View Full Version : Fit's in 'e Groat 'e day?

01-Jun-12, 08:58
John O’Groat Journal review: June 1, 2012

AN outraged mother is considering stopping her son playing on a football pitch in Wick, because of safety fears over dog mess. Kerry Gunn said that other parents have also voiced their concerns about the dog dirt which is found on the Bignold Park on a weekly basis. The situation has become so bad, that organisers from East end Boys’ Club, which uses one of the pitches at the park for home matches as well as training sessions, have to clear it of dog mess the night before games.

AN attempt to put the return of Highland Council’s resurrected area committee set-up has failed – amid stinging criticism of the extra cash which new area leaders will pocket. The new SMP Liberal Democrat and Labour coalition is to resurrect the structure which will see committees granted powers to make decisions at a local level. The pilot committees, in Inverness and Caithness and Sutherland, are expected to be set up later this year with others to follow. Each one will be headed up by an area leader who will chair the respective committees and pocket a 24,480 salary. That is 8000 more than a councillor’s basic salary of 16,234.

A LIB Dem leak was responsible for releasing information on local Nationalist MSP Rob Gibson’s misuse of expenses, before he knew about the ruling himself, it has emerged. Mr Gibson broke parliamentary rules by using his office expenses to publish an advertisement which featured members of his staff who were running as candidates in the recent Highland Council election. It was not allowed, according to the official guidelines on parliamentary resources issued to all MSPs. Minutes just released from the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, show that the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ allegations reported by the John O’ Groat Journal at the beginning of May, over the misuse of taxpayers’ money, were true. Mr Gibson has accepted the ruling and paid for the adverts himself.

THE family of a Dunnet teenager, tragically killed in a car accident, were overwhelmed with the response they received at a special event held in his memory. The Connor Craigie Memorial Football Tournament staged in Thurso, on Saturday, has so far raised 3,500 for the cycstic fibrosis unit at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness and the Thurso branch of the RNLI. But, with even more money still to come, it is thought the final total could exceed the 4000 mark.

COOKERS, freezers and sofas were just some of the items found on an area of land that has become known as one of the biggest eyesores in Wick. Fed-up locals joined forces with Highland Council this week to clear up the derelict site in Pulteneytown, which has become a dumping ground for people’s unwanted items. The area, which lies between Kinnaird Street and Nicolson Street, has been described as no man’s land by some residents who have complained for years about the state of the area.

TWO members of staff, who work at a residential nursing home in Caithness, have been suspended. Church of Scotland operator, CrossReach, has confirmed it has taken the action against the employees who work at Achvarasdal House at Reay. It would not confirm the positions of the two employees, or the reasons behind the suspension, only to say that investigations are still ongoing and that measures have been put in place to ensure residents are cared for.

A WICK-born minister is currently around the coast for in his classic car, for a war veterans’ charity... and he’s heading for Caithness. Brian Mulraine is pastor of Dumbarton Baptist Church where he and his wife Christine, also from Wick, have served for almost eight years. Brian (51) is taking a couple of weeks off from his ministry to undertake a journey of biblical proportions – 4000 miles around the coast of Britain in his Triumph Spitfire, to raise money for Erskine.

CLAIMS that Thurso’s streets are not getting their fair share of attention from Highland Council, have been strongly denied. According to the town’s community council, Thurso is getting a poorer service than Wick when it comes to keeping its thoroughfares clean. Former chairman, Bob Earnshaw, believes the problem stems from the fact the one large mechanical sweeper, which now covers Caithness, is based in Wick. As a result, he claims areas such as the bottom end of Princes Street often go unswept. Stuart Bell, the council’s Far North community works manager, denied Thurso was getting a raw deal when it comes to street-cleaning. He said that the large mechanical operated a rota of two days in each of Thurso and Wick and one in landward Caithness.

DOUNREAY has picked up one of Britain’s top awards for workplace safety. It was among the winners of the International Safety Awards 2012 presented by the British Safety Council at an event in London. The award recognises the standards set by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd to prevent harm during the decommissioning of one of Britain’s most hazardous nuclear facilities.

JOHN O’ GROATS hit top form this week when they went third in the Caithness county league division, one with a thumping 5-0 win over Staxigoe United. The outcome was all the more unexpected, given the Groats had to play the first half without their regular keeper, Shaun Henderson who had got his dates muddles up, but got his skates on to appear between the sticks in the second half.