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View Full Version : Fit's in 'e Groat 'e day?



Nwicker60
25-Mar-11, 15:26
Groat:review-March 25,2011

THE company, which is set to take over a controversial heating scheme in Wick, has insisted it can run the project. Craig Ibbetson, a director of Ignis energy Ltd, Highland Council’s preferred bidder,reassured tenants about the company’s ability to succeed Caithness Heat and Power Ltd next month. He spoke, following local concern expressed by local residents. Around 260 householders receive their heat and hot water through the scheme but some have misgivings about the state of the firm’s finances and the turnover in its management. Concern has also been raised on caithness.org. Mr Ibbetson told the Groat that the company had had a change of shareholders in November last year, and, as a result, it currently had no debts or liabilities and is solvent. The move resulted in some directors quitting. He went on to say that Ignis intends to invest 17m in the local heating scheme and needs customer to sign contracts before the money can be made available. Customers, stressed Mr Ibbetson, have no reason to be concerned about the company’s ability to run the project.

A CAITHNESS charity crusader has praised locals after they helped raise a staggering amount of money for a children’s charity, is a supporting story on the front page. Founding member of the county’s fundraising committee for CLIC Sargent, Natalie Marshall, and her group of volunteers raised over 17,000 with their inaugural Boxing Day Dip-with-a Nip-event and are planning to hold a party, next week, to celebrate. Around 100 locals flocked to brave the icy waters of the Pentland Firth for December’s event.

INSIDE, there is jubiliation over the grant of a massive 100.000 to the Wick Society to upgrade a listed museum building and it was described as ”absolutely amazing” by one of its directors. Thanks to Historic Scotland and Highland Council’s conservation regeneration scheme (CARS) for Lower Pulteney, the Wick Society now has 94,000 to put towards essential repairs to a category one, listed building in Bank Row. Society director, Harry Gray, is delighted and hopes the group will soon be able to start work on the historically-important fishing building, part of the Wick Heritage Museum.

ON the same page, fears are expressed about the future of Wick Gala. The committee running it, has been struggling to keep the annual festival going, in recent years, and matters came to a head at the AGM when four long-serving members tendered their resignations. An Extra-ordinary General Meeting has been called for March 29th, at Wick Assembly Rooms, time 7pm, but if it does not attract sufficient support –some 20 volunteers are required to run the event- then, it will fall by the wayside.

LOCAL hoteliers have called for more to be done to promote Caithness as an attraction. It comes after Highland Council recently agreed to pay Visit Scotland 245,000 to develop the industry in the Highland and islands, as part of its service level agreement. The money will be used to help fund visitor information centres to advertise the area and key tourism routes to a nationwide audience. However, local business owners contacted by the newspaper believe Caithness is overshadowed through VisitScotland’s preference of more high-profile destinations.

EARLY moves have been made in the campaign for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament election for the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross seat, vacated by retiring MSP, Jamie Stone. Four candidates indicated their intention to stand...Robbie Rowantree for the Lib Dems, John Mackay for Labour, Rob Gibson for the SNP and Edward Mountain for the Conservatives. The newspaper is inviting questions from its readership and will make a selection for submission to the hopefuls. The election takes place on May 5.

OBJECTORS to a wind farm, earmarked to go up, close to an important archaeological site in east Caithness, were delighted by the turnout at a weekend event. About 100 joined up for a guided walk through the Yarrows trail which attracts thousands of visitors a year. Islay MacLeod organised the gathering to highlight how the variety of ancient remains, would, in her view, be blighted by the erection and operation of nine turbines on adjoining land. The developers are RWE npower Renewables who want to site the turbines on mainly forested land at Burn of Whilk, between east Clyth and the Loch of Warehouse. Its application will be the subject of a hearing at Highland Council’s Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross planning committee in Wick on March 29.

THE future of Dunnet and Canisbay is dependant on the survival of its two primary schools. That is the view of the area’s community council chairman, John Green, who says the key to regeneration is the quality of education provision available. A public meeting was held earlier this month with parents and local residents, to discuss the Highland school estate review which is considering the possible closures of Crossroads and Canisbay primaries. The response proved unanimous, that keeping them open, was vital to offering children the best possible education. Mr Green argued that, as well as the educational issues, the future of school provision would be a major factor in business development. He added that when the council made its decision, based on the review, it must consider the changing demographics in Dunnet and Canisbay.

DESPITE their lowly position in the table, Wick Academy’s co-manager, Ian Munro is confident his team can make up lost ground. He is convinced that the side can find their away form and move up the table into a more respectable position before the end of the season. The players have a tough encounter away to Deveronvale but Ian says that if the lads perform “anything like the way we did last week”, against Keith at home, they’ll give ‘Vale a “run for their money”.

FINALLY, its “Hey for the tartan, and Ho for the tartan”...as the old Scots song celebrating our country’s national dress goes and it certainly is appropriate for Marin Gill, proprietor of Wick’s Blackstairs Highlandwear. He has produced a brand new tartan which reflects the vibrant colours of Caithness.