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Caithness News Bulletins February 2003

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27 February 03
Heritage Lottery Award Of £1.19 Million For Wick



Heritage Lottery Fund  is about to sign the contract confirming the award of £1.19M towards the Lower Pulteneytown Townscape Heritage Initiative.     It is believed that matched funding from Highland Council, Communities Scotland and Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise will take the figure to nearly £2 million......

27 February 03
Another Health Service Shake Up
White Paper on Scotland's Health

A blueprint to transform Scotland’s health and its health services was outlined today.  Key points in the White Paper Partnership for Care include the abolition of NHS Trusts, and a new guarantee of treatment on time...................

26 February 03
Local MSP Jamie Stone has given a warm welcome to the news that two community transport schemes in the Far North have won financial support from the latest round of grants from the Scottish Executive's Rural Community Transport Initiative.  The Caithness Voluntary Group has been awarded £94,929.  This will allow them to purchase a new vehicle, pilot a car-sharing scheme and continue their Dial-a-Ride service.  The Sutherland Partnership will receive £82,234 to continue employing a transport co-ordinator to co-ordinate projects throughout Sutherland.

26 February 03

A suspected radioactive particle resulting from historical operations at Dounreay was found during routine monitoring of Sandside Beach today.  The particle was removed from the beach and taken to the site for analysis.

26 February 03
High Life Card Success 
September to December 2002, usage at Wick swimming pool had increased by 3,429 and by 3,999 at the pool in Thurso compared to the same period the year before. Both facilities, which are run by The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service, also showed a combined increase in income of £12,101 since the scheme had been introduced.

25 February 03
The new Telemedicine Accident and Emergency service opens in Dunbar Hospital, Thurso on Friday 28th February at 08:30am. The hospital provides a 24 hour A&E service.  The new service was launched by an open day for the public on Friday 21st February, at which there was a good turn out of local people.

25 February 03
Special Offer Golf St Andrews

25 February 03
The Carnegie Club Golf Course at Skibo Castle, Sutherland is to be the magnificent setting for the first Highland Junior Golf Championships on Tuesday 15th April.  No entry Fee but restricted to 75 golfers.  Handicaps will be used if entries exceed 75.  Young golfers under 18 years old from the Highlands, Islands (including the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland) and Morayshire, with a golf handicap of 24 and under for boys or 36 and under for girls are entitled to enter, free of charge.

25 February 03
Business Opportunities At Dounreay
At a special seminar organised by Orkney Enterprise, companies and organisations from the islands were invited to register an interest in finding out if the massive Dounreay project could become an important source of income in the future.  It was stressed that many non-specialist skills and supplies will be needed - everything from civil engineering and construction work to day-to-day goods like the food required for the 2,500-plus workforce at the Caithness site.

24 February 03
Young people in Caithness will have the opportunity to change the look of their local communities due to a new grant from the Scottish Arts Council.  The Highland Council has been awarded £40,000 to encourage young people who live within Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) areas of the Highlands to work together with their peers, artists and voluntary organisations to create public artworks...................

24 February 03
A new partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and The Highland Council will be launched in the Highlands this week when the 'Ossian - Fragments Of Poetry' exhibition by artist Calum Colvin comes to the Iona Gallery, Kingussie on the first leg of its Highland tour.   After Kingussie the exhibition heads for Thurso, Portree, Helmsdale, Wick and finally Inverness......................

22 February 03
Thurso FC  North Caledonian League Champions 2002/2003

21 February 03
Wick Lifeboat Tows Southards From Trinkie Rocks

The Wick Lifeboat went to the rescue to tow in the fishing boat Southards after she suffered a gear-box failure shortly after having left Wick.   The lifeboat towed the vessel back to Wick and away from the rocks near the Trinkie pool where she might have run aground.

20 February 03
Fireworks Restrictions Appeal

On behalf of The Guide Dogs For The Blind Association I would like to appeal to your readers to support our Fireworks campaign, which calls for an end to the disruption and distress caused to dogs and their owners by fireworks.

20 February 03
MUIRBURNING - Highlands And Islands Fire Brigade

Since Monday 17th February 2003 the Brigade has attended 97 incidents involving 271 separate appliance mobilisations from 60 different stations. 39 of these incidents were countryside fires and 24 of these appear to have started as muirburning that got out of control. 3 further incidents involved damage to buildings resulting from muirburning out of control.

19 February 03
HMS Sutherland Visits Sutherland

The Type 23 Frigate HMS Sutherland has been in Loch Eriboll, Sutherland and was leaving today to go to Kinlochbervie.   It was the first time the Sutherland had been to Sutherland, and wanted to foster better relations................

Free Fruit For First Two Years Of Primary School In Scotland
Healthier school meals are on the menu while children in the first two years of primary will enjoy free fruit thanks to new measures and investment announced today.  A package of improvements, backed by an additional £63.5 million, aims to drive up nutritional standards, improve the health of young people, and tackle child poverty.

18 February 03
Smith Is Most Common Surname In Scotland
Smith, Brown and Wilson are the top three surnames in Scotland, according to a survey published today.  The survey, carried out by the General Register Office for Scotland for the years 1999-2001, found that there has been little change in surnames over the last 140 years.................

17 February 03
Access For All at Caithness Castlehill Flagstone Trail
Regular users of the Castlehill Flagstone Trail in Caithness will be pleased to know that The Highland Council Planning and Development Service are upgrading the trail to allow All-Abilities access.  The repair has been enabled by the award of £30,000 funding from the Aggregates Levy Grant Fund. The works will improve the path with the use of natural materials, and especially flagstone, given the focus of the trail.

17 February 03
Letter In Response To Speculation About Wick Airport

I write regarding local speculation concerning the future of Wick Airport, fuelled by a factually inaccurate report recently produced by The Highland Council. Since this report received widespread press coverage I would like to place the facts relating to Wick’s future, as one of 10 airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, on the record....................................

Wick Airport is deemed by the board of this company to be fit for purpose and it certainly faces no threat of closure.

17 February 03
Ted And Ida Nicholas Celebrate 60 Years Married

Ted and Ida Nicholas celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary (Diamond) in the Pentland Hotel on 8th February. They were married on 10th February 1943 in St Stephen's Church, Preston. Ted came to Caithness in 1955 to assist in the commissioning of the D1201 and D1202 fuel fabrication plants in Dounreay, followed by his wife and family two years later.......... 

15 February 03
No War Protestors Out In Thurso

A spontaneous protest to speak to passers by took place in Thurso.  There aim was to get people to send postcards objecting to a war to Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street

14 February 03
Final Repairs At North Pier
The weather finally settled down to allow the final concrete to be laid at the temporary repair to the North Pier at Wick harbour


14 February 03
Ploughing Match Winners
Winners from the competitions at Stemster Farm.
Pictures from


13 February 03
More Sports Coaching Courses
Badminton Instructors Course, Introductory Coaching Award Course, Community Sports Leader Award, Level 1&2 Wheelchair Basketball Coaching Award, Pre-School Asst, Gymnastics Coaching Award,

 13 February 03
New Command Centre For UKAEA Police
£4 Million Contract Awarded 60 New Construction Jobs

The first major construction project for the newly formed Major Projects and Engineering Division of UKAEA has been awarded to Highland-based, R J McLeod (Contractors) Ltd for the construction of a new police command and control  building  at  Dounreay.   Building Starts in March 2003 with completion by March 2004.

13 February 03

12 February 03
Windmills Go Up At Forss
Wasting not time the newly arrived windmill.  The blades are being transported by road.

12 February 03
Wick Play Areas Community Group Gains Lottery Award
The proposed major refurbishment of the Bignold Park play area in Wick took a huge step forward when Wick Play Areas Community Group were awarded a grant of £67,381 from the National Lottery’s Community Fund.

10 February 03
SNP Candidate Attacks Lack Of Dentists In Rural Areas
Rob Gibson the SNP parliamentary candidate for the May 2003 elections for the Scottish Parliament in Caithness Sutherland and East Ross wasted no time in attacking the latest report on lack of dentists in the far north.   

10 February 03
Forss Windmills Arrive

7 February 03
Caithness.org Announces
2003 Kite Buggy Courses In Caithness
We are happy to announce another set of Kite Buggy courses from one of Scotland's few qualified instructors and leading exponents of this fast growing sport.   Grant Golding who runs courses in the central belt of Scotland especially on the west coast returns for a second year with much new equipment and specialist kites for his classes to try out.   So if you want to get first class tuition from one of the few qualified instructors in Scotland check out the information to book up.............................

7 February 03
The Highland Council is to seek a report from its Chief Executive on the work of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Colsa) and how it represents the Council’s interests and at the same time invite senior representatives of Cosla to address them a meeting of the new Council following the 1 May elections.

7 February 03
The Highland Council today (Thursday) confirmed plans to inject £30.5 million into its budget of £412 million in the new financial year, which commences on 1 April.

7 February 03
The Highland Council has renewed its call for the headquarters of the proposed new body Forest Enterprise Scotland to be based in Inverness. Councillors believe the existing territorial office located in Inverness is ideally situated to provide the HQ functions of the new agency.

6 February 03
New Assistant Chief Constable Appointed For Northern Constabulary

Chief Superintendent Garry Sutherland originally from Caithness is to become the next Assistant Chief Constable Designate for Northern Constabulary following a decision by The Northern Joint Police Board on Wednesday 5 February 2003.

5 February 03
Collie Dog Found
Yesterday, Tuesday 4th Feb, a collie was found in the Alterwall area of Lyth - a male dog, totally white face with black tips on ears, thick coat and very friendly with a constant waggy tail!!  He has white paws and has a lovely nature................. 

5 February 03
A Challenging Snowy Second Gear!

The latest Second Gear Pre-learner Driver Training day took place recently at Dounreay, using their  'off-road' area and Exhibition Centre.  For the First time ever since the very popular and successful pre-learner driving programme began the participants had the chance to drive on the 'off road' area in very snowy conditions!

5 February 03
Highland council house tenants are being asked to have their say on a five-year business plan which sets out The Highland Council' s aims for maintaining and improving houses and meeting the standards that tenants expect.   The draft plan outlines Council priorities on repairs, rent levels, rent collection, house improvements as well as service standards...........

4 February 03
Launch Of New Mental Health Online Conference Centre
The Mental Health Foundation will launch its groundbreaking, online conference centre on Thursday 27 March 2003 with a consultation on the Government’s National Framework of Values for Mental Health......

4 February 03

Highland Councillors will be asked later this week to agree a budget which shows an increase in spending of £30.58 million or 8% in the new financial year, which commences on 1 April..... 

4 February 03

Regular users of Reiss Car Park in Caithness will be pleased to know that the subsiding areas are shortly to be repaired by The Highland Council Planning and Development Service. The repair has been enabled by the allocation of £15,000 additional windfall funds from the Scottish Executive...........................

4 February 03
Inspection of Standards and Quality in Thurso High School, Caithness
A report by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education on the 900 pupil Thurso High School, commends the good ethos, the high quality of the pastoral care of pupils, their positive approach to learning and their sense of equality and fairness....................................

3 February 03
Severe weather in the North and West of Scotland caused disruption to flights to and from airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited today.

3 February 03
Snowy Wick

3 February 03
A special Valentine's Day seminar is being organised by The Highland Council to help anyone involved in the organisation of civil marriages to understand the recent legislation, "Marriage (Scotland) Act 2002"............

Murkle Open Bowls Competition Winners
Today's competition winners at Murkle were Cath MacDonald, Les Stevenson, Erine, Springham and Skip, Allan Hourston representing the Viewfirth Club.


1 February 03
Dunbeath Castle Talk

Dunbeath Castle Before, During and After The Middle Ages by George Bethune at Dunbeath Heritage Centre on Wedensday 5 February at 7.30pm.  Presented by Aberdeen University.  Admission FREE.

1 February 03
Sports Coaching Courses
Coaching courses in Trampolining and Gymnastics

1 February 03
U17 Badminton Championships


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