John O' Groat Journal headlines for November 27

COUNCIL staff will be told to consider wearing jumpers to work this winter to tackle the local authority's soaring energy bills. A ban on charging personal phones and tablets could also be brought in after new figures revealed electricity and gas costs went up by nearly 2 million over the last four years.

THE plug has been pulled on one of the biggest country music festivals in the UK with confirmation that the Northern Nashville Caithness Country Music Festival will not be returning in 2016. Falling audience numbers and high costs have led organisers to cancel the award-winning festival which was due to be held in April.

MOTORISTS driving through Reay are being urged to slow down, as calls are being made to introduce a 30mph zone through the whole village. Landward Highland councillor, Matthew Reiss, has had concerns from residents that people are driving too fast through the village most of which is covered by a 40mph limit.

RECREATIONAL users of Wick Harbour are to band together, to ensure their voices are heard when it comes to the future of the expanding port. Wick Harbour Users Group looks set to sail into action next month, after receiving support from more than 35 people during a public meeting earlier this month.

A TALENTED student from Wick is hoping to spread some festive cheer while raising money for charity when she stars in a Christmas stage production at Edinburgh's Usher Hall next month. Former Wick High School pupil Frankie Minnock has been cast as one of the leads in The MGA Academy of Performing Arts' production of A Christmas Wish and will perform in front of more than 2000 people when she takes to the stage on December 18.

THURSO'S battery plant recently hosted a visit from far north MP Paul Monaghan in the wake of operators Denchi Power Ltd's successful visit to the Defence and Security Equipment Invernational Exhibition at the ExCel Centre in London last month.

A FAR North farmers' representative is backing NFU Scotland to move to clarify the maximum number of moves cattle can make before they incur penalties when they go for slaughter. Arnott Coghill said the issue needs to be urgently resolved so farmers and crofters do not end up out of pocket because they are in the dark about the operation of the regime.