John O' Groat Journal headlines for January 27, 2017

FOOD bank volunteers believe the financial desperations some people in Caithness are facing, has been highlighted after several bags of food were stolen from its premises. Thieves broke into Caithness foodbanks depot at Wick Youth club and stole six bags of food meant for individuals and families struggling to feed themselves.

THE loss of a public bus service between John O' Groats and Wick, is "an absolute disgrace" and is affecting people trying to get to work in the town. it is also impacting on school pupils who wish to take part in extra curricular activities.

TWELVE new ambulance staff have been recruited in the Highlands and an additional 5 million invested in the service since April 2016. These figures were revealed this week by Scottish Ambulance Service's north division general manager, Milne Weir, in response to criticism by the Unite union about the alleged dangerous lack of cover in areas such as Caithness.

ARRANGEMENTS have been made to allow local health campaigners regular meetings, contact and discussion with NHS Highland over issues surrounding Caithness General Hospital. Caithness Health Action Team has been given the contact following a number of issues with the local health service including the maternity unit and ambulance transfers to Raigmore Hospital.

BONUSES given to Highland Council's top man, worth almost 40,000, could soon come to an end. A Scottish government committee has said extra payments given to council chief executives when they run elections and referendums, should be stopped.

HIGHLAND politicians have said they will not back current plans to leave the European Union after the Supreme Court ordered the UK Government to hold a vote on the issue. MPS in the north have said they will lodge 50 amendments against the Conservatives' plan to trigger Article 50, the process of removing Britain from the EU, but Westminster leaders have warned "there is no going back.

FOUR new jobs are to be created following a 1 million investment by a Caithness firm in a new showroom complex in Inverness. D & R Alexander which has premises in Reay and the Highland capital hopes the centre will become the focus for its trailer sales in the north Highland area and beyond.

HIGHLANDS and Islands Enterprise is being urged to adopt the Rural Leadership Programme which has proved very successful in other parts of Scotland. Leading NFU Scotland members are pressing for the programme to be started up in HIE's patch, to help both individuals and provide a boost to the economy.