View Full Version : Fit's in 'e' Groat 'is week?

19-Oct-11, 10:23
Caithness Courier review: October 19, 2011

THE front page lead story deals with a subject that is close to many people’s hearts, headlined “It’s crunch time: making a choice to heat or eat”. Will Clark reports that some Caithness residents are facing a heat-or-eat dilemma as the number of people struggling with debt, soars. According to the county’s Citizens Advice Bureau, there are considerably more householders experiencing financial difficulty than last year. And the charity has issued a gloomy forecast, predicting the problem is about to get even worse. Figures released form CAB, show the organisation has dealt with almost 1.3 million in local debt, this year. Offices in Wick and Thurso have received queries from 966 people, compared to 553 last year-an increase of 74 per cent. The charity has also revealed the average amount of debt clients in the area have, is 10,750. Caithness manager, Jill Smith said the local debt situation is the worst it has ever been.

ON a brighter page on note...a Wick syndicate struck it lucky when its horse romped home at 25-1, and so did local punters. Vittachi opened up an 11-lengths lead to cross the finish line first, at Cattrick which delighted its owners but cost the town’s bookies a small fortune. The racehorse belongs to Ian Miller, whose daughter Jane owns the Flower Shop in Breadalbane Terrace, Neil Harrold and his father, John, of Harrold Brothers butchers, in Wick and Brora man, Bill Ballantyne.

ANCHORING page one, is a more serious piece which reveals that a contractural delay means that Thurso’s new NHS dental clinic will not now open, until after the New Year holiday period. The 1.2 million unit, adjoining the town’s Dunbar Hospital, was completed in February, as part of a special Scottish Government funding package to target dental health black spots. NHS Highland had hoped the new surgery would be up and running by now. But it has acknowledged that the schedule has been put back as a result of a hold-up in the completion of the lease of the premises. In the first tie-up of its kind in Scotland, independent practitioner, John Barry will operate the clinic with the proviso that 80 per cent of its activity is devoted to NHS work.

A CONSULTATION has come out in favour of scrapping the four primary schools in Wick and replacing them with two new builds. However, concerns have been expressed over safety and access to the new premises. During a six-week consultation, 146 representations were made about the plans to replace the four existing primary schools, as part of the Highland-wide sustainable school review. The majority of representations were made by people connected to Hillhead Primary, as one of the proposals suggests amalgamating the school in a new build on the North Primary site. According to a survey conducted by the Hillhead parent council, many of the fears were about safety and the route to the proposed new school.

A CAITHNESS chef is hoping to cook up a storm when he takes on the North’s finest, in a top contest. Darren Munro (28) from Wick is one of seven culinary experts who will battle it out to claim the young Highland Chef-of-the-Year. The contest, due to take place at the Burghfield House Hotel, in Dornoch on Monday, will be judged by a panel of A-lists chefs led by Alber Roux OBE. Darren reached the final of the competition last year and is hopeful, he can take away the top prize this time.

PLANS to consult on new electricity connections between Orkney and Caithness, have been welcomed. John Green, chairman of Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council and the secretary and treasurer of Gill Harbour Ltd said the consultation announced by Scottish Hydro Electric, Tranmission Ltd, would give people an opportunity to express their opinions on the subject.

A SPECTACULAR festival celebrating the county’s Norse heritage, will be held next month due to public demand. Following the successful staging of last year’s inaugural event in Thurso, the local Rotary clubs have decided to hold the second Da Doonie Day 2011, on Friday, November 25, this time in Wick. Thurso Rotary Club president, Kevin Sutherland, said: “There is a long history of Viking culture that is embedded in the past here.”

CAITHNESS players were among the 40-odd young golfers from Highland, Moray and Orkney who took part in the ninth Highland Junior Golf Championships held at Spey Valley golf Course, Aviemore. Nairn Academy won the Highland Schools Team event with Thurso High School, last year’s winner, in second place.

BEMUSED Wick Academy manager, Davie Kirkwood is still struggling to comprehend how Forres Mechanics survived Saturday’s clash with 11 players on the pitch. In 28 years of football, he has never heard a reason so astonishing as that given by referee Doug Ross, as to why Forrres goalkeeper Stuart Knight was not red carded for apparently denying Academy’s Gary Weir a goal-scoring opportunity when he palmed the ball outside the box in the game’s 23rd minute. The final score was 2-1 for the Can-Cans.