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

30-May-14, 09:58
John O’ Groat Journal headlines for May 30

A LYBSTER woman claims her family are caught in a poverty trap because of the swingeing cost her grandson is having to pay to heat his local authority home. Alison Kirk spoke out yesterday as Highland Council was forced to defend claims that the metered electrical systems in some of their houses, saddle tenants with extortionate bills.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a fisherman who has been described as “an icon” of the Caithness fishing industry. Norrie Brenner died after a short illness on Wednesday at Caithness General Hospital in Wick. He was regarded as one of the most important figures in far north fishing in a career which spanned decades.

VOTING has started to name the two new primary schools being built in Wick. Two shortlists for the schools have been drawn up and pupils, parents and staff and members of the community are being invited to take part in the ballot. The suggestions for the amalgamated North and Hllhead primaries are – Caledonia, Girnigoe, Green Park, Noss and St Fergus. And for the replacement of the South School and Pulteneytown Academy – Newton Moss, Newton Park, Seaforth and Telford. Any person who lives in the catchment area of either school, can vote by requesting a ballot paper from their school. Ballot papers must be returned by Friday, June 6.

CAITHNESSIANS will have a particular interest in the road and track cycling programme at the Commonwealth Games after two riders from the county were yesterday confirmed in the Scottish team. Evan Oliphant and John Paul are in the 30-strong squad who will be competing at the Glasgow Games when they will be looking to continue the huge success the country has enjoyed in the sport, thanks to the now-retired Chris Hoy.

RESIDENTS in social housing in Caithness and Sutherland are paying up to 156 per cent more than people in English cities when it comes to domestic fuel bills. The disparity was exposed in research to gauge the extent of rural poverty across Scotland in 2013. The results have led to far north Highland councillor David Bremner to call for fuel prices to be regulated to help the area’s most vulnerable people.

THE NORTH Highland Initiative is one of the groups backing the flag-for-Caithness campaign. NHI was formed in 2005 to promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of the north Highlands in bringing together the farming community, local business and the tourism industry. NHI chairman David Whiteford said a flag is just one of the elements that could be used in the building of a Caithness brand.

THE Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has agreed a formal charging policy for callouts to non-emergency incidents. HGV drivers could face a fire brigade fee for clearing a significant hazardous roadside spillage. And homeowners may have to pay for summoning firemen to pump out flood water or rescue a cat stuck up a tree.

EFFORTS to develop a new community woodland at Newtonhill Croft on the outskirts of Wick, have been given a helping hand from local Scotland Gas workers. They took part in planting trees and shrubs as part of their firm’s involvement in the national Community Action Programme in which staff are seconded to do voluntary stints for good caused. The Friends of Newtonhill Woodland and the Forestry Commission in Scotland were delighted to take up the offer of extra manpower.

A CAITHNESS tech business is supporting a local group concerned with access for the disabled by setting up its website practically for free. North of Scotland Computers is in talks about the new project for Caithness disabled Access Panel which is keen to get word out on the internet about the work it does and develop a network of users. Lee Gunn of the Bridge Street business said he was helping the group for a minimal charge because it is supporting a good cause.

THE Castletown fish and chip shop, which closed last month, has a new owner. The business in Mackay Street, is to be taken over by Walter Mcphee who has run Henrietta’s fish and chip shop in Wick for the past eight years. Mr McPhee confirmed this week that his offer for the Castletown business has been accepted. He hopes to be open for business there, in about a fortnight.