Early Christmas pressie
goes down a tree-t
has come early for Wick folk. Reporter Noel Donaldson.
They were left “pine-ing” for that quintessential of festive trappings,
a tree, after it was assumed that construction of the new council
offices well underway in Market Square, left no room for one, this
However, with a little assistance from some of Santa’s local helpers,
townspeople now have a tree, again.
Morag Mackenzie, whose cafe looks onto the Square couldn’t bear the
thought of it being treeless, during the festive season.
She made a plea to wind farm owner James Innes, of Achairn, who
immediately pledged a 10ft lodgepole pine from his plantation and duly
delivered it. Morgan Sindall, the firm engaged in the council
construction contract, also entered into the Christmas spirit.
Christmas Lights Fayre
Latest Job Ad Modern
Apprentice - Administration Support Matthew Reiss (Independent)
Elected For LandWard Caithness
candidates piled up the votes easily beating the party
candidates. Independent candidates had feared that with three of them
standing it might lessen their chances of getting elected.
However the huge majority of voters went for independent
candidates. Mr Reiss was one of five candidates who contested
the vacancy, created by the resignation of Alex MacLeod. He joins
Councillors David Bremner (Independent), Willie Mackay (Independent)
and Gillian Coghill (Independent) in representing the Landward
Voting was by the single transferable vote and Mr Reiss emerged as the
winner at the fourth stage of the count. He gained 1,150 of the 2,588
valid first preference votes cast. The quota was 1,295. 28 votes were
New Equipment For Lybster
From Caithness Heart Support Group THE
Lybster GP practice was the latest to benefit by an item of
equipment presented by Caithness Heart Support Group. Giving the 24hr
blood pressure monitor the once over, is group chairman Ernie Ross,
front. Also pictured are, from the left back, Janette Sinclair,
practice nurse Susan McNeill, practice manager Pat Hendry and group
member Janice Macgregor.
Council steps up
opposition to pay day lending Join
Hi-Scot Credit Union covering Highlands and
The Highland Council is to write to the UK Government, the Scottish
Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to
highlight its total opposition to the high-cost short-term credit
offered by pay day lending companies and the misery that spiralling
debt brings to the poorest in society.
Wick councillor Bill Fernie who is also a director of Hi-Scot
union wants many more local people to consider joining as they offer a
great place for savings fully protected and very low
cost loans making them affordable. Hi-Scot is increasing
itsmemebrship and is now in a strong financial position to increase
memership and with memers able to use post offices around making it
very user friendly.
Hilltop Horses Expands At Wick -
Official Opening Saturday 7th December 10.00am Going
from strength to strength the latest expansion for Hilltop Horse
means they have bigger rang eof goods with something for everyone.
Opening day 7th December wlil see a number of guest stalls
including Flavours Ice Cream from John O'Groats and catering so you can
have a coffee or a cone. If you are into Christmas shopping
take a look into the new store in the former Home-tec Interiors
the industrial estate, Wick - you can't miss it as it faces the main
road next to the former Caithness Glass factory building.
Polling takes place on Thursday
for Landward Caithness by-election On
Thursday (28 November 2013) voting begins in the Landward Caithness
By-election with polling stations opening their doors at 7am and
remaining open for voters until 10pm.
The electorate for the Ward is 8,588. Anyone who has applied for a
postal vote who may not yet have posted their ballot paper is reminded
that they can hand it in to any of the polling stations up until 10 pm
New national road
policing unit launched in Fort William
Police Commander for Fort William is, with the Highland and
Islands Roads Policing Inspector, welcoming a new national roads
policing unit to Fort William, which is a first for a specialist
resource of this type.
The divisionally-based national Trunk Road Patrol Group will focus on
Keeping People Safe on the main arterial routes in the Highlands, but
it is the first time a roads policing unit have been based in the Fort
William area.....The Trunk Roads Patrol Groups will primarily service
the following roads within the Highland Region: A9, A96, A82, A828,
A889, A95, A835, A99, A887, A87 and A830.
John Thurso Backs
Prostate Cancer UK’s Quality Checklist
Highland urged to act to deliver best possible care for men.
MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross – John Thurso - has backed
Prostate Cancer UK’s Quality Checklist as a first step towards
delivering the best possible care and support for men with the disease.
The call was made following a meeting between John Thurso and Prostate
Cancer UK, and increases the pressure on NHS Highland to get behind the
Quality Checklist. The initiative has also been backed by all
constituency and regional list MSPs in the NHS Highland area.
Academy drive Inverurie 'loco' in
four-goal tussle Wick Academy 2
Inverurie Locos 2
Reporter Noel Donaldson
Academy, staved off late pressure to secure a share of the
spoils. Fast-moving Locos were the more focused side from start and
disrupted Wick's normally fluent, passing game.
But prizes make points and it was the Scorries who drew first blood in
the 25th minute, although it looked as if Sam Mackay's strike was
deflected away from the keeper into the right-hand corner of the net.
Locos defender Ross Anderson nearly gifted Wick, a second, when he
headed against his own bar but there was "nae dubiety" about team-mate
Neil McLean's 20-yard rocket, to equalise.
Academy restored their lead just before half-time, a rebound falling to
Ross Allan after some frantic, defensive panic.
Another long-distance effort from Mclean, though, made it two-all, in
the rain-swept second period and, despite goal glutton Gary Weir making
a late sub appearance, that's the way it stayed. Man of the match was
Wick slip marginally into third place in the table, Brora's 4-2 win
over Huntly taking them back into the top spot over Formartine, on goal
difference. Wick continue their championship bid away to Buckie on
Academy Web Site
From Thurso players - Have You Got Your Tickets? Live
entertainment thats great for the whole family. The wicked
Abanazer is seeking the magic lamp that contains the all-powerful
Genie, so that he can rule the world, and is just steps away from
succeeding! Is all hope lost? No! Help is at hand! A family posse of
wannabe heroes are here to foil Abanazer’s evil scheme! The innocent
local lad, Aladdin, his brother, the cheeky Wishee Washee and their
fearsome mother, washerwoman Widow Twankey are ready to intervene and
save the day! Throw in a magic carpet, a mystical Spirit of the Ring,
the Emperor of China, a beautiful princess and a couple of inept
policemen and you have all the ingredients for a fantastic tale and
great entertainment. Packed with songs, slapstick, silliness, audience
participation for the whole family and all the fairytale magic of
Funding Opportunity - SSE
Sustainable Development Fund Launched
week saw the launch of a new charitable fund in Bonar Bridge available
to Highland groups. SSE launched the Sustainable Development Fund that
will draw income from the wind farms in the area.
The fund will be worth £1 million in its first round and is expected to
open every 18 months.
Applications for the first round are open until 15 February 2014.
The fund will be available to non-profitmaking organisations, community
groups and charities based within the Highland Council boundary. You
can apply for funding from £10,000 up to a maximum of the fund’s total
value. The focus is mainly on jobs/employment, community
schemes, natural and built environment.
Police Increase Enforcement On
Drug Checks and Bail Curfews
Police report success over three day anti-violence initiative across
Highlands and Islands.
Police in the Highlands and Islands are reporting the success of a
three day operation deterring and detecting violent and anti-social
behaviour last week.
The ongoing anti-violence initiative, known as Operation Respect, saw
officers conduct high visibility patrols and visits to licensed
premises across the Highlands and Islands between last Thursday and
Saturday (14-16 November 2013) with the objective to deter violent and
anti-social behaviour, and to provide reassurance to local communities.
Wick And District Pool League
Carter's Camps1 team came back from 4-2 down against Mountain Dew on
Monday night to earn their third draw in four games so far this season.
Carter was the standout player in this match, winning all three of her
games to help her side take a 6-5 lead. The Mountain side played well
in the last game as both teams gained a point in this 6-6 draw.
Caithness Gets Ready To Do Battle
Over Health Services Once Again Over 500 Turn Out -
Castletown Pharmacy Protest - Save Our Surgeries
of the largest crowds ever seen in Castletown turned out to support the
present set up for dispensing medicines in Castlewon and Canisbay.
The protest is gatheirng strength as seen by the sheer weight
of numbers of peple who turned out to fill the Drill Hall in Castletown
to over-flowing. The threat ot he GP practice and their
services was laid out and doctors spoke of their appreciation for the
huge local support fo their efforts to keep the status quo.
Without the disipsening income they are afraid they cannot
attract anther GP they desperately need as Highland is already short of
26 GP's. After many questions and statements it was clear the
first step for the public is to write to Apple Pharmacy in response the
the ad in the John O'Groat Journal two weeks ago. See it on
the protest web site. the ad is the first step byu the
applicant Apple Pharmacy and the protest group led by the Castletown
community council last night want as many peopole as possible to take
that first step and write to Apple saying they do not wish the pharmacy
to open and change the present arrangments. Support was
unamimous from councillors, community councillors and the whole
audience with letters from MSPs, MP and more. NHS Highland
will make the final decision if and when an application is made.
See the Save Our
Surgeries Web Site
ATLANTIS RESOURCES ACQUIRES
EUROPE’S LARGEST TIDAL ENERGY PROJECT
Marine energy leader buys out MeyGen JV partners following award of
offshore planning approval.
International tidal technology and project developer Atlantis Resources
Limited has today announced its acquisition of MeyGen, Europe’s largest
tidal power project. Having already held 10% of the company developing
the project, MeyGen Limited, Atlantis has elected to acquire the
remaining equity from its joint venture partners Morgan Stanley and GDF
SUEZ. Morgan Stanley will remain as Atlantis Resources’ largest
The announcement comes shortly after the MeyGen project received its
offshore planning consents from the Scottish Government, a key
milestone in the development timetable which significantly de-risks the
project’s delivery. Atlantis will now work with the Scottish
Government, Department for Energy and Climate Change and The Crown
Estate towards commissioning of the first MeyGen turbines in 2015.
North Highland Onshore
Vision Action Plan updated
A key piece of work to maximise the onshore benefits in Caithness and
North Sutherland from the anticipated upsurge of marine renewables has
been updated to highlight progress already made and to set new targets
for the year ahead.
The North Highland Onshore Vision was produced by The Highland Council
in 2011 to support the development of marine renewable energy
developments. This includes promotion of the area’s attractiveness for
business and of ports and harbours, maximising community benefits from
new development and puts local communities at the forefront.
Support Crossroads School
& Scallywags Nursery Auction
With only 4 days to go to the Auction!! Local man David Morrill has
kindly donated a 2KW Wind Turbine for auctioning as he is keen to see
the School and Nursery flourish! So spread the word along with many
more exciting items up for Auction!
Message to re-use during
European Waste Reduction Week
week is the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) and this year The
Highland Council’s Waste Aware Team are getting involved. Staff will be
on hand at various Recycling Centres across the region, raising the
profile of the furniture re-use skips at the sites, and encouraging
householders to think before they throw away, and consider whether an
item can be reused.
This is the 5th year of EWWR and the aim of the week is to raise
awareness of ways to minimise our waste, particularly by reusing items,
and encourage change in everyday behaviour in order to reduce the
amount of waste produced across Europe. Officially managed in Scotland
by Zero Waste Scotland, the main theme this year is to re-use.
Caithness and Sutherland prepared
“The North Highlands are ready for winter” was the message given at the
Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee yesterday (18 November 2014)
with staff, vehicles and a plentiful supply of salt in place to treat
roads and footpaths over the coming winter months.
The Highland Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to
£5.6 million this year and has introducing an improved service with
45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in readiness for winter. The average
annual usage of salt for Caithness and Sutherland has increased over
the last 3 winters and is now approximately 25,000 tonnes.
call for suspension
of Castletown pharmacy application
Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs, David Stewart and Rhoda Grant, have
called on NHS Highland to suspend the Castletown pharmacy application
with immediate effect.
The Labour MSPs had previously called on the Cabinet Secretary for
Health, Alex Neil, to sanction a moratorium on the granting of
community pharmacy applications after concerns with previous
applications were raised with them. When called on to halt
applications, the Cabinet Secretary stated that he does not have the
legal powers to impose a moratorium, but if he had the powers he would
have used them.
- NHS Highland have said that at present they do not have an
application for a pharmacy at Castletown although Apple Pharmacy have
taken steps to let people know they might make an application by
putting a notice in the local press as they require to do before making
Work of local group to
promote the North Highlands as a top tourism destination
At yesterday’s (Monday 18 November 2014) Caithness and Sutherland Area
Committee, members heard about the work been done by the North Highland
Initiative to develop tourism in the Area with Tom Campbell, Chief
Executive outlining some of the exciting destination development
projects planned over the next 12 months.
The North Highland Initiative (NHI) was launched in August 2005 to
promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of
the North Highlands bringing together the farming community, local
businesses and the tourism industry to try to address some of the
challenges facing rural communities in the far north of Scotland by
creating a powerful regional identity for the area through marketing.
Funding available to
create and promote employment opportunities in the North Highlands
The Highland Council has re-launched its Deprived Area Fund to help
create employment opportunities and tackle poverty, with £100,000 of
funding is available for parts of Caithness over the next three years.
The Deprived Area Fund has disbursed a total of £1.248m to deprived
areas across the Highlands over the last 3 years. The money has been
used to provide grants to assist 38 community led projects focusing on
helping people learn new skills and get into the jobs market. The
funding is mainly used to support Pulteneytown People’s Project who run
a range of activities and learning programmes which give a boost to the
local economy and local people.
Deadline for new applications 6th Janury 2014.
Rhoda Grant MSP Supports
Carbon Monoxide Awareness week 18th – 24th
Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSP, Rhoda Grant the Shadow
Minister for Wellbeing is supporting Carbon Monoxide Awareness week
which takes places between the 18th -24th November.
Mrs Grant said,“Carbon Monoxide poisoning can have a devastating effect
and the more people are made aware of the symptoms of exposure,
especially at the initial stages, the more chance we have of preventing
avoidable deaths or injuries. Those poisoned by just low levels of
carbon monoxide go on to develop long term chronic health problems”
Protect Your Familly From the
Devastating Affects Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Short Video
People can help protect themselves by making sure they and their
families have all their fuel burning appliances serviced every year.
Their chimney swept once or twice a year and by installing a carbon
monoxide alarm in the “correct place” in their home, caravan or boat.
Newton Hill Community Woodland
23rd Nov 2013 10.00 am
This month we plan on planting out the car park raised bed with
junipers and heathers if all the materials can be sourced in time. We
also have tree tube weeding, hedge trimming, road repairs and general
maintenance tasks available.
Everyone is most welcome to come along and lend a little help to
improve and develop the woodland.
Police Focus On
Police in Highlands and Islands focus on distraction offences as part
of national road safety initiative.
Officers from Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division are taking
part in a national road safety initiative focussing on distraction
offences as part of the BRAKE National Road Safety Week.
Heart Support Group is hosting a cookery demonstration tomorrow night
(Saturday) and it promises to be a tasty affair.
Chef Laird Sutherland, who is also a group member, is coming out of
retirement to conjure up some mouth-watering recipes at the demo,
scheduled to take place at the Family Centre in Bank Row, Wick.
He’s keeping them under his chef’s hat but says you won’t be
disappointed at tasting time. The culinary event gets underway at
Wick John O'Groats
Airport Passenger Numbers Increase Again
passenger numbers up by 10%.
The number of air passengers using Scotland’s regional airports grew by
more than 10% last month.
Latest figures show that HIAL – which operates 11 airports across
Scotland – recorded 127,137 passengers in October, an increase of
12,124 (+10.5%) on October 2012.
Wick John O,Groats recorded an increase of 36.7% taking
up to 3138.
Independence - Yes Or No
- The Battle Lines Are Being Drawn For Real
Currency, Taxes, Pensions, Benefits, Threats, Security Issues, Nuclear
Issues, Pluses, Minuses Etc. Referendum Bill Passed At Holyrood
The Bill to allow the people of Scotland to choose whether Scotland
should be an independent country has been passed by Holyrood.
Scottish Affairs Committee White
Paper On Separation
In a report published today, Friday 16th November 2013 ahead of the
expected White Paper on Separation , the Commons Scottish Affairs
Committee says that the Scottish Government must meet high standards of
accuracy and openness and avoid any risk of using public money to
promote a party political agenda. Yes Campaign Web SiteBetter Together
Campaign Web Site
Castletown Save Our Medical
Practice - Say No To Apple Pharmacy
The group running the Say No To Apple Pharmacy have edged their
campaign up a few notches. Web presence has been updated.
Letter campaign is now in full swing with letters to
politicians local and national. The health minister Alex Neil
is targetted as having the most clout in the situation whereby most
local people want to keep the dispensary at their local GP Practice.
At 9.05pm today the online
petition had grown to 207 signatures. Health board
members are also being sent letters and a Castletown community
council meeting will discuss the matter in the Drill
Hall, Castletown on 20th November at 7.30pm.
Thurso Players Panto
Tickets on Sale From Monday
Mabeath's Jewellers, Trail Street, Thurso Workplace Pensions - Employers
Need To Check When They Must Enrol Staff
pensions law has changed - act now
The law on workplace pensions has changed and every employer must
comply. Start planning today. Find out your organisation's deadline for
being compliant by checking your staging date.
Garden waste kerbside collections
to stop over winter Householders
are reminded that their garden waste collections will stop for 3 months
during the winter with no brown bin collections in December, January or
February. The final 2013 collection day for garden waste will be Friday
Collections will start again on Monday 3rd March 2014. In the meantime
people can still make use of the garden waste skip at their your local
Recycling Centre. Please check for availability by visiting
www.highland.gov.uk/recycle or call 01349 886603.
Boost for Highland
businesses with recruitment grants and advice
Through the financial support of The Highland Council and specialist
recruitment advice delivered by Business Gateway Highlands’ Recruitment
Service, 170 new jobs have been created in the Highlands over the last
The Highland Council’s specially designed funding initiatives – the
Employment Grant and Graduate Placement Programme – have simultaneously
encouraged and supported the growth of local companies, and helped
graduates and local people out of work to gain full-time employment
that has given them new skills and invaluable experience.
Ainmean-àite na h-alba
welcomes new chair
The author of the first comprehensive Gaelic map of Scotland has been
appointed as Chair of Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba (AÀA), the national
authority on Gaelic place-names in Scotland.
Former councillor, life-long supporter of the Gaelic language and
place-name enthusiast Roy Pedersen has taken up the position as AÀA’s
new Chair. Roy is taking over from Donald Morris of Comann na Gàidhlig,
who was significant in making AÀA the successful organisation it is
AÀA provides guidance to a wide variety of organisations for various
purposes including bilingual and Gaelic road signs, commercial signs,
maps, presentation and research, and receives core funding from Bòrd na
Gàidhlig with both financial and in-kind support from Highland Council.
fear woman first to kayak length of Britain - Herald
A GRADUATE who says she is scared of water has become the first woman
to kayak the length of Britain.
Emily Bell was the support paddler who kept swimmer Sean Conway company
as he stroked his way from Land's End to John O'Groats.
But while Mr Conway, 32, became the first swimmer to complete the
1000-mile feat, it has emerged that 28-year-old Miss Bell, from London,
is believed to have become the first female kayaker to do the same
Feedback sought on updated
planning framework for Dounreay Tomorrow
(15 November 2013) The Highland Council launches a public consultation
on the Dounreay Planning Framework 2: Draft Supplementary Guidance.
The Highland Council approved the existing Dounreay Planning Framework
in January 2006, as a land use development brief against which to
regulate and control future decommissioning and restoration works
proposed at the former nuclear power research site at Dounreay, near
Thurso in Caithness.
New head teacher for
Thurso High School The
Highland Council has appointed Mr Ken Murphy, to the post of Head
Teacher of the 804-pupil Thurso High School.
Mr Murphy, who has been the Acting Head Teacher since August of this
year, succeeds Dr Fiona Grant, who has reverted to a teaching post at
Mr Murphy has an in-depth knowledge of the school and its community,
having taught and managed at the school since September, 1986.
Landward Caithness Properties In
Line For Energy Saving Grants
Highland Council and E.ON write to home owners about energy savings.
The Highland Council and partners E.ON are writing to people to offer
energy saving improvements that will help save energy and money in
The energy and money savings are being offered are under the Home
Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland – Area Based Scheme
(HEEPS-ABS) which is being administered and managed for the Scottish
Government by The Highland Council in the Highland area.
Autism unit to benefit
Highland families and young people
The development of a residential unit for children with autism at the
new Inverness Royal Academy was endorsed today by members of The
Highland Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee subject to
further consideration of revenue and capital implications and a full
The Inn at John O’Groats follows the restoration of the former John
O’Groats Hotel which was originally built in 1875. The multi-million
development is the most recent of Natural Retreats’ projects. Natural
Retreats offer luxury self catering facilities all over the world
including the picturesque natural wilderness in Caithness in the North
of Scotland. The vibrant, colourful apartments are nestled in an area
rife with natural beauty. Visitors can witness the Northern Lights,
take a day trip to the Orkneys, or even take part in real-life treasure
hunting; at the most northerly tip of Scotland.
Education capital projects
progress in Highland schools
The revised programme to construct the building to replace the existing
Wick High School, Pulteneytown Academy Primary School, South Primary
School, Wick Carnegie Public Library and Wick Swimming Pool, which will
be known as the Wick Community Campus, has been formally agreed with
Hub North Scotland Limited (HNSL) and Miller Construction UK (MCUK).
Young Highland Musicians
Prepare For Concerts Festival
Highland performers prepare to celebrate their musical achievements at
showcase concert festival.
Over 300 young musicians from across the Highlands have been busy
rehearsing for their showcase Concerts Festival which will feature
performances from eight different groups in collaboration with
internationally acclaimed Scottish conductor Garry Walker and members
of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Held in the Osprey Arena at MacDonald Aviemore Resort on Saturday 23
November, the festival will open at 2.20pm with a specially written and
exciting drum fanfare performed by the drum corps of Highland Youth
Pipe Band. Next on stage will be the Highland Schools Wind Band at
2.30pm. They will be followed at 3.10pm by Còisir G, the Gaelic choir
then the Highland Youth Big Band will take to the stage at 3.50pm.
Call for Highland Baton
The Queen's Baton Relay will officially be celebrated in The Highlands
on Friday 11th July 2014, but this will not be the only day of activity
in the region. There is an opportunity for over 100 local people to
carry the baton in approximately 15 different towns across the
Highlands so organisers are spreading the message that "The Queen's
Baton Relay is 'relay, relay' coming to a town near you" to encourage
local communities to get involved and nominate local baton bearers.
final round of the Blue Scottish Tarmac Championship was held at
the old Second World War airfield at Crail, Fife. Bill & Sara
Hamilton Travelled down to compete in their Opel Kadett 2000cc rally
car. Due to work commitments Bill has not been able to compete in many
rounds this year, even though they were still lying in 3rd in class 3
2000cc rally cars but this final round could see them being overtaking
by 2 other competitors in both the drivers and navigators scoring.
Christmas Hampers Made To
Order by Thurso Grocer Mackays
Grocers in Thurso will make hampers up to your speciifications.
Want a Caithness product theme - no problem. Hampers can contain a
range of Caithness made goods from drinks to sweets to biscuits and
A wide range of goods can be selected for your hampers.
Just get in touch or call in to discuss your requirements.
Public invited to annual
marine energy event
Residents are invited to a public Information Day at Caithness
Horizons, Thurso, on Monday
18 November from 4pm - 7pm to hear the latest news on the
Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters wave and tidal energy projects. The
projects are among the first commercial-scale marine renewable energy
schemes in the world and are located within the Pentland Firth and
Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park.
The event will provide an opportunity to hear about progress with
project developments, give comments and views, ask questions and meet a
number of organisations involved. This is the fourth year of the annual
events in Thurso and Kirkwall, which have attracted hundreds of
visitors to date.
Twelve project sites are in development with work covering surveying,
environmental impact assessments and engineering design. The project
developers are also being supported by a number of organisations:
Launchpad for Carbon Clever
More than 100 delegates attended a conference at Inverness on Friday
8th November 2013 organised by The Highland Council to launch Carbon
CLEVER Highlands – an ambitious project that has a target of a carbon
neutral Inverness in a low carbon Highlands by 2025.
The Flower Shop Special
In Thurso and Wick The
Flower Shop are holding a special event to thank our customers for
their continued support.
Wednesday 13th November in our Wick branch 9am – 7pm
Wednesday 20th November in our Thurso branch 9am – 7pm
10% off ALL giftware, including our Christmas range and ALL fresh and
artificial flowers (excluding Interflora)...
Fishermen's Mission In
Scrabster To Close
- Photos Etc To Be Uplifted The Fishermen's Mission, Scrabster has a collection of old
and fishing memorabilia on display in the games room that were used
over the last 5 years or more for a fishing exhibition. Many of the
photos and memorabilia items were kindly provided by local fishermen or
people in the local community.
FREE Christmas Ads For Local
Businesses From Now
and Sutherland businesses can take advantage once again of our offer to
run your ads in the run up to Christmas completely FREE of charge.
Just send us your article ready to go with a photo and we will get it
on our business section linked to your FREE business index page.
The ADS be selectively highlighted over coming weeks and also mentioned
on our main Caithness.org front page from time to time.
Local Charities - Get Your
Christmas Events Advertised FREE In Caithness.org What's On
can get lots of free advertsing for your events if you get them into
the what's On as soon as you can. Add a poster or photo for
an even brighter ad. If we spot some good ones we may also
highlight them on our front page. they head to our Facebook and Twitter
pages. .....and it is not just chariity events. If
you are running quizes special Christmas meals at hotels and
restaurants then get in fast to the What's On. Christmas
dances, musical nights get them in and sell those tickets.
Pantos, shows, art exhibitions, choirs, carol
concerts. If you have any event in the next few weeks make
sure you get it in our what's On as soon as you can. It's
Does Your Business
Qualify For Small Business Bonus Scheme - Make Sure Your Are Saving Top uptake in Highland of
Small Business Bonus Scheme
Savings For Small Businesses
For the sixth year running, The Highland Council has the highest up
take of Small Business Bonus Relief in Scotland, with 8,715 local
businesses benefitting from a reduction of between 25% and 100% in
their rates during 2013/14.
The Scottish Government introduced the Small Business Bonus Scheme in
April 2008 to replace the existing Small Business Rates Relief Scheme.
Initially the new scheme provided relief to ratepayers with properties
in Scotland with a combined rateable value of £18,000 or less. Since
the launch it has been expanded and now where the cumulative rateable
value of a ratepayer's properties, within Scotland, falls between
£18,000 and £25,000, the Scheme will offer 25% relief to individual
properties with a rateable value of up to £18,000.
Enhanced inspection to
continue until hazards reduce further A
report published on Tuesday 5th November 2013 underlines how much work
remains to be done at Dounreay before the site can be left in a safe
condition for future generations.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation Chief Nuclear Inspector's annual
report says its inspection of the site will be at an “enhanced level”
because of the continuing presence of major radiological hazards.
Welcoming the report, DSRL managing director Mark Rouse said the
company is on course to complete the clean-up of the site by 2022-25.
New powers for Scotland’s
Plans for greater local decision making.
A new law will make it easier for communities to take over public
sector land and buildings, reform the community right to buy and give
communities greater say in the provision of services.
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill is designed to strengthen and
nurture community participation and encourage enterprising community
Communities will be able to identify and ask for any public sector land
or buildings that they feel they could make better use of than its
Stewart MSP Congratulates Thurso Cinema
Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSP David Stewart has
congratulated Thurso cinema on receiving a highly commended award at
the “Screen International Awards” held in London last Wednesday evening
which saw the Ormlie Road venue receive an award in the exhibitor of
the year category for cinemas with 50 screens or under.
Wick & District Pool
- Rockwater Shield Alan
Larnach's Crown1 team showed great battling qualities on Monday night
as they came from 3-0 down to defeat Retro1 6-4 in the first round of
the Rockwater Shield. Fantastic clearances from Stevie Wyllie and Alan
Stewart in the last two frames helped the Crown side gain a narrow lead
in this first leg match.
Second division side Crown2 defeated division one's Seaforth Club in
the upset of the night. The Crown second team have been in great form
so far this season, and a 6-2 win here gives them a great chance of
progressing to the next round.
Financial and environmental
success for Climate Change Focus Farms
Climate friendly farming methods can save farmers money and help them
reduce their carbon footprint.
Scotland’s first three Climate Change Focus Farms have saved almost
£60,000 between them over the past three years and two of the
businesses reduced their carbon footprint by at least 10 per cent.
Goose petition referred
to Rural Affairs Committee
Estimations are that there were around 150 breeding pairs of Greylag
geese in the Outer Hebrides during the mid 1980s. Today the Uists alone
are home to an estimated 10,000 Greylag geese and the population is
growing. The Scottish Crofting Federation advise that the situation is
similar in other parts of the crofting areas and state that “Crofter’s
complaints about the goose problem are not new but it is now reaching
devastating proportions in Tiree, Islay and the Uists, and is fast
becoming the same in the rest of the Western Isles, the Northern Isles
and parts of the mainland.” The geese are harmful to crofting as they
eat grass, destroy crops and soil the land.
Workshops to capitalise
on potential £2.4 billion from Scottish ancestral tourism
Scottish tourism businesses, community groups and social enterprises
are being encouraged to tap into ancestral tourism opportunities.
A series of Ancestral Tourism workshops are being held across Scotland
throughout November in the run up to 2014, when Scotland welcomes the
world for Homecoming, the Ryder Cup and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth
Across the Highlands and Islands, workshops are to be held in
Helmsdale, Inverness, Kilmartin, Stornoway, Elgin and Shetland.
Businesses, social enterprises and community groups interested in
making the most of what could be year-round opportunities are being
encouraged to attend.
School Rolls In Caithness Show 5
Year Decline Highland
council have published the school roll figures for 2013/14.
show that Caithness schools over the five years continue to
falling rolls. In the five years to 2013/14 Thurso High has
fallen from 942 to 802 and Wick High fallen from 801 to 681.
Primary Schools have mixed numbers with Miller Academy in Thurso
falling from 290 to 204. Pennyland had a slight
Mount Pleasant stayed steady at 178 to 179. In Wick Primary
Schools Pulteneytown Academy showed the biggest rise from 195 to 214.
Hillhead declined from 176 to 164. North showed a slight
while South showed a slight fall. The overall trend is a slow
decline in numbers. In rural schools the picture is mixed.
The total school population for Highland was 31,744 in
and had dropped to 30,917 in 2013/14. These figures mask the
increases in Inverness and declines in most other areas. Two
primary schools opened in recent years in inverness - Inches
Milton of Leys and both have had to have extra classrooms added as soon
as they opened due to the huge rise in local population surrounding
Running Out Of Room For Wind Farms - Call for Moratorium
- National Wind Watch
As more wind farm applications keep coming forward anti-wind farm
campaigners are hotting up their arguments for a moratoriium until the
total impact can be assessed. Councils cannot instigate a
moratorium and Scottish Government would require to call a halt and
this seems unlikely in the face of their policy to vastly increase
energy from renewables.
from Dounreay reduces
radioactive impact on the environment continues to fall,
according to a report.
The annual survey report “Radioactivity in Food and the Environment”
(RIFE 2012) has recently been published.
The report uses data obtained from samples of air, fresh water, grass,
soil, and locally sourced meat, fish, milk and vegetables during 2012.
It shows that the overall radiation dose to the public from eating food
sourced around Dounreay has continued to decrease.
Police To Target Illegal
Drivers In Huge Enforcement Campaign
Police and Crimestoppers to take part in initiative to target illegal
As of 07:00 hours on Monday 4 November 2013 until 07:00 hours on Monday
11 November 2013, Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division and
Crimestoppers Highlands and Islands will be taking part in a national
joint initiative to target illegal drivers.
Illegal driving offences include drink/drug drivers, disqualified
drivers, insurance and licence offences, and associated vehicles driven
such as no MOT.
Information provided by the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) has shown that
uninsured and untraced drivers are responsible for approximately 130
fatal collisions and 26,500 injury collisions each year in the UK.
Highland Council and
partners to develop Highland Science Academy for future jobs
The Highland Council and partners from both public bodies and leading
companies in the Highlands are working to deliver a science academy for
the Highlands aimed at children of all ages from pre-school to further
education. The aim is to open up opportunities for Highland young
people to benefit from thousands of future skilled job opportunities in
the decades to come.
There is massive job growth predicted in the oil, gas, renewable,
engineering and life sciences sectors but a shortage of people locally
who have the skills or educational background to take advantage of
these. Highland Science Academy aims to provide the link for young
people to grow up in the Highlands with every opportunity to see these
higher paid careers as a serious choice for them.
New online passport system means
faster and cheaper service
in North East Scotland applying for their first passport no longer face
a journey of around 200 miles to Inverness to be interviewed, thanks to
a new service which has opened in Wick.
The new service , located at the Council's Service Point in Girnigoe
Street, Wick, offers first-time passport customers a video-link
interview with the main passport office in Glasgow. Previously
customers faced the cost and inconvenience of traveling all the way to
Inverness for an interview.
The service was launched on Monday and the first customer was Wendy
Inkson, a resident of John O'Groats which is the mainland's most
otter cubs found at Thurso beach
Two orphaned otter cubs are being cared for by the Scottish SPCA after
being found in distress at Thurso beach in Caithness.
The 10-week-old males had been were spotted by a member of the public.
They were scared off by two dogs and were eventually found hiding under
a wheelie bin in a nearby garden.
SSPCA senior inspector Audrey Gunn managed to trap the pair. They are
receiving care at the charity's rescue centre in Clackmannanshire.
The cubs, found on 26 October, have been named Thurso and Surf.
Save and Borrow With Hi-Scot
Becoming a member of a credit union may be one of the most
sensible decision you ever make. Even if you do not want to
borrow check out the dividend. If you do want to borrow
member and check out what are amongst the lowest borrowing rates in the
country. Loans can be for almost any reasonable purpose and
very affordable and worth checking before you borrow from
anywhere else. Hi-Scot credit union cover Highaland and
You can use any post office to save and make withdrawals or
Police Clamp Down On Anti-Social
20 identified addresses visited following operation focusing on noise
related anti-social behaviour. On Friday 1 November 2013, police across
the Highlands and Islands carried out an operation focusing on reducing
noise related anti-social behaviour and conduct at identified
20 residential addresses were visited, with some being re-contacted to
ensure the work started on Friday continues. Extra patrols of
residential areas and a hospital A&E department also took
MSP Praises Airport Usage
Wick John O’Groats Airport recently, Highlands and Islands (Scottish
Labour) MSP Rhoda Grant has praised the boost in airport usage by
around 120 % due to the increased demand from the energy industry.
Chevron uses Wick John O' Groats Airport as its base to transport
offshore workers to its rigs. Helicopters transporting oil industry
workers offshore have seen the number of passengers at Wick John O'
Groats Airport increase by almost 120%. Figures from HIAL showed that
4634 passengers used Wick John O' Groats airport in September, an
increase of 119.1% compared to the same month 12 months ago.
Local business woman enters the
race for the Landward seat
Irving lives at Dunnet Head with her partner of 30 years, Brian Sparks.
Tina is a retired project manager from financial services, and moved to
Caithness in 2000. Having travelled the world, including the
contentious and difficult Middle East, she now considers Caithness home
and enjoys developing projects, the latest one being the North Highland
Way. A graduate of London South Bank (LSBU) and Heriot Watt
Universities, Tina has sat on many local committees and is very
interested in renewable energy. Her post graduate studies included a
dissertation on the effects of windfarms on tourism.
There are five candidates for the Caithness Landward bi-election to be
following the resignation of Alex McLeod. Caithness Landward
Candidates - Ed
Boyter, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Kerensa Carr, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Tina
Irving, Independent Matthew
Reiss, Independent Winifred
The by-election will be held on Thursday 28 November 2013 and voting
will take place at 14 polling stations between 7.00 am – 10.00 pm.
Candiidates are invited to send photos and statements for publication
on Caithness.org by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Clapshot By W T Lyall If
today is not a day for going out for long perhaps you wil enjoy
areading a few of the Late Willie Lyall's poems in Caithness dialect.
To see slightly larger images right click and open the image in a new
tab or window. Then see if your memory fits with these
memories of a past era.
Balmy Days At Wick Harbour From
can be little doubt that the marina at Wick harbour has changed the
look and activities that take place. Add to that some nice
days this past summer and it was a great place to be.
A Recent Rainbow Over Wick With
the mixed weather we get in Caithness it is not suprising that the
phenomena of rainbows are very commonly seen. Perhaps we wil see some
when this wet day begins to clear up. Well we can always live
Further Back to Springtime At the
Wick River THIS
seafarer might not be quite as big as his walrus cousin which visited
the shores of North Ronaldsay but he still turned a few heads when he
came up river to sample the spring sunshine below Wick town bridge. The
seal settled on a rock only a few yards from the bank and appeared to
lap up the attention from passers-by and photographers.
HOW do you get rid of those troublesome autumn leaves? Simple
– you just blow them away! That’s what James Rosie (left) and Michael
Lochrie are doing with the carpet of leaves strewn all over the Argyle
Square greens in Wick. The pair who work for Highland Council’s
technical services department blow the leaves into the gutters and
they’re sucked up by a municipal truck.
Caithness and North
Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Rolls Royce has confirmed its commitment to work in Caithness until
Subsea 7’s Willie Watt voted Energy North Ambassador 2013.
Energy North Awards 2103 dinner saw Scrabster Harbour Trust awarded
Best Oil & Gas Supplier
Thurso East waves were “the best ever
for a British surf contest”.
Thurso Cinema was highly commended at the Screen International awards.
New AK1500 tidal device, which could be deployed as part of the Meygen
Golden Eagle Soars High As
Scotland’s Number 1
and VisitScotland Scotland’s Big 5 vote sees public nominate golden
eagle as the country’s favourite.
The golden eagle has overwhelmingly topped the vote in a campaign to
find the country’s favourite wild animal.
The impressive bird of prey was competing against the red deer, red
squirrel, harbour seal and otter. Thousands of votes were recorded
online following the campaign launch in spring this year and voting
closed yesterday (31 October).
Seeking views on Scotland’s wild
are being asked to give their views on Scotland’s wild land as
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) today (1 November) launches an seven
week consultation on a map showing core areas of wild land across the
The map is a result of SNH’s work to advise Scottish Government and
others on the extent and location of the wild land resource in
Scotland. As part of the recent Scottish Government consultations on
the Main Issues Report for the National Planning Framework 3, and draft
revised Scottish Planning Policy, a number of respondents offered
comments on the detail of the wild land map. In light of these
comments, the Scottish Government has asked SNH to carry out a
consultation about the map.
Thurso Fireworks and Bonfire -
Saturday 9th November - Esplanade Highland
joins Scotland’s fight against fire and urges locals to attend
organised bonfire displays.
In the run up to Bonfire Night, The Highland Council and partners -
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland - are asking
people to “remember, remember on the 5th of November” that organised
bonfire displays are safer and more spectacular.