Caithness Courier headlines for December 7, 2016

NHS Highland should apologise for "an insensitive remark" made by a senior official during a meeting on the future of the Caithness maternity unit. Nicola Sinclair of Caithness Health Action Team took issue with the comment made by Helen Bryers, NHS Highland's head of midwifery at last week's meeting in Inverness.

THURSO'S pre-festive fun day on Saturday, proved a major hit with adults and youngsters. Crowds turned out for the popular annual event which featured a host of activities, a visit from a herd of reindeer as well as the switching on of the town's Christmas lights.

DEVELOPERS behind a giant wind farm off the east Caithness coast have unveiled plans to create new berths at Wick harbour to accommodate its vessels which will be used to shuttle personnel to and from the port. It is part of the preparations Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd is making to establish a 10 million operations and maintenance base to service the 84-turbine wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth.

THE future of an under-threat war memorial in Wick is looking brighter after a charity confirmed it is working alongside Highland Council to find out if it can be saved. The War Memorials Trust said it has offered the local authority a grant to carry out investigations into the Soldiers' Tower at North Head to find out what work needs to be done to save the 109-year-old structure.

CHARGES to the benefit system have been the worst thing to happen to Highland Council for 20 years councillors have said. The local authority is losing thousands in unpaid rent as tenants fall into arrears, blamed on them making ends meet on the new new universal credit benefit.

CALLS have been made for the Highlands to be protected from proposed changes to the political map of Scotland which would see almost half of the county's land mass represented by three MSPs. Planned changes to the UK Parliament constituencies would see MP Paul Monaghan's Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross seat extended south, to take in Ross-shire to create the North Highland constituency which would be the largest in the UK.

ONE size does not fit all was the message given by teachers and parents to the Highlands as part of a Scotltish Government education consulation. Members of Holyrood's education department met representation from across the region to discuss whether parents and teachers should be gviven more powers.

THE Caithness public will not notice any difference in the way emergency calls to the fire and rescue service are handled following changes to the system. A fire chief this week gave out the assurance following concern about the loss of the control room in the Highlands.