Courier headlines for January 30, 2013

WICK
could potentially miss out on a major jobs boom after it was yesterday revealed it was not among the four sites earmarked for public support to attract offshore wind businesss. First Minister Alex Salmond announced Highlands and Islands Enterprise has signed joint working agreements with Global Energy Nigg, Port of Ardesier, Kishorn Port Limited and Cromarty Firth Port Authority, to support owners and operators secure consents, market opportunities, attract investments and enable further development.

CAITHNESS
has earned the embarrassing title of “speeding capital of the UK” thanks to number crunchers at a business that sells in-car spying devices. The new analysis from the firm, which works with insurance companies, is that “if you are driving an Audi TT in Caithness, at 5.59 am in the morning, you’re probably speeding.” Wunelli compiled statistics from data recorded in “telemantics” devices, which record driver location, speed and vehicle type.

UNION r
epresentatives in Caithness have taken up the cudgels on behalf of far north construction workers whom they claim are losing out, because of more and more local contracts being won by firms based outside the Highlands. As an example, they cited Northern Irish company Graham construction which they say, has largely imported the workforce it has used on its 15 million job to build two sub-surface vaults at Dounreay’s new low-level radioactive waste dump.

A RECENT
book revealing the Queen Mother’s personal correspondence throughout her life could bring a visitor boost to the castle of Mey in the upcoming summer season. Counting One’s Blessings: Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, by William Shallcross, draws on the royal archive at Glamis Castle and elsewhere, to paint a picture of the Queen Mother through her private correspondence.

DOUNREAY’
S site operating company is facing a massive backlog of 13,000 drums of low level waste, while it awaits a replacement crushing machine. DSRL has confirmed its new super compactor which can squash drums to a fifth of their size will not be installed until April 2014.

LYBSTER h
arbour is in need of significant grant funding to allow extensive repairs to be carried out following the worst storm in living memory. The Friendly Society of Lybster Harbour has announced the total amount of damage caused to the co-operative owned port, is estimated to be 100,000 at least. Despite the port not being Highland Council owned, councillors and harbour users have called on the authority to offer assistance with costs.

A COMPETITION
to encourage householders in Caithness to recycle glass bottles and jars, has been launched by schoolchildren in Wick. Pupils from Pulteneytown Primary have already given their support to the initiative, which is part of a drive by Highland Council’s Waste Aware Team, to encourage glass recycling in the county which has the lowest rate in the Highlands.

TRAVELLING
across the Pentland Firth every weekend along with regular four hours bus journeys to the north-east, makes James Pickles the most travelled player in the Highland League. But the central midfield is loving evey minute of it, as he looks to clock up the miles for seasons to come. The Orcadian this week agreed a new two-year contract at Harmsworth Park which will keep him at the club until at least 2015.