Latest News

Thurso Scout Post - Check It Out - Save Money and Help The Scouts Fund Raise
Scout Post Thurso
It's hard to believe it has come round again so quickly but its time to think about your Christmas cards! 2nd Thurso Scouts will be running their Community Scout Post again this year and post boxes are now out in their locations around the town and will remain open until Friday 17th December at Newsbeat on Princes Street, Frasers on Castlegreen Road, McColls in High Ormlie, the Co-op in Mount Pleasant and in Thurso Library and the Council offices in Rotterdam Street. It’s fantastic that local government and local businesses support this worthwhile event.
Darts - -The Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman - DartsThursday - 7.30pm









Wick Fun Day 2016
Wick Fun Day 2016
The decorated umbrella parade turned the Market Square in Wick to a colourful display with many having lights on to brighten the evening.  Santa and helpers were around all afternoon as kids queued to see him in his hut.




Groat Headlines

CHAT Stall At Wick Fun Day Raises Great Amount For Fighting Fund

Paul Monaghan MP Joins In To Downgrade Caithness Maternity On Safety Grounds

CHAT  - Open Public Meeting Tonight Friday 25 November - 7.00pm
The maternity downgrading issue wilbe discussed at a public meeting tonight in Assembly Rooms, Wick. The meeting starts at 7.00pm. Items in the John O'Groat Journal today include front page articles, a report from CHAT secretary Nicola Sinclair and hard hitting editorial from the paper itself.

On Tuesday 29th November NHS Highland Board will discuss the item on the removal of obsyetricians from Caithness General hospital n safety grounds. As this is barely a week after the document proposing changes was made CHAT is calling for the decision to be dalayed by onlyone more boardmeeting to allow times to putin some suggestions to make sure safety issues can be covered and ensure that other apects of the proposal are looked at in depth.

NHS Highland board meeting on Tuesday next starts at 8.30am in Invernes and CHAT has arranged to take a 51 seater bus to Inverness to make representations. Anyone with an interest is invited the demonstartion to be held outside the boards offices. CHAT chairman councillor Bill Fernie said "We do not feel it is unreasonable to ask for a slight delay in the process to allow CHAT and the general public to put in views on the topic for services that have been running for 11 years since the last time it was felt necessary to go for a major change."
CHAT Will Lobby Councillors In Demo At Wick Town Hall - From 9.20am Tuesday 22 November
Protest intensifies following NHS Highland report on maternity services at Caithness General
Caithness Health Area Team - CHAT members and supporters will demonstrate outside Wick Town Hall when the Caithness Committee meets on Tuesday 22nd November 2016. The Caithness committee meeting starts at 10.30  Meeting is open to the public but may be restricted once seats are full. The group are asking anyone who can manage to gather at Wick Town Hall from 9.20am.
Public Vote on Cash For Local Groups In Caithness
Participatory Budgeting - Caithness votes
On Saturday 19th November members of the public voted on which groups who had applied for funds would be successful. The event was held at Puleteney Centre, Wick and once again the hall was full for the third event. This ws the third event heldusing money agreed by Caithness councillors to come from the discretionary fund for the public to decide on grants rather than councillors. This is part of an initiative in Highland to reconnect local people to decision making at a local level. 30,000 was up for allocation this time.

Funding for 3rd sector culture and leisure groups decided
Hats off to hat-trick man Sam -  
Wick Academy 3 Keith 1
Wick Academy 3 Keith 1 - 12 November 2016Reporter Noel Donaldson. 
A SECOND, consecutive match hat-trick from Sam Mackay secured all three points for the Scorries and was a further step forward in recovering their home form. Keith were no pushovers, however, and stuck to their task right to the final whistle. Academy playing towards the Harrowhill end goal, took the lead following a promising start, Sam Mackay slotting home from the spot after Davie Allan was upturned in the right side of the box. Academy came under pressure as Keith pressed for the equaliser and Luke Barbour levelled things before half-time with a simple tap-in from keeper Sean McCarthy's best efforts.  Photo Gallery

Remembrance At Wick
Remembrance Wick 2016






Caithness WASPI Meetings

Tickets For Elise Lyall School Of Dance Big Show Still Available
Elise Lyall School of Dance 'Time to Sparkle' Show still has tickets available depsite runours sayng theyare sold out.  They may be soon so get going to get yours for this great show .  18 and 19 November.

Thurso Rotary Fireworks Display
Fireworks Display Thurso






Caithness Volunteers enhance habitat for the Small Blue butterfly
Caithness Countryside Volunteers Help Smallblue habitat
Members of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers turned out in force on Sunday (30 October 2016) to assist with a habitat enhancement project for a rare butterfly species in the Dunnet Bay area. Dunnet Bay is home to the most northerly colony of the Small Blue Butterfly whose caterpillars depend solely on kidney vetch as a food source. The volunteers concentrated on planting out kidney vetch in the dunes and Castlehill area where there are existing colonies. The volunteers also scraped back vegetation to open up areas of bare ground to encourage the natural colonisation of the kidney vetch plant. This event is part of a large project lead by the Caithness Biodiversity Group called "Small is Bluetiful".
Small Blue Butterfly at Dunnet






Rare geese return to Caithness for the winter
- Surfbirds

Caithness broch project is an example of community-led activism at its finest
- The National
Bed Push By CHAT - Caithness Area Health Team
Bed Push by CHAT
A bed push organised by CHAT today was run from Dunbar Hospital in Thurso to Caithness General Hospital in Wick. The group are campaigning to keep services at high level and lessen the need for trips to Inverness.  Hundreds ofpeople were at the old Caithness Glass factory to welcome the walkers and accomopany them on march to the hospital led by pipers from Wick Pipe Band.

North And West Caithness Ploughing Association - 27th Ploughing Match
North and West Caithness Ploughing Association - 27th Ploughing Match 15th October 2016
Bill Fernie headed over to Quoys of Reiss Farm near Wick today and was one of the very few specators due to the very wet weather.  Organisers say they could not change the date easily as competitors had travelled form Orkney and as far south as Kessock for the competitions.



Looking for a 2017 Calendar - The Groat One Looks Good

Time for the Scottish Government to take action to bring about rural prosperity
Interesting letter in the Herald online takes up the issue of who would be best to look after land.

Venture North's Latest Film Shows An Autumn Theme  - Pack Your Bags And Head North

Venture North Discovery: Autumn from Venture North on Vimeo.

The Summer Film From Venture North Here - In Case You Missed It  - Some Great Shots
The Winter Film - also worth watching

Hotels In Caithness - - Hotels In Sutherland - - Bed & Breakfast Caithness - - Bed & Breakfast Sutherland

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update

Beatrice Wind Farm

Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm from SSE Plc on Vimeo.

Hi-Scot Credit Union Celebrates 10 Years
Hi-Scot Credit Union Celebrates 10 Years
HI-Scot Credit Union celebrated its 10th Birthday on Wednesday 12 October 2016. Since HI-Scot first opened its doors in late 2016, it has provided loan and savings products to its members. Despite an extremely challenging economic environment for much of its life, including the worst recession in living memory, HI-Scot has continued to grow and now serves over 2,600 active members across the Highlands and Islands. Councillor Bill Fernie who is also a volunteer director of Hi-Scot got a few councillors between meetings to have piece of cake. He said, "Growth of membership has been steady in Highland and I hope the new online services will boost that number and make known the advantages of saving or borrowing from a credit union like ours where all profits go back into members services. Reaching the 10 year milestone proves we can run things and I am sure we will continue to add value for our members and hopefully many new members in coming years."
Go Along To The North And West Ploughing Competition
North and West Ploughing Competiton - 15 October 201615 October 2016
The North & West Ploughing Association are holding their annual ploughing match on Saturday at Quoys of Reiss Farm. Good Go along and see how it is done by local experts.  A good family day out.



Board Positions at Northlands Creative Glass
Northalnds Creative Glass Board Members Wanted
North Lands Creative Glass are interested in hearing from arts and business professionals with skills and experience that reflect the interests of the organisation to join our existing board team. You will be committed to the principles of good governance and will be enthusiastic about our key aims.



Highland Council asks are you ready for winter?
Gritter Fleet
Have you got a winter kit in your car? Are you prepared for all eventualities? Are you looking out for elderly neighbours? Do you know how to find out and what to do if your school is closed? I urge folks to be prepared and be ready for winter so that you are not caught out." Within its winter roads maintenance budget of 5.22 million for 2016/17, the Council is ready to salt - according to its policy - the 6,744km of roads for which the Council has responsibility. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Academy unable to conjure up mid-week magic
Wick Academy 0 Fraserburgh 1
Wick Academy 0 Fraserburgh 1 -
Reporter Noel Donaldson
ACADEMY supporters' hopes were doubtless high that the miracle mid-week comeback by their team against Forres Mechanics, would be the catalyst to getting to grips with their home results jinx. In the event, the encounter with a well-marshalled Broch outfit was something of an anti-climax, Academy unable to replicate anything close to that scintillating 5-3 performance - underlining their inherent lack of consistency and failing to secure a draw even, in a game that was no classic. With title challengers Cove Rangers away, being Wick's next hurdle, local fans could be pardoned for viewing it with some trepidation not to mention the home encounter with league table supremos, Buckie Thistle, the following week. Will Academy blow hot or cold?     Photo Gallery

More Vehicles In Caithness
Caithness VehiclesWheles in CaithnessCaithness WheelsCaithness WheelsCaithness Wheels







Many more vehicles added to our Caithness Transport Gallery.    Or from the Start HERE
Some of the earlier photos are of vehicles no longer workingin the county.  If anyone would like their own vehicles added to the galleries just email them to bill@caithness.org.
Thurso litter busters
Mont Plesant pupils beach clean
Thurso Beach in Caithness had virtually every little piece of litter removed yesterday (Wednesday 5 October 2016) thanks to the hard work of pupils from Mount Pleasant Primary School. The Keep Scotland Beautiful registered beach clean was undertaken by the Primary 4 and 5 classes and the P4 Gaelic medium class. The children were ably assisted by their class teachers Mrs Firth and Mr Harper and also pupil support assistants Mrs Wares and Miss Duncan.
Big Photo to add to albums
Several New Jobs Added Today
A range of positions have been addedto our Jobs/Vacancies section.

Highland Countryside Rangers gear up for extra events in October
Ranger Walks in October 2016
The Rangers are planning a series of exciting events such as guided walks and children's activities throughout the Highlands. "There is something here for everyone" says Eilidh-Ann Phillips, Senior Ranger for South Highlands. You might fancy exploring the archaeology of Clava Cairns or Yarrows, the clip top trail at Dunnet Head or the deeper mysteries of the Bone caves in Assynt, or maybe you want to take the family investigating the rockpools at Portskerra or hear the Roaring Reds on Skye or Glen Laggan. There are over 30 events to choose from, rounding off with a Halloween event in Glen Nevis on Tues 1st November at 6pm.

Art Exhibitions and Classes In Wick and Thurso
    
Half Light     
Half Light






Made
Made Thurso






Basics Of Sashiko Stitching
Sashiko Stitching






A Little Bit Of Summer

A Little Bit Of Summer






Made - Artist Talk on Friday 7th October 2016, 6-8pm

Learn the basics of Sashiko stitching - Saturday 8th October 2016 10.30am - 12.30pm
 Wick Academy 2 Deveronvale 2
Wick Academy 2 Deveronvale 2 - 1st October 2016
Reporter Noel Donaldson
  A LATE goal, ruled offside, prevented Academy taking all three points and hopefully sparking some home wins. Given the effort put in by the two sides, though, a draw was probably a fair result. The Scorries got off to the best of starts, Sam Mackay putting down a marker in the opening minutes with a well-aimed ground shot past the advancing 'vale keeper. What appeared to be an own goal put the visitors on level terms.   Photo Gallery

Waste contract signals Dounreay's community commitment
Waste Shaft At Dounreay
Amec Foster Wheeluker has been awarded a contract to design and build a new effluent treatment plant at Dounreay. The agreement signals a landmark move for the Caithness site as the first to incorporate socio-economic commitments following the introduction of a new procurement policy earlier this year. Head of Commercial, Stephen Adamson, said: "As a major employer in the area we take our responsibility to support the future of our community seriously. New guidelines, introduced earlier this year, ensure that our biggest suppliers think about how they can help contribute and we are delighted with the way the supply chain, including Amec Foster Wheeler, has responded."
Caithness Field Club 2016/17 Programme

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update

See latest updates in  Arts News    Business News   Community

e' Groat Headlines


Highland Archaeology Festival Starts 1st October
Changes to parking fine enforcement in Highland
Changes To Parking Fines in Highland
fter many years of complaining community councils in Thurso and Wick may finally see progress regarding parking on main roads in the towns.  More fines are likely to be issued once the new laws come into force after 3rd October with one of the big difference that the local authorities can keep the fines to pay for the wardens and other parts of the serviceThe Highland Council will be taking over responsibility for enforcing parking restrictions across the whole of the Highlands from Monday 3 October 2016. Money raised through Penalty Charge Notices will be spent on maintaining this new service. So be aware that parking fines are much more likely unless you pay attention to notices.  For the first time the council will have the power to remove vehicles.
Loch Ness Knit Fest - Four Days International Crafting
Loch Ness Knitting Festival For International Crafters
29 September - 2 October 2016.
There is still time to book some of the many events in the 2016 Loch Ness Knitting Festival taking place at Eden Court in Inverness Loch Ness Knit Fest - an exciting and innovative four-day festival for the international crafting community to be held in the heart of the Highlands. Inspired by the hugely successful Danish Strikkefestival (and with the blessing of its organiser Christel Seyfarth) our inaugural international knitting festival will be hosted by Eden Court, Inverness. Inverness is the Highland capital of Scotland, close to the legendary location of Loch Ness. The Loch Ness Knit Fest promises to be an event to remember for everyone involved.

Lower Reiss Farm Near Wick Takes Overall Show Champion At Dingwall Sale
Supreme Champions at Dingall Sale 24 September 2016 - Owner - Mr Webster, Judges - Lewis Smith, Graham Smith, & Sponsor Ian Macdonald from Norvite.
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd, sold 405 rams and females at its annual show and sale sponsored by Norvite. The judges, Mr Graham & Mr Lewis Smith, Towiemore, Drummuir, awarded the overall show champion and winner of the Mountrich trophy to a Texel shearling from Mr D. Webster Lower Reiss Farm, Wick which realised 1,750 and the reserve champion was awarded to a Blue Faced Leicester shearling from Mr G. Mackenzie, Broomhill Farm, Muir of Ord, which realised 1,000.


Suffolk Reserve Champion At Dingwall Sale
Suffolk continetal Reserve Champion at Dingwall 24 September 2016 - Suffolk & continental show reserve champion – Mr Gordon U. Mackenzie, Broomhill, Muir of Ord – Blue Faced Leicester shearling out of a homebred ewe and by a Mendick ram.Suffolk & continental show reserve champion – Mr Gordon U. Mackenzie, Broomhill, Muir of Ord – Blue Faced Leicester shearling out of a homebred ewe and by a Mendick ram.




Health chiefs probe botched caesarian after surgeon cut newborn's head  -
Herald
Nicola Sinclair, secretary of the Caithness Health Action Team campaign group, said it was a "distressing" case which "highlights the dangers of cutting services to remote areas".

Fits in 'e Groat 'e Day
A quick look at some stories in the local paper.

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Latest Update

Drivers creating potential hazard in main street - sheriff
Perhaps this is coming to an end as decriminalised parking and the appointmentof new wardens with new powers will mean fines coming soon to Highland.  Only time will tell if it has an affect on bad parking.

First section of the 1.1bn Caithness-Moray transmission link energised
Pylon
Knocknagael to Kintore section live and connected to Blackhillock substation. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has energised the first section of the 1.1bn Caithness-Moray transmission link between Knocknagael and Kintore. SSE said the 275kV overhead line is now live and connected to the expanded Blackhillock substation, near Keith, after almost three years of work by the project team.



Do you want to grow your online sales? Think International! - Thurso Workshop
Selling Online Internationally
Get booked early for this free course organised by HIE in Thurso on 9th November.
If your business is already selling online, or you're thinking about starting an online sales operation, why not consider the international marketplace? With the right information, set-up and skills, your business could capitalise on the wealth of opportunities available beyond the UK.


Your Cash Your Caithness - Grants Up For Grabs For Local Groups
Caithness Members of The Highland Council have set aside 30,000 from their Ward Discretionary Budgets to let the local community once again decide for themselves which projects are needed in their area.  Get your ideas written up and go along to pitch for up to 3000.  Local people will then vote for the groups they think deserve support.
All applications must be submitted before 5pm on Monday 31 October 2016.

Watten Fun Day Photos
Watten Fun Day
Last Sunday was the fun day in Watten.





Huge Jackup Barge Neptune Arrives in Pentland Firth For Turbine Installation Work
Jackup Barge Neptune
Jack-up barge Neptune arrives in the PF's Inner Sound early this afternoon 22.09.16. German tug Elbe, which will be working closely with the self-propelled JU, is already on site. Appears that it will be practice runs, with tides, seabed etc. deck-officer /technician familiarisation etc., rather than actual deployment of Andritz 1.5 MW tidal stream turbine, over the next few days.



Council awards new ICT Contract To Gain 11 Million of Savings
Councillor Bill Fernie asgins contract with Wipro for 11million of savings for Highland council
The Highland Council has awarded a 7 year ICT Services contract to WIPRO Holdings UK Ltd. The Council has procured a cost effective, value for money, corporate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solution that will deliver excellent operational performance and contribute to the continuous improvement of services. The contract will deliver a reduction in costs in the region of 11 million over the lifetime of the contract. Chair of Resources Committee, Cllr Bill Fernie (Independent councillor for Wick) said: "I am delighted to announce that the Council has awarded this important ICT contract to WIPRO Holdings UK Ltd.

Wick Campus Delay Until 2017
At a Wick stakeholders meeting held on Monday 19 September at Wick High School, representatives from Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction gave an update on reasons for the delay and outlined a revised programme for the Wick campus delivery. The meeting was chaired by Highland Councillor for Wick Bill Fernie who expressed the Council's disappointment at the delay, and re-stated the Council's priorities to ensure that the flagship facility is completed to the standard expected, and accepting handover only at that point.
Installation of underwater turbine and foundation structures at Pentland Firth: Notice to Mariners
Green Isle Work Boay
After many years of planning finally real action for the placing of turbines in the Pentland firth with the Meygen project. Bill Mowat reports the latest news that a work boat will be here this week to begin the process for the first turbines to go in the water.  This follows the visit to Nigg by First Minister Nicola Strugeon last week to see a turbine for herself.



Wick Hits Headlines As First Nuclear Fuel Flies Out To USA -
Daily Record
Anyone passing towards Wick from Thurso in recent weeks will have seen the major activity upgrading the runaway at a costof 18million ahead of 18 months of flights to take out nuclear materials.  Flights are expected to be about one per month.
10 New Apprentices Start At Dounreay
10 new Dounreay apprentices
Dounreay has said "you're hired" to ten local newcomers who have started their careers at Dounreay this week. This makes it the 61st consecutive year that apprentices have joined the site. The four-year apprenticeship scheme allows the successful applicants to gain on the job experience and training, whilst studying part-time through the University of the Highlands and Islands in Thurso, to gain higher national certificates and diplomas. This year, there are two mechanical apprentices, three instrument apprentices, two electrical apprentices and two design apprentices.    Business Pages

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update

Over 5000 Kids Seen By Highland Rangers So Far In 2016
Bower Primary Kids with Ranger Andy Summers
It has been a really busy year in the North Highlands for The Highland Council's Countryside Ranger team. A recent school visit by the Rangers to Bonar Bridge Primary brought the total since the start of January to 234 Ranger school projects in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross-shire involving over 5000 school pupils so far this year. From Durness to Rosehall, and from Castletown to Lochinver, the Highland Rangers have been involved in wildlife projects this year, including everything from exploring the seashore to woodland, from birds to minibeasts, from environmental art to creating wildlife gardens, bush craft activities to making shelters in the woods.           Community Pages

Groat Headlines Friday 16th September 2016
Caithness Heart Support Group Donate Equipment
Caithness Heart Support Group present equipment
THE Thurso and Halkirk joint GP practice was delighted to receive much-needed replacement items for the surgery.




Volunteers Improve Access Along the Caithness Coast
Volunteers improve access to Caithness Coast
Members of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers teamed up with the Friends of the John O'Groats Trail on Sunday morning to improve access along a section of coastline in the Latheron area, cutting back dense gorse and building stiles to improve access for walkers. The works on Sunday contribute to establishing a long distance walking route from Inverness to John O'Groats and other work days are planned in the future.

Support for Young Farmers
Over 7 million has been awarded to help create and develop around 140 new farming businesses across Scotland. This funding, from the EU and the Scottish Government, will support the next generation of farmers and increase opportunities for young people to establish a career in agriculture. This latest award sees a further 35 new farm businesses from across Scotland sharing over 1.8 million to help create and develop new enterprises.

First Minister Sees Turbines Bound For Pentland Firth
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon see turbines bound for Pentland Firth
Scotland will be home to the world's first ever large-scale tidal stream farm as part of a drive to develop Scotland's marine renewables industry, creating jobs and investment. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the MeyGen project, owned by Atlantis Resources, to see the first turbines in the planned tidal stream array during a trip to the Highlands today. The first phase of the project, developed thanks to 23m Scottish Government funding, is expected to further develop the marine renewables industry and open up vital skilled job opportunities for those who are moving from the oil and gas sector.

Decriminalised parking enforcement
The introduction of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) in the Highlands will allow responsibility for enforcing parking and waiting and loading regulations to be transferred from Police Scotland to The Highland Council. The Council will also receive powers to uplift vehicles.

Public views sought on Parking Enforcement Officers wearing body cameras
The Highland Council is carrying out a public consultation - privacy impact assessment on Civil Parking Enforcement Officers wearing body video cameras. The Council will begin enforcing on and off street parking restrictions throughout the region from October 2016 and as part of the technical specification; Parking Enforcement Officers will be equipped with body worn video cameras.

Review of public toilet charges - Survey
The Highland Council is undertaking a review of how public conveniences are funded and propose to increase the number of sites where there is a charge for use.

Caithness WASPI Group Join Day Of Action
Caithness WASPI group at John O'Groats
Women Against State Pension Inequality are holding a national Day of Action on Friday 16th September 2016. The Caithness WASPI group will be actively campaigning in Wick and Thurso to raise awareness of the changes to women's pensions. On Thursday 15th September the Caithness WASPI group will have a stand in the Wick and Thurso TESCOs so would encourage 1950s women to come along and find out more about the campaign.   Hey Men you can go too - it affects your mothers, aunties cousins, grandmothers and any 50s ladies you know so check it out.

Another Computer Competitiion Won By Wick High School Pupils -
Press and Journal
The winners were Maja Pearson and Erin MacGregor from Wick High School for their innovative Quancobot raspberry pi robot.
Wick Harbour Set To See Biggest Investments Ever In Highland and Possibly The UK
A public information session is to be held on Wednesday 14th September at Mackays Hotel between 4.00 and 7.00pm.
 Drop in anytime to find out more about what is about to happen at Wick harbour starting very soon now that all the financial arrangments are in place,  Construction phase with up to 65 jobs followed by 90 permanent jobs in the new buildings.  The Beatrice Wind farm project off the Caithness coast is about to commence with an operation base at Wick.

The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm site is located 13.5km (at its closest point) from the Caithness Coast in the Outer Moray Firth, with its centre located approximately 25km (13.4Nm) south south-east of Wick. The proposal is to install up to 84 7MW Siemens turbines which will be capable of generating up to 588 MW of renewable energy.

As well as generating renewable electricity, the Project is expected to bring a range of socio economic benefits to both the Moray and Highland regions through job creation, skills training and opportunities for local businesses.

This is all in addition to recent announcments by SSE -
26 August 2016
The 1.1 billion investment is the largest single project that SHE Transmission has delivered to date, following swiftly on from the completion of the Beauly-Denny line last year.
Highland Council signs up to Digital Participation
Digital Participation
Highland Council has made a continuing commitment to tackling digital exclusion in the Highlands. The council has become the latest organisation to sign SCVOs Digital Participation Charter.  Chair of Resources Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: "Digital skills are essential for everyone to participate fully in modern life and access all the advantages and opportunities which come with those skills." He added: "Highland Council is currently part of the Digital Highland partnership, a group of organisations working together to provide a sustainable, partnership approach to support Highland residents to go online and addressing issues around digital inclusion. This work also supports Highland Council's ongoing development of online services, allowing customers to access services anytime, anywhere, on any device."
Public to be consulted on CaSPlan changes
The Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan) which sets out The Highland Council's vision and development strategy for the area over the next 20 years is to be modified and put out for public consultation.
Inverurie drive Academy loco
Wick Academy 1 Inverurie Locos 1 - 3rdSeptember 2016
Wick Academy l Inverurie Locos 1

Reporter Noel Donaldson
THIS certainly fell far short of Academy's best performance and Locos, on the other hand, will have rightfully felt cheated at not taking all three points, given the efforts they put in. Failure to capitalise on their equaliser during repeated onslaughts on the Scorries defence and some sharp keeping by Sean McCarthy denied the visitors the spoils. Buoyed by a emphatic, mid-week win against Strathspey, it looked as if Academy might build on their disappointing home record, when a cut back from the right, in the 14th minute teed the ball up nicely for on-form Richard Macadie to ramrod into the far corner. Photo Gallery

Which Businesses Are The Most Popular Look-ups in our Business Index?
The Caithness Business Index has contact detaisl and links ot many Caithness businesses and many articles that do not alway appearn this page. The articles flow out to our linked Caithness.org Facebook page so if any Caithness business would like an article about their business to feature FREE of charge just send it with a photo to bill@caithness.org

Public warned of algal bloom presence at Loch Watten, Caithness
Loch Watten Algal Bloom Warning
The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness. As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or mat material should be avoided. Adjoining landowners and fishing interests have been advised of the situation as have NHS Highland and SEPA.
   Watten Village From The Air

Wick High School Dance - 10 September 2016 -  Has Been Cancelled
The committe organising the last dance have asked us to let everyone know that for various reasons it has been cancelled.  Anyone who has already paid for tickets wil shortly get a full refund.

A9 NORTH OF KESSOCK SOUTHBOUND - OVERNIGHT RESURFACING
between Sunday 18th and Thursday 22nd September
Overnight Road works soutbound to Kessock Bridge from Tore roundabout
BEAR Scotland, on behalf of Transport Scotland, will be carrying out essential resurfacing works on a section of the southbound A9 Trunk Road between Tore and Inverness.  The resurfacing works are programmed for construction between Sunday 18th and Thursday 22nd September 2016. With no works planned for the Friday and Saturday. Due to the high traffic flows over this section the resurfacing works will be undertaken between 19:00 and 07:00 each night to reduce the impact to motorists.

Wick's Summer Reading Challenge Certificates Presented
Reading Challenge Wick Library
Councillors Neil Macdonald, Bill Fernie, David Bremner and Gillian Coghill were on hand to congratulate the youngsters and hand over a certificate and a medal for their efforts.




Independent Councillor Gillian Coghill Is The New Civic Leader for Caithness
Gillian Coghill, Civic Leader for Caithness
The new Civic Leader of Caithness is Councillor Gillian Coghill who takes over the role from Councillor Gail Ross. One of four councillors representing the Landward Caithness Ward, Councillor Coghill, who was appointed at the start of today's Caithness Committee, is delighted with her new role which is an honorary post and carries no remuneration. Councillor Coghill is an independent councillor and a member of the current ruling administration of the council.

Major Review of Highland Council Services Continues On The Redesign Board
270 services of the council havebeen looed at for review and 120 are now in line to have full reviews in the next two years.  Some will come early and some will come later but change is coming one way or another.    You can click through to the proposals so far to see what the council has to do by statute and what it may not have to do but is discretionary. Many may be suprised at things the council does but does not have to.

Bat Night at Thrumster
Bat night at Thrumster 2 September 2016
Head out on Friday night 2nd September at Thrumster to find lots of bats








Caithness to the Cote DAzur - When the Monte Carlo Rally Started from John OGroats
Caithness to the Cote D'Azur
The 90th Anniversary of the classic car rally was celebrated this year and this new book bring you right up to date with  the latest classic cars rally following the original route that startedin Caithness.




Which are the most Popular Businesses and Categories For Look-ups in Caithness?

Womens State Pension Fight With WASPI - You Can Join
Following successful meetings in Wick and Thurso of the newly formed Caithness WASPI group, two more meetings have been planned for Tuesday 30th August 2016 at 6.30 pm in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso and Wednesday 31st August 2016 at 6.30 pm in the Norseman Hotel, Wick.
CAITHNESS-MORAY PROJECT POWERING A 640M BOOST TO THE ECONOMY
Cable Drums at Wick Harbour
The Caithness-Moray project is centred on a 100 mile underground and subsea cable running beneath the Moray Firth, using High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology. It enables around 1,200 Megawatts of additional renewable generation capacity to connect to the national grid.



Wick school cost 48million and is two years delayed, but lessons have been learned - Press and Journal

Wick High Construction Photos       The Twisted Beam - Hard to see any twist but this is the one being replaced.
New Highland Council ICT contractor to roll-out tablets - BBC
Bill Fernie, the resources committee chairman, said the council was seeking a saving of 11m in its ICT services. 20,000 tablets to be made available to Highland pupils.

Council deal to “save millions”  - Press and Journal
Highland councillors have backed a plan to join forces with their counterparts at Aberdeen City and shire councils in a deal that should save the authorities millions of pounds each year. Speaking after the resources committee debate in Inverness yesterday, Highland finance chairman Bill Fernie said the two Aberdeen authorities currently top a “league table” in savings they make and for their buying power. “As we join with them, that will put that partnership with the two councils plus Highland up to near 1billion of purchases,” he said. “That can only be good for us. “I’m hoping we’ll go from near the bottom of the official league table in council savings to near the top.”
Bower Gala 2016
Bower Gala 2016Bower Gala 2016Bower Gala 2016Bower Gala 2016






Calling Joiners and Locksmiths - Meet The Buyer In Thurso
Police Scotland are carrying out Preliminary Supplier Engagements, "Meet the Buyer" Events, across a few geographical areas in Scotland as part of their research into deciding the best way forward for their new upcoming tender for joinery and locksmith services in relation to boarding up premises in the Highlands and Islands.
Times Changed For Turbine Movements in Caithness  - Drivers Take Note

New Probationer Teachers Start In Highland 2016/17
One hundred and thirty probationer teachers were recently welcomed to the Highlands (on Friday 12 August), at an induction course held in the Highland Council Chamber. Councillor Drew Millar, chair of Education, Children and Adult Services said: "I am very pleased to see so many people keen to start a career in education. This year we have 10 more probationer teachers than in 2015. I hope that all 130 will stay with us here in the Highlands after their probationary year and Highland Council will be doing all it can to make that possible."
Ready Steady Work Course Sponsored By Dounreay
2016 Ready Steady Work Course completed and sponsoired by Dounreay at North Highland College
Seven students have successfully completed the Ready Steady Work course sponsored by Dounreay and North Highland College. The course gives the students an opportunity to prepare themselves for employment by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to secure the job they want.  



Turbine Loads on Caithness Roads - Drivers note times for possible delays
Turbine loads Wick - Barrock
The turbines for the Lochend Wind Farm currently located at Wick Harbour will begin to be moved on 15th August 2016. There will be possible long delays as the turbine parts make their way around the long route.   Monday 15h  - Sunday 21st August wil see convoys moving from Wick Harbour to Barrock via Latheron, Castletown and Thurso.  Drivers can expect long delasy in places as the convoys move slowly along.  Click Through for times.    If you have important jouneys to make get ahead and leave plenty of time.

Evening Classes Starting Soon - Get Signed Up For New Courses
Evening Classes 2016/17
North Highland College UHI's evening classes and short courses are a great way for you to learn a new skill, turn a hobby into a money earner or even take the first step on the road to achieving a new qualification With ILA funding available, you might be able to learn a whole new skill without it costing you a penny! From Digital Photography to Working With Wood, there's something for everyone.


Highland SQA Results 2016
Young people across the Highlands have received their results by text, e-mail or post. This is the first year that candidates were offered the full range of national qualifications from National 2 right through to Advanced Higher as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.
Free helpline for students
For anyone needing help or advice on what to do next.

Over 28,000 Scottish applicants placed in higher education through UCAS
End Of An Era In Wick

Old Wick High School Buffet Ball - The Last Look Round and The Last Dance
Wick High School Parent Council are preparing to hold a walk around and the Old High School and a last dance prior to the move to the new Campus in October.  On Friday the 9th of September 2016 from 6.30 pm on there will be an opportunity for members of the public to come along and have a look around for one last time prior to the schools closure. There will be no charge and tea, coffee and home baking will be on offer for those wishing to chat and sit for a while. On Saturday 10th September 2016 doors will open at 7:00pm for a drinks reception prior to the last Ball commencing at 7.30pm.
New arrangements for householders at Wick Recycling Centre as Council targets commercial use
From 5th September householders who wish to take their waste to Wick Recycling Centre in a van, pickup truck, sign written vehicle and/or a trailer will be required to complete a Household Waste Declaration form before visiting the site or face being turned away.    Highland Recycling Centres Index
Caithness Girl Aims To Help Orphan Kids In Nepal
Nicola Gray (17) is running the Glasgow half marathon, to raise money to volunteer in Nepal with GVI. She has taken a gap year to help orphaned children there.

Caithness Orchestra 2016 course - Performance Sunday 7th August 2016
Over the past few days 4 - 7th August 2016, there has been a flurry of musical activity in Halkirk as they put together Tchaikovsky's epic 5th Symphony. The orchestra has warmly welcomed visiting players, from as far a-field as Iceland and Cumbria, into their ranks. They are spending four days under the professional baton of Susie Dingle and the expert coaching of Katrina Gordon.4 August 2016.

Caithness and North Sutherland Partnership Latest Update

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) - Meetings In Caithness
Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is a national campaign group that fights the injustice done to women born in the 1950s (on or after 6 April 1951) regarding the changes to their state pension age.
Mey Highland Games Change Ground For Saturday 6th August
Mey Games are moving to the showground at John O'Groats. The times etc are all the same just the venue has changed.


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