Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Weekly Update, 17th May 2010
The Partnership’s Senior Officers’ Group met this week, making comments on the draft Regeneration Programme and Resource Plan that I will submit to our Executive Board when it meets in two weeks’ time.
The Senior Officers’ Group also discussed and agreed a proposed piece of work with a marine energy developers, aimed at mapping our capacity to support device developments on a local level. The proposal resulted from pro-active contact between DSRL and the developer, and we will discuss how to resource this next week.
The Senior Officers’ Group discussed the Pensions Administration Office in Thurso, which manages the combined nuclear pension scheme for the NDA on behalf of around 50,000 current and former workers from across the UK. The PAO employs around 40 staff in Thurso. DSRL’s Simon Middlemas was able to arrange a meeting with Richard Stoneham and Yvonne McCarthy this week, at which it was very heartening to hear of the high regard in which the business is held by new Parent Body Organisation owners Babcock. I reiterated the substantial local support for the PAO.
I had a useful discussion with the organiser for the Unite Union, who was in Caithness this week. Unite represents a number of Caithness employees, particularly those working onsite at Dounreay. We spoke about the current position with activities aimed at capturing employment opportunities for the post-Dounreay economy, and about workforce transition planning.
I continue to work with colleagues at DSRL, NDA and Skills Development Scotland on plans for workforce transition activities. This week a draft description of a project is being developed and revised. Positive meeting with Skills Development Scotland, who are keen to support this activity.
The Caithness Transport Forum met today (Friday) and looked at a number of issues, including First Scotrail services and the ongoing moves to establish road-based solutions around A9 at Berriedale Braes.
Finally, I met representatives from Energy Solutions, who this week announced their partnership with AMEC to bid to become the next Parent Body Organisation for the Dounreay site. The partnership will be called Caithness Solutions Ltd. The other consortium to have announced its bid is the Babcock Dounreay Partnership.