The stage we are at…

The Audit Office are being informed of the antics of the Highlands and Enterprise in relation to the Sutherland Space Hub. So have the suppliers. No public consultation until they were forced to, no security, no governance of public money.

Today, the company behind the development of the North Highland Way pulled out of the project for the second time.  LetsGoNorth pulled out when the Highland Council refused to support the development of the “Way” despite having assisted with the specification.  The Company did minimal communication with the Access Officer and also with the Crofters Commission.



Today, the company behind the development of the North Highland Way pulled out of the project for the second time.  LetsGoNorth pulled out when the Highland Council refused to support the development of the “Way” despite having assisted with the specification.  The Company did minimal communication with the Access Officer and also with the Crofters Commission. It was planned to assist the Crofters Commission with a consultation and with the landowners and also assist the RSPB but HIE made it impossible. That work is now cancelled and will not be taken forward by the new company. 
This company is again based in Ireland, and taxes from this will come to the Irish purse, not the Scottish one.  After struggling to get money into the project for nearly 15 years, the company has sold the business plan and feasibility study to another organisation who are convinced they can make it work.  The NDA said they would fund the project if the major investor did it, then reneged on the idea.  HIE spent 5 years trying to extract the business plan and feasibility study free of charge to “evaluate” it, when they had not even bothered to read the specification.  After all, they don’t even know what a dormant company is, do not pay their bills, as the NDA don’t, and when the CEO of HIE is also on the board of the Caithness and Sutherland Regeneration Fund. They cannot understand why this is in any way acceptable.  They cannot understand either that it is not acceptable to lie to companies, or anyone else for that matter. There are several matters to be investigated:
1. Governance of HIE

2.  Where HIE got £17.5 million from

 3.  Why is the CEO of HIE on the board of organisations

4.  Why is security out of scope? This is a dangerous site..

More tomorrow.



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Inkslingers on stage

And so… Harry beat me to it…This will appear on the www.wordsreunited.co.uk web site as well as Harry’s.
Claire did a brilliant job of marshalling the troops.  Harry said it was like trying to control a barrel of frogs. Herding cats, also springs to mind. The rehearsal for me was a disaster… I had been collecting wine from St. Stephens Green so I was fashionably late.
On the night it was nerve racking… yours truly was actually nervous.  I wore the same outfit as I wore when I presented myself in front of the Master in the High Court, and won. However I wasn’t nervous enough not to tell “the joke” against the English.It was only a short piece, but I was overwhelmed by Claudia Carroll’s beautiful blue eyes.  Davy was brilliant, as ever, on the music.
What a smorgasbord of music, laughter, and brilliant writing, tinged with sadness at the plight of many in stories like “Before the Doors”.


On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 2:56 PM Harry Browne <hbrowne4@gmail.com> wrote:
Silly me, I forgot to mention the writers, Geralyn, Pat, Claire and Eimear, Give yourselves a big pat on the back.

On Friday, 4 October 2019 14:51:24 UTC+1, Harry Browne wrote:
Wow, what an evening! We had the full gamut from darkest tragedy to stunning terror through to uproarious laughter. Cheryl, Brendan, Tina, Declan, Rebeca, Patricia, and Claire did the Inkslingers proud. Claudia Carroll, Paul Murphy, Stuart Dunne, Eleanor Feely and Frank O’Sullivan brought a much appreciated level of professionalism to the whole proceedings and davey added his unique sound to the occasion with some fabulous singing. Claire worked like a Trojan throughout the entire process of staging the readings and soldiered on through broken bones to achieve a truly memorable feast of the writers and thespians genius.Well done, all of you, and looking forward to a repeat performance.

Nuclear Decommissioning Agency

The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency are complicit in helping the Scottish Government launch a rocket without any security whatsoever. They say they are not responsible for security, although they are funding Highlands and Islands Enterprise to set it up. On the other hand, they refused two applications for funding for the North Highland Way, despite wide support from both businesses and community. One would wonder why. This journalist actually agrees that it is not the NDAs responsibility, it is not, after all, a nuclear installation, but on the other hand they are funding it.

Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are now well aware of this project, and the North Highland Way. The Irish are on the ball, they are having a sustainable tourism conference in November. Supported by Rachel Carson Enterprises. After all the Spanish Armada passed by Ballycastle, and the north of Scotland, but not Tongue…

Climate Change Strike – Belfast style!

Would you want this in your back garden?

Over 4000 people attended the Belfast Climate Change Strike on 20th September 2019. The atmosphere was electric! Kids from St. Dominics School were particularly prevalent, and kindly invited me to share their banner! It was the day Belfast City Council declared a Climate Emergency, recognising that climate change is actually happening.

The objective for the author was to raise the profile of the Sutherland Space Hub and demand a public consultation initiated by the Scottish Government. No one in the crowd knew about the proposal, despite the project managers, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, who state that they are being open about it. This journalist had to resort to the Information Commissioners of Scotland on that occasion as well. Time=money. Even then they didn’t provide it all. Public services must be made accountable for their actions. They have received £50,000 from the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency to manage it but are clearly not being open about the subject. Why, then, does even the Ben Loyal Hotel in Tongue have no details. This journalist has spent four months attempting to extricate information from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency under Freedom of Information and finally received it yesterday. Why the secrecy? Why no proactive intervention by the SNP?

Meanwhile, you can join us at the Sustainable Tourism conference at the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle, north Antrim. Contact us for details.

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