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

28-Mar-12, 09:13
Caithness Courier review: March 28, 2012

TEN volunteers at the Highland Hospice shop in Thurso have walked out in protest over a restructuring plan which has resulted in the loss of the local manager’s post. The volunteers are angry at the changes, which will replace the five managers at 11 charity stores throughout the Highlands, with two area managers. There will also be one supervisor at each shop as well as one at a centralised warehouse in Inverness. Management travelled to Caithness to explain the restructuring to staff in Thurso and Wick and claim the move is necessary, to try and ensure the organisation is “adequately funded to meet the needs of the Highland community”.

AROUND £900 million is to be invested in the power network in the Far North, it has emerged. The funding package, which will bring a jobs boost, includes the creation of a 109-kilometre subsea cable stretching between Caithness and Moray to take excess electricity from the area’s renewable sources south. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Limited SSE plc’s transmission business is planning to develop the cable, to transmit the large volume of existing and expected electricity from renewable sources. The cable will be created between onshore substations at Spittal and Blackhillock, near Keith, in Moray. An SSE spokesman confirmed the proposal on Monday.

DRUNKEN vandals are scaring away children from a play park in Thurso by urinating on equipment, it has been reported. The Caithness Courier on Friday spoke to a number of concerned residents in the Springpark area of the town but none would speak out publicly for fear of reprisals. Locals claimed that between 7pm and 10pm in the evenings older youths are coming to the play park situated between Springpark Terrace and Oldfield Terrace, to drink, and are scaring away young children. However, local Highland councillor Donnie Mackay said he has asked about the problem and residents told him it only happens “once in a blue moon”.

PUPILS from Bower, who want to attend Thurso High after the summer holidays, will have to pay up to £94.50 a month for transport but those going to Wick High will travel free. That is the anomaly which has been highlighted by Landward Caithness councillor, Robert Coghill, following the award by Highland council of new transport contracts. He pointed out the new rules were due to come into operation in January but the local authority agreed to extend the current system until the end of the school year. But Mr Coghill wants the anomaly removed and said the plan has not “been thought through properly”. Wick Highland councillor, Bill Fernie, who chairs the council’s education, culture and sport committee, said he has “a lot of sympathy” for the parents in Bower and would like to see the matter resolved to everyone’s benefit.

THE SNP has pledged to increase the wages of hundreds of low paid Highland council staff including cleaners and care workers, if the party wins power in May. Up to 300 front-line staff could find their wage packets boosted to at least £7.20 per hour. The SNP’s group leader on the council, Drew Hendry, is confident the “living wage” can be introduced as soon as possible following the election on May 3, after the party published it manifesto last week. Street cleaners, crèche staff and care workers, are among those likely to benefit and Mr Hendry said it could apply to between 200 and 300 employees.

IT is as much a symbol of the Highland landscape as lochs and mountains but the humble heather has now fallen foul of Brussels bureaucrats. Immortalised in song and verse, heather is spread across huge swathes of the regions’ hills, and grows on at least 500 hectares of livestock grazing. But is has emerged its abundance could actually be ‘catastrophic” for farmers and crofters and affect the subsidies paid out, which are partially linked to the land they use. The European Commission (EC) is poised to replace the current common Agricultural Policy in 2014 with a new scheme and its revised proposals are currently under consultation.

One point apiece is “a fair result” according to Wick Academy manager, Davie Kirkwood, after his side put in a brilliant performance to hold off Cove Rangers until the dying stages of the game. Most of Saturday’s action took place after half-time at Harmsworth Park, in the midst of thick fog. Kirkwood said through the haar in the second half, the the Scorries played “probably the best defensive game of the season” when they held a 1-0 lead for 19 minutes.