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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 17:46 GMT
Bid to exclude Gaelic signs fails
A road sign in English and Gaelic
The road signs appear elsewhere in the Highlands and Scotland
Eight Caithness councillors have been unsuccessful in a bid to halt a roll out of bilingual English/Gaelic road signs in the area.

They argued the language is not a significant part of the far north's cultures and would be a waste of money.

Some place names in the area have links with the Norse, who archaeologists have said were once active in the area.

However, the full council rejected a motion to have Caithness excluded by 36 votes to 29.

Later Hamish Fraser, chairman of the local authority's Gaelic committee, welcomed the result of the vote.

He said: "I am pleased that the council has confirmed its Highland-wide support for our policy on bilingual signage."

David Flear, the former provost of Caithness, had said the policy needed to be looked at again and that people who lived in the area had traditionally been regarded as non-Gaels.

Before Thursday's meeting, he said: "Come on, let's get real about this. This isn't being anti-Gaelic, this is just reality and this is listening to people."

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