Gail is currently undertaking a survey and asks that as many people as possible complete the survey and return it to her. As so many banks are closing branches, and particularly branches in rural areas, the survey is intended for the customers of all banks; not just RBS customers.

The survey can be accessed on-line using the following link: http://eepurl.com/dc9Sdv

Gail can also be contacted by sending an e-mail to: Gail.ross.msp@parliament.scot

Ted Venn – 24th January 2018