Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another day and another Highland Council election leaflet - Peter Saggers Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Yesterday we had Tom Heggie's leaflet and today we have another candidate in the Highland Council election that will take place on Thusday May 4th. Here's Peter Saggers. 

Click on the images to enlarge and copies of all election leaflets as and when we come across them  also on the Gurn flickr pages here. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Successful meeting for Gaelic speakers and learners in the Community Centre earlier this evening

The "Cearcall Còmhraidh" (learners circle) regulars that meet every Saturday 12-1 in the library held a meeting in the Community and Arts Centre tonight as their advertising material stated:

"Looking for ideas of the kinds of things people of Nairnshire would like, with a view to starting up a new Highland Cultural and Social group where Gaelic would have priority but also where learners of the language would be welcome and supported in a friendly environment."

The cearcall folk had thought that an attendance of around 20 would have been a success but on the night it was neary 40 who turned up for a blether and to exchange ideas on ways of creating opportunities for using Gaelic and for learning the language. Some very interesting ideas were brought forward and a committee was set up. Abair thusa gur e toradh brosnachail tighinn as. 

— A Gurn from Nurn (@GurnNurn) March 22, 2017

More info on future events coming soon and a warm welcome awaits you. In the meantime want to try a bit of Gaelic? Here's a very good page to get going - just give it a few minutes every day - you never know you might get hooked :-)

Tom Heggie standing in May 4th Highland Council election "putting people before party politics"

The first of the leaflets has arrived at Gurn HQ. Please send us yours if you are a candidate in the election to Highland Council on the 4th of May and we will be delighted to display it on the Gurn for the benefit of our readres.

If you find these images hard to read then please try this Gurn flickr page where all leaflets received will be displayed. 

Toshy's Testimonial - Pictures Donald Matheson

Individual images here and also pictures of the Lossie game here. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

John Finnie MSP to Lead Ship to Ship Debate Tomorrow

Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands, John Finnie, will lead a Scottish Parliament debate on ship to ship oil transfers tomorrow.

Mr Finnie, who joined campaigners from the Cromarty Rising campaign group at the Public Petitions Committee last week, has been campaigning against the proposals to allow ship to ship oil transfers to take place in the Cromarty/Moray Firths since last year.

A parliamentary motion (1) submitted by Finnie has received the necessary cross party to allow it to proceed to the chamber as a member’s business debate.

Members of Cromarty Rising will be present for the debate, which will take place following decision time, at around 5.30pm.

Mr Finnie said:

“If ship to ship oil transfers are allowed to go ahead in the Cromarty Firth the consequences for marine life, including the iconic pod of bottlenose dolphins, could be catastrophic.

“The overwhelming majority of communities in the area, who would be in the front line of any oil spill, are opposed to ship to ship oil transfers, as are thousands across the country as the 103,425 signatures on Cromarty Rising’s petition demonstrates.

“The potential impact on the tourism sector, so important to the economy of the Highlands and Islands, cannot be overstated. I am therefore glad that my motion has achieved cross party support, and I look forward to leading a debate on ship to ship oil transfers.”


(2) Debate will be live at:

John Finnie speaking at Nairn Beach anti S2S demo 11th December 2016

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fantastic memories made and others rekindled today at Toshy's Testimonial

It finished Nairn County 3 Toshy's Select 3.  What an afternoon for the fans as cult hero Toshy led first the new Nairn County side that has played with so much pride, skill and passion this season against former players in the select - he switched to the select too (as is the testimonial fashion) for the second half and what a treat to see so many former players once again in County Colours. 

Kenny MacLeod of Cutter photography was there to capture the starting line-up. And a match report is available here. Thank you Toshy for all your years of service to NCFC and the Station Park Loyal and thank you too to his colleagues old and new who turned out today for our local hero. 90 minutes that will never be forgotten!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Optimism for Nairnshire's future - a wee blether with Alastair Noble

Get yourself a cup of tea or a dram and have a listen to Alastair Noble outlining some of the things that have been happening in the background recently - Alastair is optimistic that we have finally turned the corner thanks to recent Scottish Government policies and a few initiatives that have been bubbling away for a while will soon come to fruition.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Toshy's Testimonial Match Sunday 1 pm Station Park

Highland Council elections 4 May 2017 - Are Nairn's apathy levels unsustainable?

Last time round in 2012 only 44% of those on the electoral voted in the Highland Council election. Can we sustain that level of apathy or will we break the 50% barrierr? 

The image below (click on to enlarge) gives details of how the preference votes were transferred and who got in. . Remember Stephen Fuller replaced Colin MacAulay at a byelection held on the same day as the General election and he, Michael, Liz and Laurie are all standing again. Here at the Gurn we understand that there may be at least three other candidates that have shown an interest so far.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nairn Healthcare News March 2017

Phone Scam

NHS Highland has been alerted to a phone scam happening in the area where members of the public are receiving calls from people claiming to be from their local GP Practice.

The caller is reportedly asking questions about their medical condition before going on to ask about their specific medication and advising them to buy herbal medication. Please be advised that under no circumstances would the NHS or any company we work with be advising patients to buy herbal medication rather than what they have already been prescribed.

If anyone contacts you trying to do this do not engage, hang up the call and alert the NHS Counter Fraud team. The NHS Counter Fraud team can be contacted on 08000 15 16 28.

Scottish Primarty Care Information Resource

What is SPIRE?

On 7th March 2017, a national campaign launched to introduce SPIRE to the public and explain what it means for patients. SPIRE is a service that will be used to help NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government plan for Scotland's health and care needs. It allows information from GP patient records to be transferred electronically and held securely at NHS National Services Scotland. This information will help medical professionals to improve the quality of care for all patients, plan services, develop treatments, find out about side-effects and respond to major epidemics.

What information will be used and who will be able to access it?

Information such as date of birth, gender, vaccinations, diagnosis and prescribed medications will be used from the GP record. To protect confidentiality, the details will be encrypted before they are sent so the information is secure at all times. The information will be used by trained and authorised analysts at NHS National Services Scotland. Individual data will then be grouped together to produce national and local Health Board summaries which will be available publicly but the patient will not be able to be identified from these reports. The information will NOT be sold and solicitors, insurance companies, marketing companies will NOT be able to access SPIRE.

Opting-Out and Additional Information

Patients have the option to opt-out of SPIRE if they wish. There will be forms available at front desk that patients can complete. The data extraction is not scheduled to commence until May allowing patients to find out more about SPIRE and giving them the option to opt-out before data collection. If patients requires any further information, they can call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 or visit the website which contains a list of common questions.
Spam Alert

Complaint Procedures

Nairn Healthcare Group is committed to providing high quality care and treatment to people in our communities through the delivery of safe, effective and person-centred care. We understand, however, that sometimes things go wrong. If you are dissatisfied with something we have done, or have not done, please tell us and we will do our best to put things right. If we cannot resolve matters in the way you want, we will explain why it’s not possible to do as you suggest.

Who can complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to us. You can complain directly to us, or if you would rather have someone make the complaint on your behalf, we can deal with your representative. This could be a relative, a carer, a friend or any other person that you choose. We can also give you information about advocacy services, and about the Patient Advice and Support Service, which can help you to make your complaint. If you agree to someone making the complaint on your behalf, it is important for you to know that we will need to ask for your permission for us to deal with that person.

How do I complain?

You can complain in person at the place where you have received care, treatment or advice, or where the incident that you want to complain about happened. You can also complain by phone (01667-452096), in writing, by email ( or by using our online complaints form at

Wherever possible we encourage you to speak with a member of staff. It’s easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about. They will always try to resolve any problems on the spot if it is possible to do so.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of:

* the event you want to complain about; or

* finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why. If we decide that, because of the time that has passed since the incident occurred, we cannot consider your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to review our decision.

For more information about what you can and can’t complain about and what happens after you complain, please ask Reception for our Complaints Handling Procedure Booklet or visit

Snowdrop planting Sat March 25th on the Riverside - Keeping Nairnshire Colourful

Cinema Nairn's next film 'Wadjda' (PG) 2012 Friday 24th March 7.30pm at Nairn Community and Arts Centre

Cinema Nairn's next film 'Wadjda' (PG) 2012

Friday 24th March 7.30pm at Nairn Community and Arts Centre.Tickets at the door.
Cinema Nairn’s first non English speaking film of 2017 is award winning Saudi film ‘Wadjda’ .
This little gem is a gently challenging look at how the pressures on young women to conform to traditional roles build up through childhood, but how adept some strong minded individuals become at sidestepping the constraints. 

Wadjda is a fun loving young girl who pushes the boundaries, and longs for a green bicycle she has spied in a shop. She plans to beat her friend Abdullah in a race once she has the bike.
Naturally neither Abdullah nor the bike are likely to find favour, so Wadjda plans to find her own way to try to circumvent the traditions arrayed against her.

Cromarty Rising petition to Parliament - Nairn woman joins team giving evidence - link to video

A link here to the Scottish Parliament TV Channel showing the petition presentation by Cromarty Rising today. Siting with the Risers to answer questions from MSPs was Loreine Thomson. 

Ship to ship oil transfers proposed for the Moray Firth are to be debated in the Scottish Parliament.

Ship to ship oil transfers are to be debated in the Scottish Parliament.

Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie joined campaigners from Cromarty Rising at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee today (16/03/2017) calling for proposals for ship to ship oil transfer in the Cromarty Firth to be thrown out.

Mr Finnie, who has been campaigning against ship to ship oil transfers for some time was delighted to speak in support of the petition.

The Public Petition’s Committee have agreed to write to the Scottish Government and relevant stakeholders seeking their views on the petition and will return to the issue in a future session.

John Finnie has submitted a parliamentary motion on the issue, which will be debated in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (22/03/2017).

Green MSP Finnie, said:

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the Public Petitions Committee’s session on Cromarty Rising’s ship to ship petition. The petitioners should be commended for the articulate case they made before the committee. The committee have agreed to write to the Scottish Government, and relevant stakeholders and I will be interested in hearing what they have to say on the matter when the issue returns to the committee in due course.

“If ship to ship oil transfers are allowed to go ahead in the Cromarty Firth the consequences for marine life, including the iconic pod of bottlenose dolphins, could be catastrophic.

“The overwhelming majority of communities in the area, who would be in the front line of any oil spill, are opposed to ship to ship oil transfers, as are thousands across the country as the 103,000 signatures on Cromarty Rising’s petition demonstrates.

“The potential impact on the tourism sector, so important to the local economy, cannot be overstated. I am therefore glad that my motion has achieved cross party support, and I look forward to leading a debate on ship to ship oil transfers in the parliament next week.”

As seen on Scottish Parliament TV earlier today Duncan Bowers, Greg Fullerton and Loreine Thomson giving evidence for Cromarty Rising

Monday, March 13, 2017

Supporting Scotland's CABs

One of our regular readers whose family has been helped in recent times by our local CAB has asked us to link to a page which gives details of how you can help the vital service that is provided all over Scotland but now in times of austerity finds itself in the line for funding cuts. 

"MORI research shows one in five people in Scotland visited a local Citizens Advice Bureau in recent years and 98 per cent of clients trust the service and were satisfied with the help we gave them.

We’re cost-effective, with around 75 per cent of the 2,500-strong workforce in our bureaux made up of volunteers.

And we save Scotland money. Independent research shows the work of the Scottish Citizens Advice Service contributes more than £166 million to the common good in Scotland.

Welfare reform, rising energy bills and other increases in the cost of living mean that more and more people need our help. Yet funding for our bureaux is being reduced by the squeeze on sources of income such as local councils."
Please if you can help by giving a donation, skills or your time please have a read of this CAB page. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Good turnout for Public Meeting as Drew Hendry MP seeks to reassure EU citizens living locally

There was a good turnout for Drew Hendry MP's public meeting for EU citizens living locally. The meeting took place in the Nairn Community and Arts Centre this afternoon. A lot of folk worried about the future and the mechanics of applying for Residency or British Citizenship. Drew answered questions as best as he could and afterwards took details of specific cases and experiences some of our European friends and neighbours have been having with the application system.

Drew stressed how the EU folk are welcome in Scotland and how he and his colleagues are determined to do everything to help them remain here. The local MP will soon be publishing helpful information and links on his website.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Seizing the moment - using the Nairnshire Community Councils to make the most of Scottish Government "localism" and "community empowerment" policies

We hope to put up some more videos on this topic in the near future. The poltical landscape is changing - Holyrrood wants to see a whole new landscape when it comes to how communities and local government interact. It has been what a lot of people in Nairnshire have been calling for for almost 25-30 years now as Invercentric thinking gained the ascendancy.

Now it is all about making the most of it as the pendulum swings back the other way as it gets a big shove in the right direction from the Scottish Government.

Its now up to us as a community to make the most of the opportunity presented to us. If you can spare the time please take in some or all of this video from Monday night's meeting of the Nairnshire Community Councils where Loreine Thomson delivered a presentation to the meeting.

A copy of the presentation is available here. 

Here are some other documents readers may find useful in conjunction with the video:

Redesign of Highland Council Final Report
Commission on Highland Democracy Interim Report
2017 Review of Planning System - Consultation Document

Meanwhile over on the Gurn twitter account

If there's not much being posted here it's worth having a look at the Gurn twitter account. Quite a lot happens in the Nairn twittersphere these days. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

Cawdor and West Nairnshire take first steps in preparing to manage Tom nan Clach wind farm cash

A large turnout tonight up at Cawdor All the spaces were taken up in the car park and folk had to park creatively. The meeting actually took place in the main school hall as the community centre room would have been too small and it looked pretty full anyway with a Fisheries  meeting under way. The subject awaiting debate inside - how best to form a Trust to manage the £60,000 per annum that the community will receive from the Tom nan Clach wind farm from 2019 onwards.

Fiona Milligan representing Infinergy sat up on a slightly raised platform with Sandy Park in the chair and on his left his colleague from the Auldearn Trust Will Downie. Fiona did the introduction, outlining the purpose of the meeting and the necessity of forming a Trust to deal with the money that will be coming to the community.

This was the first step in the community forming whatever type of body they feel appropriate to administer the cash windfall that will come their way in future years. Legislation excludes the community council from running such a fund so something has to be worked out and set up by a seperate body. The money can be spent on anything the community wishes apart from three areas of that will be excluded from the terms of the deal and they are anti-wind farm campaigning, religious bodies and political campaigns. There was some discussion later on on whether that would exclude say a church building that provides a venue for community groups – there will be clarification about that at a future meeting. So into the realms of the benefits of a development trust or an organisation limited by public guarantee – echoes there of the early days of NICE when there was much debate of how to make the first steps.

The meeting heard about the successful Auldearn Trust that enjoys a cross over membership of many of the community council members in the village. A problem that can emerge is that people come to the fund with ideas and expect the fund to oraginise them but really it is a fund's job to simply give out the cash to “oven-ready” projects and not to do the work on things that could need planning and other permissions etc. A very good range of advice dispensed from the top table by Sandy and Will and some very good interventions from the floor too. Also the experiences of the Davidson Trust were touched upon by Iain Bain who was at the meeting in his Leopold Street capacity.

Just what type of trust do you need to meet the modern changing circumstances that include ongoing community empowerment measures and land reform possibilities, and the trials and tribulations of seeking "matching funding"? Then there are the “planning gain” opportunities that can occur as in Auldearn where £6,000 found it's way into community coffers from development in Auldearn. Someone pointed out that Delnies is in the Cawdor and West Nairnshire area and there could be development there in the future.

So a successful initial meeting and more bones and perhaps bit of flesh to put on the way forward at the next meeting. There seems to be massive interest and folk there in the hall perhaps with some of the relevant skills to take it all forward and help a Trust materialise. And then it was tea, coffee and cakes and a bit of a blether before everyone set off into the cool Cawdor night.