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

28-Nov-12, 12:18
Caithness Courier headlines: November 28

A PUBLIC sector tourism chief has been awarded 10,000 of taxpayer’s money to pursue her own business venture with the option of returning to her job if it does not work out. Thurso-based head of tourism for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Rachel Skene, picked up the five-figure sum as winner of the Innovation Challenge at the Caithness Chamber of Commerce’s 40th anniversary dinner earlier this year. But the Caithness Courier can reveal that if she fails in her first year, she will be able to return to her role in the Scottish Government’s economic and community development agency where she currently gets paid between 29,850 and 38,000 a year.

CAITHNESS bus passengers are being left in Inverness so seats can be given to Dornoch Academy pupils who are travelling home to Golspie and Brora. A far north bus user, who wishes to remain anonymous, yesterday reported that passengers on Stagecoach’s X99 northbound 14.40 service from the Highland capital, can find themselves left on the platform if they have not booked a seat.

A FUND designed to distribute loans to businesses in the far north has helped retain and create 218 jobs since its inception in 2006. The North Highland Regeneration Fund investment of 1.8 million into the economy in Caithness and north Sutherland helped sustain and grow businesses which have been unable to borrow money from banks. With a high success rate on the loans made, fund representatives say they are looking to a bright future as the economy in the region continues to grow.

TESCO wants to retain planning permission for a new supermarket in Thurso but remains undecided if it actually wants to build one. The supermarket giant maintains it has not made a final decision on the future of its proposed development of the town’s former auction site, despite applying to renew its existing consent which runs out in January. Corporate manager Gloria Coates told the Courier that no date had been announced for a final decision. She said: “We are genuinely considering two options for the site, either selling it or building a new supermarket.”

MORE than 41,000 was spent on IT equipment for Highland councillors following May’s local government elections, it has emerged. The cash was used for hardware to kit out councillors across the region with technology which is understood to have included computers. Today, the authority’s finance housing and resources committee is being asked to approve the transfer of 41,681 from council reserves to pay for the expenditure in members’ expenses.

SCRABSTER Harbour’s future is looking bright with the completion of the latest phase of redevelopment on the horizon, four months behind schedule but within budget. The port’s harbour trust is just weeks away from taking the official wraps off the new renewable and oil and gas servicing pier which board members claim is set to boost the economy of the far north for the next 50-60 years.

SENIOR Highland councillors have demanded crunch talks with the region’s MPs so they can find out exactly how the controversial welfare reforms are going to affect local people. National politicians John Thurso, Danny Alexander and the party’s former leader, Charles Kennedy, have all been invited to a key meeting in the hope they can shed some light on the UK Government’s major shake-up of the benefits system which is only months away.

A CHARITY which has helped farmers, who have suffered hardship and poverty as a result of their
livelihood taking a turn for the worse, has received a four figure donation from the Caithness branch of NFU Scotland. The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution last year helped 550 people in land-based occupations who, due to illness, disability, low income or crisis find themselves unable to cope, handing out 400,000 in grants last year.

RURAL north Sutherland is to get a huge boost as the UK’s fastest- growing mobile network aims to fill the internet void with near four million megabytes of mobile broadband. As part of a national campaign Three’s rural broadband working group has launched an initiative to provide more than three million web pages worth of free, high-speed mobile broadband to the Highlands.

A YOUNG Caithness man, who turned his life around after enrolling in a Wick-based community project, has been recognised with a national award. Johathan McPhee, from Wick, recently lifted the Scottish Qualifications Authority star award for training organisation candidate of the year, at a glittering ceremony in Glasgow.