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Caithness News Bulletins December 2004

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Tsunami Disaster
Wick Pipe Band Donates Christmas Show Money To Disaster Appeal
Wick Pipe Band has donated the proceeds of its Scottish Variety Show held on Thursday night (30 December 2004) in the Pipe Band Hall to the Tsunami Disaster Appeal.   Before the show the band members decided that all the proceeds should go to the disaster relief fund for the survivors of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. We felt that those poor souls were more in need of the money than the Pipe Band.  The show raised 276.50 which was paid into the disaster relief fund account today at the Bank of Scotland.  The UK public have already donated over 20million to the Disaster Emergency Committee alone and have received over 500,000 telephone calls.

New Phase For Domestic Abuse Campaign
New radio adverts which highlight the emotional impact of domestic abuse were unveiled today.  One depicts the personal trauma of a woman's abusive relationship and the other is from the perspective of a domestic abuse helpline worker waiting to answer a call.  These new adverts will complement the Behind Closed Doors television adverts which will re-run from Boxing Day until February. Adverts will also appear in national and local press.  The main message of the campaign remains the same: help and support is available if you are suffering domestic abuse.

Robert Goes Up In The World
Caithness man Robert Miller has moved up in the world, starting his own business, RWM Training, providing on-site training and testing on fork lift trucks, telescopic handlers and cherry pickers. Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) has assisted Robert to set up RWM Training with a business...

Three New Directors For CASE

The chairman of Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE), Pat Buchanan, long with chief executive Carroll Buxton, welcomed three new directors to the local enterprise company's board yesterday (Tuesday 14th December).  The three new members are David Halpin, who lives in Dornoch; Willie Calder from Thurso and Nick Gorton, based in Lochinver. Between them they have a wealth of experience across a variety of sectors.

At its AGM in Beauly recently, members of the rail users' group, Friends of the Far North Line, heard a call for a "sea change" to be made in railway investments on the Highland lines.  Chairman, Richard Ardern, reviewed the past year in which his committee had published a comprehensive policy document detailing ways to improve the passenger and freight services on the Far North and its feeder lines through Inverness. These would include the reintroduction of a fourth daytime train between Wick and Inverness in both directions providing connections through Thurso to the retimed Orkney ferry, and the construction of the Georgemas Curve to save the five minutes "wasted" while the train reverses at Georgemas Junction.

Ross and Cromarty Enterprise (RACE) has approved funding towards a study into the potential construction of a 1bn state-of-the-art integrated pulpmill, papermill, sawmill and renewable energy generation plant at Delny, Invergordon.  RACE, together with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, will provide 200,000 towards the 500,000 cost of completing the feasibility phase of Forscot Ltd's large-scale timber processing plant.  If given the go-ahead, the project could create an estimated 500 full time jobs and over 3,000 jobs during the construction stage.

An independent expert group is currently looking at the future of the NHS in Scotland and is holding a series of regional meetings with patients and medical professionals around the country. The group, chaired by Professor David Kerr will be taking views to help them draw up a national framework to guide future decisions on how the NHS is run.  The regional meetings have already taken place this month at Glasgow, Inverness, and Edinburgh, with meetings still to be held in Dundee on the 13th of December and in Aberdeen on the 15th. Some concern had been expressed that none of the venues were in rural areas.


Although now deemed to be socially unacceptable, Drink Driving is still a problem in the Highlands. the "Too Many for the Road" Drink Driving Campaign is being launched in a bid to combat this. The campaign centres on encouraging members of the public, particularly in rural areas of Highland, to report Drink Drivers to the police using the Crimestoppers number. This is a partnership campaign between Highland Drug and Alcohol Action Team, local Drug & Alcohol Forums, The Highland Council Road Safety Unit, Crimestoppers and Northern Constabulary covering Ross & Cromarty, Skye & Lochalsh, Caithness and Sutherland areas over the Festive period 2004. The campaign is a pilot, which may be extended to the rest of Highland next year.

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