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."
Close to 100 professionals met yesterday for what is one of the largest Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) events of its kind in the country that specifically targets Gaelic Education staff. The event took place in Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness for Highland Council's annual Gaelic Education In-Service.
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The Highland Council has agreed to use City-Region Deal funding to part fund new mid-market housing projects throughout the Highlands. The affordable housing projects will be developed by Albyn Housing Society and Highland Housing Alliance in Ullapool, Fort William, Alness, Inverness, Aviemore, Grantown, Drumnadrochit and Newtonmore and will deliver 61 new homes targeted at young people working in the area.
The Highland Council is set to make it easier for the public to report incidents of fly tipping and be advised when action is taken. As part of an evaluation of its street cleaning service an in-depth LEAN review of how the council deals with fly tipping has been carried out to look at ways of improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
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