John O’ Groat Journal headlines for September 13, 2013
PLANS to privatise Royal Mail will have a “devastating” impact on rural areas such as Caithness, it has been claimed. The warning was sounded by local union representative, John Gunn, who said the move would lead to job losses, the closure of post offices and a cut in the number of deliveries. He added that the privatisation - confirmed yesterday by the UK government – would also result in increased charges for the services.
A GIN distillery in Dunnet is being proposed in the wrong place and could lead to the industrialisation of the centre of the village. That is the concern expressed by several local people to plans by Martin and Claire Murray to set up a micro distillery along from the Northern Sands Hotel. Mrs Murray told the John O’ Groat Journal, yesterday she respected the views expressed, but added that the business would promote Caithness and help put the county on the map.
A MAJOR shareholder in a Pentland firth marine project is planning to establish a European centre for tidal turbines – but almost 1000 miles away from the north of Scotland. French company DCNS, which has a 50 per cent stake in a tidal project in Orkney, aims to create 1000 jobs by manufacturing tidal turbines at Cherbourg in Normandy. DCNS, Europe’s biggest naval shipbuilder, which has expanded into the energy market, acquired the stake in the Pentland Firth when it bought Open Hydro, earlier this year.
VOLUNTEERS are being sought to help in a new quest to unearth more ancient treasures from the Yarrows area of Caithness. AOC. Archaeology Group will next Friday embark on a dig for RWE npower renewables around the site of its Burn of Whilk wind farm venture. The project which coincides with Scottish Archaeology Month and Highland Archaeology Fortnight, is part of a wider project aiming at improving the understanding of the Yarrows trail and the surrounding area.
A NORTH runner is to take part in a gruelling endurance race from the Grant Canyon in Arizona to the Grand Staircase in Utah next week. Kenny Paterson, an Orcadian who lives in Thurso, will be participating in the event with 116 other competitors from 19 countries and raising money for charity.
A NEW campaign urging online retailers to offer customers in rural and remote areas of Scotland a fair deal on delivery charges has been backed by far north MP John Thurso. He is calling on UK retailers to offer Highlanders a fair deal on delivery charges; to consider using Royal Mail or Parcel Force delivery where that is an option and to make it clear if people shopping online will face surcharges.
ANTISOCIAL behaviour caused a small stir at the most recent Caithness joint forum discussing the future priorities for emergency services. Representatives from Police Scotland and the fire and rescue service met local councillors and the public, at the meeting held on Monday night at Mackays Hotel, Wick to get feedback for the next round of police and fire plans. Police chiefs were always quick to resassure but many issues were raised by the audience about three police priorities of antisocial behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse and road safety.
THE Earl of Caithness was among a gathering of Scotland’s clan chiefs who attended a special service in Edinburgh this week to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.
ABERDEEN & Northern Marts’ Caithness Livestock Centre celebrated its 21st birthday with the official wraps coming off a new roofed area over its outside pens. The event was marked by its parent company, the ANM Group, during the anniversary show and sale of store cattle at Quoybrae, Watten.