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

04-Apr-12, 09:08
Caithness Courier review: April 4, 2012

A LACK of progress in the marine energy industry in Caithness has forced a local engineering firm to mothball its local base. That was claimed this week by Jim Mills, chairman of Numax Energy Services who confirmed the company’s Bower operation has been scaled back. Eleven people have lost their jobs at the local site as the business reduces its workforce from 15 to four. Some work will continue at Bower as the company continues to carry out work relating to a gas maintenance contract, but it is no longer in a position to take on new business.

THE clean-up of Dounreay will cost £1 billion less than expected and should be completed in around 10 years time. This was stated on Monday when the Babcock Dounreay Partnership officially took over Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and its 950 staff. DSRL is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the partnership. But it was stressed the new timescale will not be archieved at the expense of safety. The company said it would continue the socio-economic programme to assist the regeneration of Caithness and North Sutherland. Scotland Secretary Michael Moore and Scottish Rural Affairs and Environmental minister, Richard Lochhead, were among the politicians and industry leaders who gathered at Dounreay to hear how the new team plans to demolish Britain’s second largest civil nuclear plant.

RURAL Caithness has a huge part to play in the future of the Scottish economy as the UK continues to tackle a tough financial climate. That was the view of Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, who said farming in the area has made a significant contribution to the food and drink industry. He was visiting the Far North this week to meet local business owners and industry representatives to talk about the challenges facing the economy. Yesterday morning he met Bilbster Mains Farm manager, Danny Miller, and chairman of Caithness NFU, Arnot Coghill, to discuss the issues which are facing farmers in the Far North.

A SCRABSTER woman who helped Far North gardeners raise over £6500 for charities, last year, has praised their efforts. Scotland’s Gardens district organiser for Caithness, Sutherland, Orkney and Shetland, Judith Middlemas, applauded the efforts of private garden owners in the county who opened their properties to the public for charity. Scotland’s Gardens, formerly known as Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, raises money for worthy causes by facilitating the opening of large and small gardens of horticultural interest to the public. Most are privately owned and are normally inaccessible at other times.

TESCO should make “a definite statement” over its plans for its proposed supermarket in Thurso. That was aid by prospective Labour candidate in the Landward Caithness ward, David Baron, who described the former mart site, as being in “a deplorable state”. He said electors have raised the issue with him as he has gone round the doors and he would like something done about it.

FEARS the Highlands could become a “dumping” ground for less competent police officers when a national force replaces Northern Constabulary, next year, have been dismissed by its chief constable. In a controversial shake-up of policing, the Scottish Government is pressing ahead with plans to centralise the country’s current eight forces into one organisation next April. Ministers claim the move will save millions in back-room costs, but critics have argued local accountability could be badly affected. Senior Highland councillor Brian Murphy has warned there are serious concerns amongst communities that a poorer standard of police officer could be foisted upon them, because of the looming centralisation. He told the Northern Joint Police Board in Inverness that police officers were the force’s strongest asset and it was “really important” they were retained.

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to remove trees from Thurso’s Sir John’s Square has been put on hold following a public outcry. That has been confirmed by Highland Council which stressed it will carry out a full consultation before any decision is made. The local authority said successive surveys have shown decay in the trees around the war memorial gardens and a phased removal of the trees was planned, to allow newly-planted trees to grow. But, following widespread opposition, the council has decided to delay any decision until new plans are drawn up and the issue is fully debate with Thurso councillors and the local community council.

AFTER 17 seasons at Harmsworth Park, captain Martin Gunn is set to blow fulltime on this footballing career, after he announced his intention to retire at the end of the season. The 36-year-old will hang up his boots in May after having made 413 appearances for the club and scoring 84 goals in all competitions. The talented midfield playmaker affectionately known as Shoeshine, had a spell with Dundee United as teenager before joining his local team to coincide with Wick Academy entering the Highland Football League in 1994.

AND finally...a Durness-based, luxury chocolate, manufacturer has expanded into new international markets. Cocoa Mountain produces a range of handmade, preservative-free products which are dispatched the same-day direct to customers. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has worked closely to support the business on the redevelopment of its premises at the Balnakeil Craft Village, the former military property on the outskirts of the village. In keeping it its international credentials, it has just recruited a new chocolatier from France and a depute manager from Canada.