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

22-Jun-11, 09:33
Caithness Courier review: June 20, 2011

THE paper leads on its front page with criticism of changes at the Dunbar Hospital in Thurso, which will see patients having to make a 40-mile round trip to have an X-ray. John Rosie claimed the proposal which involves the transfer of X-ray examinations to Caithness General, in Wick, will prove awkward for patients in the west of the county. His remarks came after the North Highland Community Partnership announced it is considering make the change, to accommodate a new physiotherapy gym which would be located in the current X-ray department at the Dunbar.

ALSO on page one...the operators of the Caithness-based nuclear industry pensions office have clinched extension to four core contracts. The success will secure the jobs of the 37 existing employees of Babcock International Group. The company’s pensions division is also bullish about future prospects and is confident the payroll will grow, as it expands its business into new areas. Its Combine Nuclear Pension Plan and UK Atomic Energy Authority contracts have been extended to 2016. It has also won renewals in the administration of the GPS and Nuvia pension schemes.

THE gala season is certainly getting into its swing with a picture of a fancy-dress collector at Halkirk’s grand finale crowning ceremony, on Saturday. A link takes to more pictures and results inside.

JOB cuts at North Highland College UHI may not be as bad as first feared, according to its principal. Dr Gordon Jenkins said that he was growing more optimistic about the college’s financial situation. North Highland is being forced to make budgets cuts of £1.2 million by the end of this month. It is expected some staff will lose their jobs as a result of the measures needed to be implemented, to ensure the college’s future. Dr Jenkins said that the job losses could be less than 20.

GOOD news for Bower-bases Numax Energy Services Ltd, formerly NES Engineering, which has seen its workforce increase to 25 and is hopeful that more staff can be recruited. Numax has also acquired Cheshire company Carbon Composites which will be shortly relocating production to the Far North to diversify the firm’s on-site activities, in a move which is expected to create more local jobs. Numax Group chief operating officer, Stuart Sinclair, explained the NES Engineering had taken the name of sister company Numax in a bid to win more international work, following a downturn in domestic business, and added that the decision was already paying off.

RECORD numbers turned out for the Canisbay Show on Saturday-making it one of the most successful events ever for the organisers. Around 2000 people flocked to the village to take part in what is becoming an increasingly popular agricultural show. Dave Kennedy’s Charolais-cross heifer calf, Jessie J, took the prestigious champion-of-champions title, the paper reports in a two-page spread.

THE Far North will be unable to capitalise fully on upcoming, new major, energy developments without a modern fast rail line. The potential for new jobs and other economic spin-offs from marine energy and new oil and gas activity, will not be realised without a short-cut crossing of the Dornoch Firth, a lobby group has claimed. The Dornoch Rail Link Action Group claimed the mooted 40-minute journey cut, would also make rail travel far more attractive for residents of Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney.

DEFENCE Minister Liam Fox is being pressed to extend the operational role of the Vulcan naval base in Caithness beyond 2014. The reactor site is then due to close at the end of its £360 million contract to support Britain’s nuclear submarines. The Ministry of Defence has made it clear that it does not require a land-based test centre like Vulcan for its new-generation submarines, armed with Trident missiles. But senior Far North trade unionist John Deighan is making a last-ditch plea for a rethink on the base closure plan. Speaking at last Wednesday’s meeting of Dounreay Stakeholder Group, he maintained there remained a strong case for Vulcan being deployed on the multi- billion pound PWR3 programme.

THURSO swimmers retained the Pentland Trophy earlier this month, beating their Orkney counterparts in the annual challenge. Island youngsters travelled to the mainland on June 11, to take on members of Thurso Amateur Swimming Club. The trophy pits male and female Thurso swimmers against those from Orkney. Thurso won last year’s event, so were attempting to hang on to the trophy, a feat made more difficult as the swimmers are training hard in preparation for national and north district meets.

Just two Caithness sides will line up in the quarter-finals of this year’s Macleod IFA Highland Amateur Cup after the weekend action. Only Wick Groats prevailed in the four inter-county clashes involving CAFA teams. Their impressive 5-1 triumph over four-times, former cup winners, Ness, was accompanied by third-round exits for Acks, Castletown and Keiss. None of the trio produced a goal amongst them, to leave Caithness hopes resting with Groats and Pentland United, who edged past county rivals, Halkirk.