John O' Groat Journal headlines for February 28, 2014

A RENEWED bid is being made to try and ensure a 3 billion renewable energy project off the Caithness coast gets funding from the UK Government. Local MP John Thurso has met Energy Secretaryt Ed Davey to press the case for the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd project. He has also writted to Mr Davey outlining the "massive importance" of the scheme to the far north and Wick Harbour which could be the base for maintenance vessels.

THURSO Community Council has given the thumbs down to new bilingual sinage installed in the town centre. Highland Council recently erected the signs which give directions to local amenities such as the caravan park and public toilets in Gaelic first and English second. But the move has been met with disapproval by several members of the community council who believe Gaelic should not be on the signs at all.

MOVES are under way to determine whether a public vote can be arranged to get a community's views on controversial plans for a wind farm. Highland Council Caithness ward manager David Sutherland yesterday confirmed he had been approached by Watten Community Council about the possibility of arranging a ballot go get local people's views on the propose Spittal Hill Wind Farm Ltd seven turbine development.

CAMPAIGNERS against a major wind farm development are pleading for donations from the local community to help them get representation on a public inquiry which is due to be held this summer. The Reay Area Windfarm Opposition Group is putting out an appeal for funding to appoint legal representatives to voice concern against the proposed Limekiln Wind Farm near Reay

SHOULD Caithness declare UDI from the KW postcode? That is the question which has provoked debate across the north Highlands and beyond, as the public have weighed up the pros and cons of the county getting its own postcode. Since Thurso Community Council ananounced it was looking to start a campaign to get a prefix which would differentiate the far north from Orkney people, have not beeen shy in coming out to support the inititative or to voice caution about the consequences of any such move.

THE axe has swung on 23 service points in the Highlands amid stormy political clashes and a warning the local authority was "sticking two fingers up" at the public. Councillors in Inverness voted by 13 votes to nine, along party lines, on Wednesday to shut counters across the region saving 160,000, following a heated two-hour debate. About 30 full and part-time staff face uncertain futures although Highland Council has a no-compulsory-redundancies policy but opposition leader, Carlolyn Wilson, claimed that some of them had already been in tears, at the prospect.

A FAR-NORTH food bank has revealed it is receiving significantly more demand from the east side of the county than from the west. Thurso Food Bank has decided to pool resources with a food bank project in Wick to set up a new county-wide operation. Meeting have taken place in the last few months about setting up a stand-alone food bank in Wick but TFB secretary, Alexander Glasgow said it made more sense to have one set-up which served the whole area.