Tinas freelance

Freelance blog

LetsGoNorth News Service

You can donate to the North Highland Way, or buy our book “Creating the North Highland Way“.

We set up a news service for the North Highland Way.

Some of this needs a password which will only be granted to the Government departments and public services so as not to spoil my story!  However, you can see my new blog which is beginning to address the matter of independence for Scotland.  There will be no sensitive materials put on there until the end of the year.

The first phase  contains all the letters and correspondence with public services and the press.  You need to be a Friend of the North Highland Way to access this.

Private Sector

Some private sector organisations don’t understand economics and business either.  I recently offered to sell Highland Highlife cards for them.  I said I would purchase them for £15 instead of the £20 they charge, then sell them for £20 the same as them, so no competition, and the profit would go towards the development of the North Highland Way.

I also asked the cycle shop in Thurso if I could earn commission on renting out their bikes.  They said they weren’t advertising at the moment.  I said “its not advertising, it’s commission”.  They declined even though it wouldn’t have cost them a thing.

In the past I have approached Dounreay about funding the Way through the Dunnet Head Educational Trust (2003 to 2014) or another community group.  David Shearer wanted all the work done before Dounreay would commit a penny.  He couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to drive back and forth across the north coast using my car, my fuel and my time for nothing.

One could surmise why the John o Groats Trail can money but we can’t.  I think I know the fly in the ointment and it will be rooted out…

Public Services

We are starting to publish press releases and other correspondence between public services and myself.  The state of play is at the moment…

Scottish Government… We have received a letter of support from the Scottish Government, Nicola Sturgeon and Fiona Hyslop, Tourism Minister.   If you are a Friend of the North Highland Way, you can receive all documentation directly.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise – the SPSO say Roy Kirk has done nothing wrong in saying that he would set up a meeting, then reneged on the arrangement.  Where is the honesty and intregity which all public servants are supposed to have?  He is the one in charge of the space rocket in Sutherland. We have started a petition to disband HIE. As of 30th August, I have a single point of contact within HIE, Eann Sinclair.  I am hoping that he can report back to me within one month once he has consulted the stakeholders.  I will continue to press Mr. Hammond and Mr. Gove about the funding for public services (excluding SNH) just in case they renege again.  However, I have always found Eann Sinclair to be a man of honesty and integrity so do not forsee any difficulties.  I have received the report, but before we do anything else at all, HIE must pay their bills.

Your business can thrive in the Highlands and Islands

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is a unique government agency in the UK, with a remit for both community and economic development. A private and public sector collaborative approach to the development of key industries has proved successful for the region’s strong economic growth and stability.

From the HIE web site

We can help you explore the opportunities to locate in the Highlands and Islands. If you are interested in locating to the region, expanding or launching your business, we can provide you with a full range of tailored support. You’ll have a dedicated team to work with you every step of the way, both before and after you’ve made the move. We’ll help you get your business up and running quickly, and build strong foundations for future growth.

The above is directly from HIE’s web site.  They cannot “help you explore the opportunities to locate in the Highlands and Islands”  they try to prevent you at every step of the way, unless there is something in it for them.  They do not support you.  They don’t even read the specification of projects like the North Highland Way. 

The Highland Council  – are as helpful as they can be – given their lack of resources.  I am waiting for a reply from Stuart Black as to how he got my personal and private address. 

However, as ever, there is a renegade in the camp. This time it is Stuart Black, Director of Planning and Infrastructure.  He gave me a letter of support back in 2008 and has now reneged on it.  No surprise there – the Brough Bay Association didn’t want the North Highland Way so it didn’t happen.  Quite why they had so much influence is anyone’s guess.

The Access Officer is excellent. 

SNH – great as always.  They created the Scottish Outdoor Access Code in conjunction with THC

I am also in contact with the Scottish Conservatives, Theresa May, Jamie Stone (Liberal Democrats), the SNP (Jill Rosie, Gail Ross, George Bruce and Nicola Sturgeon).  On the morning of 19th August when all other politicians seem to be asleep, I received an email from Fergus Ewing.  He will scrutinise this news service and perhaps see what can be done.  I received another email from his assistant today (23rd August).

I write reports and research documents, but these are not freely available.  I am currently researching the impact of the NC500 on the roads in the Highlands.  I have now discovered that the NC500 is to be extended to Forsinard.  This is not sustainable tourism, and the Highland Council’s budget for road maintenance will rise again.  I have asked that SNH request an Environmental Impact Assessment for the whole route.  Stop press This is not possible or even desirable.

An extract from the report from the Highland Council.

“The majority of the deterioration we have experienced on the NC500 route is damage to the edge of the road and the verge which is being caused by vehicles overrunning the road edge (two vehicles trying to pass on a narrow road). This type of damage is not measured by the annual machine survey so unfortunately we are unable to give you a definitive figure which represents the “state of the road .”

Why do we need public services?

  • We are aiming for the only multi use route in Scotland, under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
  • There are areas which are not accessible and need to be addressed
  • We need money for the feasibility study which other areas have had, but HIE want this for free
  • We need money to do a Land Owner Survey to ensure that the landowners are happy
  • We already have the Highland Council’s Community Council consultation (it cost £1,000) – is a good base.
  • We need money for the coordination – time = money
  • We need money for marketing what we have
  • We need money for infrastucture outwith the Core Path Plans
  • Please give generously… Just Giving
  • You can see the recent materials at Tracking projects

We also have a blog for politics.

for details.

You can see progress on my new forum  here.

The news service is available here.


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