Caithness Heat and Power To Be Wound Up
13th May 2011
The 242 households in Wick which receive their heat and hot water from Caithness Heat and Power (CHaP) have been told that attempts by The Highland Council to find a private operator to take over the district heating system have been unsuccessful and that the Council will now work with residents to reinstate domestic heating systems in their homes.
In a letter hand delivered to their homes earlier today (Friday), CHaP Company Secretary, Michelle Morris, Assistant Chief Executive of The Highland Council, advised households that the Council and the directors of CHAP have been striving over a long period to find an operator from the private sector to take over the district heating system
The Council was initially involved in discussions with a company called Clearpower. When the Council was not able to conclude an agreement with them, it entered into discussions with the reserve preferred bidder, Ignis.
Ms Morris wrote: "Regrettably, Ignis have failed to achieve the conditions required for concluding an agreement and the Council, supported by the directors of CHAP, have agreed to terminate the procurement process and not to award a contract.
"Continuing to operate the existing district heating system is not commercially viable and therefore the Council has decided that the way forward must be for houses to revert to the reinstatement of domestic heating and hot water systems.
"For Council houses, tenants can be assured that these systems will comply with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and that the work will form part of our Housing Capital Programme.
"For tenants of other organisations (Cairn, Albyn, Pentland) the Council will now initiate discussions with your landlord about how the reinstatement work will go forward.
"For private owners the Council will contact you individually to understand your circumstances.
"Please be assured the Council and the directors of CHAP have worked tirelessly and done everything possible to attempt to make a success of the CHAP initiative and both are deeply disappointed at the outcome.
"Also be assured we will maintain the current service using the oil boiler until the reinstatements are addressed.
"We will keep you advised of developments and consult with you on how the reinstatement work will affect you."
Councillor Ian Ross, a director of Caithness Heat and Power, described the outcome as a great disappointment.
He said: "Since taking over the company, the Council has done everything possible to find a way forward for this project, which, at the outset, promised so much for Wick households. Our focus now must be on reinstating domestic heating systems in the homes and giving every help possible to households in terms of coping with the change."
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017. The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.
The high winds during Storm Caroline today have caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached. The school was already closed to pupils today due to the adverse weather.
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday 7 December 2017 are as follows: Caithness and Sutherland: Most roads are affected by snow and ice. Treatment in progress.
The Highland Council expresses its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: "This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.
Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America's Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back. In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.
The Highland Council and Department for Work and Pensions are implementing plans to improve accessibility to their services. This joint venture will see the jobcentre staff co-locating with the Council and other services in the council's new modern office developments in both Fort William and Wick.
City-region deal investment means that Inverness can now be branded a digital city. Ness WiFi, a free WiFi service, which was successfully piloted earlier this year, has now been rolled out across Inverness city centre, extending to and including areas such as the High Street, the Castle, Eden Court, and the bus and railway stations.
Leisure and cultural venues currently run by council arm's-length bodies will continue to benefit from charity relief from non-domestic rates. Following lengthy consultation with stakeholders, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay today confirmed that the Scottish Government will not be accepting the recommendation of the Barclay Review to end this benefit.
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