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

25-Nov-11, 17:15
John O’ Groat Journal review: November 25, 2011

THE paper’s front page lead story centres on a local couple asked to pay an extra 12.50 to have a package delivered from Inverness to Wick, claiming they have been ripped off. Dane and Joe Sutherland of River Street, Wick, were told by Halfords they had to pay the extra cash for having the Kirkwall (KW) postcode in their address. Mr Sutherland ordered two pressure hoses from the company’s website, earlier this month, which cost a total 29.98. On top of that, was a standard 4.99 delivery charge, common with all orders placed on the website-and his items were despatched from a depot in Worcestershire to Inverness. But the 68-year-old was also notified that, due to his location, he would have to pay a postcode surcharge of 12.50 to have his package delivered from Inverness to Wick.

CAITHNESS schools are expected to close on Wednesday as a result of a one-day strike which is also likely to impact on local hospitals and services provided by Highland Council. The Far North is just one of the areas which will be affected by the day of action which has been called by public-sector unions in protest at government plans to impose changes to their pension schemes. A Highland Council spokesman yesterday claimed the position would become clearer today (Friday) but added it was likely all schools in the North would close on the day of action which will involve teachers janitors and other staff.

THE consortium of UK and US companies which it to take over the 3 billion contract to decommission Dounreay, has “a critical” role to play in shaping the future of Caithness. That was said this week by Far North MSP Rob Gibson after the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority confirmed the Babcock Dounreay Partnership is its preferred bidder to run the site. The consortium is due to take over from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, in April, after a procurement process which lasted two years. Mr Gibson said: “The Partnership now faces an important task in taking Dounreay, as well as Caithness, forward.”

THE Portland Arms Hotel in Lybster has a new tenant. She is 24-year-old Dani Lee who currently runs the Crown Court Hotel in Inverness. Miss Lee took over the lease of the popular hotel last Friday and is planning to build up the business again. She hopes to increase the number of weddings and functions at the hotel and is also introducing new menus and ideas in the restaurant as well as a takeaway service.

A DERELICT building, which has turned into an eyesore in Wick town centre, looks set to be demolished. The operators of the Norseman Hotel which own the property at 9 High Street, popularly known as Dr Lee’s house, (I think that should be Dr Leask's) have submitted an application to tear the building down. The house which has been abandoned for decades is now in a state of disrepair and is the subject of a demolition order from the Highland Council. Norseman Hotel manager, Andrew Mackay, said that the building has become too dangerous to enter and it is time to knock it down.

A 7 million investment in a wood pellet production facility and biomass plant in Caithness could create up to 35 jobs. That was said this week by Andrew Leslie, the general manager (Scotland) for Forever Fuels, the company behind the plan. Mr Leslie said that the proposed new plant would require 15 staff while a further 20 employees would be needed for the harvesting, chipping and deliver of trees.

Royal Bank of Scotland customers will have access to the branches in Wick and Thurso at weekends for the first time ever-starting this Saturday. The two local branches will open on Saturday mornings as the bank strives to provide a more accessible service to the community. They will be open every Saturday between 9am and 12.30pm. In addition, the banks will open 15 minutes earlier at 9am, and close 15 minutes later (5pm) during the week. New RBS Wick branch manager, Gail Gunn, said it should make for an improved service for both business owners and private customers.

Sitting idle without a game, last Saturday was not Davie Kirkwood’s ideal preparation for Academy’s trip to Inverness this weekend to play Clach. With supposed opponents Inverurie Locos on Scottish Cup duty, he would have preferred to have had a game against another Highland League without a match. However, after previous requests to have matches rearranged, turned down, he made the most of an extra training session in the morning which was followed by a trip, with assistant manager Richard Hughes, to the west of the county to watch Halkirk United take on Thurso. He said afterwards that the Caithness derby had given him some possible transfer targets in the future. He added: “There were one or two players which did catch my eye and we will take a closer look at them as the season progresses.”