View Full Version : Fit's in 'e Coorier 'e day

08-Jun-11, 11:16
Caithness Courier review: June 8, 2011

THE council lorry fire incident at Mey takes pride of place on the front page. Three workers made a sharp exit from their smoke-filled cab after fire broke out. They called the emergency services and alerted householders in the vicinity. One council worker, Hugh Duncan described the outbreak as “one of the scariest moments of my life”.

ALSO on page one... Caithness councillors have backed a called for some of the 7 million underspend in Highland council’s 2010/11 local authority budget, to be used to target classroom support. Wick representative, Bill Fernie, and Landward Caithness member Robert Coghill, along with other members of the authority’s Independent Group, would like to see part of the money go to widen the current review into classroom assistants. They want adequate time for “a thorough, in-depth examination of all the issues along with no redundancies.”. Mr Coghill said he “backed the move to the hilt” and added: “ It is important that this review is not seen as a budget-cutting exercise but something which identifies the need for classroom assistants and, more importantly, learning support auxiliaries for children who need learning support.”

A HIGHLAND councillor is “absolutely sickened” that a new,”flexible” passport interview service, will not come to the Far North to replace the closing Wick office. Last week, the September closure of the local passport interview office, was revealed by the Courier after an anonymous tip-off. A Home Office spokesperson confirmed the date and said a mobile service would be offered instead. However, is has now emerged that the office will, in fact, close on Saturday and that a new “flexible” service operating out of Dundee will not come to Caithness, meaning first-time applicants will face a 200-mile round trip to use the service. when it visits Inverness, or travel to one of the other offices in Aberdeen or Edinburgh.

PUPILS in Caithness are being challenged to build a model of a working wind turbine, says an inside story. Pennyland Primary in Thurso, and North Primary in Wick, along with schools in Reay, Canisbay, Watten and Lybster, are taking part in the engineering competition being stage by Babcock Internation Group as part of its socio-economic support to the Dounreay site. Year five at each of the six schools have to build a working wind turbine model from equipment supplied by Babcock over a period of six to eight weeks. Each school has been allocated a Babcock mentor who will visit and offer advice and support when required.

CAITHNESS Chest and Heart Support Group has come in for glowing praise from the county Lord Lieutenant, Anne Dunnett, at the organisation’s recent AGM. She described it as “a small, but hard-working group which does great things”.

MORE bad news on the commercial front is reported on page three. About 10 jobs have been lost following the wind-up of a local construction outfit, John Munro Joinery and Building Services Ltd, has gone to the wall following an internal financial wrangle and the general recession in the construction trade. Twenty-two workers were last week made redundant, after managing director John Munro decided to pull the plug on his seven-year-old business. About half of those on the payroll have been re-employed by a new concern, started up by Mr Munro’s wife, Naomi. JMJ Building Restoration Ltd has bought over the plant and equipment and is operating from the established base at Quarry Edge, near Weydale. The development comes, amid a continued slump in the building trade with several local firms having recently laid off workers.

A TEENAGE mother has criticised Highland Council for failing to attend to repairs, promptly, at her rented home. Vicki Harper lives in a two-bedroomed house in Thurso which she rents from the local authority. The 19-year-old claimed it took the council months to come to her home and make repairs, after she first reported problems. As a result of the time-lapse, she argued, the wallpaper and carpets, which she spent a four-figure sum on, when redecorating the property, have been ruined. A spokesman for Highland Council maintained it had dealt with the damages within an acceptable length of time. He added: “ A series of different repairs in this property were reported to the council and were all dealt with promptly. During repairs by an internal contractor, accidental damage occurred to one of the tenant’s carpets and an offer by the contractor to replace it has been accepted.”

THE Highland Council’s Trading Standards office is advocating the use of a new national fraud service to help stop con artists luring locals with an insurance claim. Several readers have been in contact with North of Scotland Newspapers regarding a scam involving repeated calls from representatives, claiming to be from the ministry of justice. The cold callers quote TV programmes such as Watchdog in the pretence of talking about reclaiming payment protecting insurance which covers people in certain circumstances when they end up unable to pay a debt.

THE public is being asked to lend its support to re-establish a centre at Rumster. An open day is being held this weekend and members of the Rumster Outdoor Centre Management Group hopes that people will give their backing to the project. The centre, which was originally opened in 1971, was a four-bedroomed facility which could accommodate 24 people, and was used by a variety of local groups. Highland Council closed it in 1998 and it burned down in 2006. The group is now considering a number of options in a bid to reinstate the building.

MUSIC talents from across the county aimed to impress expert judges in the Far North’s biggest music competition which gets a photo spread and results report on page nine. The Caithness Music Festival got off to a tremendous start, according to its festival secretary. Audrey MacKinnon, who has been a member of the committee for 24 years, said the event had received a good standard of entries from younger participants with 18 primary schools taking part. The festival got underway on Monday.

BACK page sport is dominated by the long-awaited announcement naming the club’s new manager, David Kirkwood, who has an impressive c.c in playing and coaching at Scottish premier level. He said that Academy were a side which liked to play attractive passing football but added that he wants to assemble a formation which trusts in getting the ball off the opposition just as much as getting the ball upfield. Kirkwood acknowledged the team’s consistency problem but made the point that they can compete with the best in the league. His home is on the Black Isle but he says the long commute isn’t a factor for him as he has had plenty of experience of long-distance travel in his career.