Caithness Courier headlines for April 19, 2017

PROSPECTIVE Highland Council candidates are being urged to reverse the declining amount the local authority forks out, on goods and services provided by small firms based in the region. Business representatives yesterday hit out, after it was revealed local companies secured just over a quarter of the council's spend in 2015/16, compared to a third in 2011/12.

MOTORCYCLISTS drove across Caithness during April to help deliver over 120 chocolate eggs to good causes to spread some cheer this Easter. Back O Beyond Bikers Caithness organised Easter egg runs this month to deliver tasty treats to grateful recipients in Thurso and Wick.

HIGHLAND Council will lodge an appeal against findings which branded them at fault to failing to fix a defective parapet which led to the death of a man. Last month the family of David Bowes won their court action after a judge at the Court of Session, ruled Highland council breached its duty in dealing with railing at the Kyle of Tongue Bridge.

A CAMPAIGN to stop the closure of Highland banks has taken a step forward as Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie travelled north to add his voice to the fight. The decision to close seven Bank of Scotland branches in the region, has been widely condemned and during a visit to Inverness and Ross-shire at the weekend, Mr Rennie called local banks "crucial" to rural communities.

BUDGET cuts of almost 1 million are starting to bite at High Life Highland but bosses remain hopeful for a "fairly stable" year. The charity is the council's arms' length organisation that runs libraries, leisure centres museums and art galleries.

MORE than 200 patients in the Highlands have had to wait more than three months to get treatment for eye conditions. The figures were revealed after north Labour MSP, David Stewart, took up the case of an 80-year old constituent who faced an 11-month delay for a cataract operation.

MAJOR political parties have been criticised for fielding council candidates more than 70 miles away from where they live. Thirteen Highland Council hopefuls have thrown their hat into the ring in wards outwith their local area, leading to criticism that they will be unable to properly represent their constituents if elected

A TWENTY-EIGHT-year old sailor from Wick has celebrated his formal commissioning as a Royal Navy officer, during a parade attended by the Duke of York. Sub-lieutenant Stuart Campbell joined the Royal Navy as a rating in 2005. He began officer training earlier this year and was one of 155 officer cadets taking part in Lord High Admiral's Division at Britannia Royal Naval College.

IONA McLachlan continued her dominance of the Scottish Surfing Championships at junior level at the weekend as she claimed the under-18 national women's championship for the third year in a row.