Wednesday, September 19, 2018

With 33% of Scots having gone without food in the past year due to lack of money NairnCAB is urging people to take part in a national survey

A McDonalds and a Home Bargains for Balmakeith

Here's how the debate went at Highland Council's South Planning Committee yesterday. It is lenghty but the debate was very interesting and touched on a litter cleaning plan for any wider area affected, how it would impact on town centre spending, people spending out of town anyway, flood danger in the Auldearn Burn. What sort of goods in the shop etc. Nairn not having a 24hr culture. How Sainsburys are now selling differnt types of goods with Argos in their store. Impact on nearby residental areas. There are contributions from Laurie Fraser and Tom Heggie who mentioned public support for the application. 

Tyre-less training on Nairn Beach for Artic Expedition

Out thanks to the Editor over at Nairn When You Were a Bairn for this story.

"I spotted this item on BBC breakfast on TV this morning,it's a group of women calling themselves the 'Polar Maidens' who are from different decades, the oldest being the leader Jan Meek 73 who will be trekking the 200 miles to the south pole to see what the effects have on women of different ages, the training on our beach includes the woman pulling tyres to simulate the weight of the loads they will be carrying on the expedition, here is a link if you wish to read the whole story."

Thanks too for the quick of the mark screenshots. 

Here's a tweet that Jan Meek posted too with Nairn Beach looking at its best. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Morganti Land Planning application withdrawn

This in an e-mail from Highland Council 

 Further to our previous correspondence in respect of this application, I have now received written confirmation that the application has been withdrawn. This has been recorded in the public planning applications register and the case file is now closed. Should any further application be received for this or a similar proposal it will be necessary for you to write again to advise the Council of any concerns that you may have as comments made on previous applications cannot be transferred. 

Yours faithfully 
Nicola Drummond 
Area Planning Manager – South/Major Developments (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey & Lochaber)

Next Nairn River Community Council meeting Wednesday 19th September 2018 At Nairn Community & Arts Centre At 7.00pm

More details here. 

Nairn Healthcare News Autumn 2018

Copy of the latest Nairn Healthcare Newsletter here. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A96 temporary traffic lights chaos - MSP wishes to reduce frustration and anger amongst the motoring fraternity.

That's twice this week we've had something up from a Labour mannie. Yes the Gurnmeister is a big Yesser and supports a certain party that leans in that direction but whatever your party colours if you mention Nairn in your press release then please let us know. 

Here's the latest from David Stewart MSP:

Reacting further to the issue of unmanned temporary traffic lights causing chaos on the A96 between Inverness and Nairn twice in two weeks, David Stewart MSP has suggested appropriate information signage at these unmanned works would apprise motorists of the reason for the lights and reduce frustration and anger amongst the motoring fraternity.

He said “ When there is a possible collapse of a manhole cover, which there seems to be a lot of lately on the A96 and temporary traffic lights are required to be installed, I have wondered why when they are unmanned, the operating company or the utility company concerned do not place a temporary ‘A’ frame yellow and black information sign at these unmanned temporary lights, merely advising motorists ‘manhole cover collapsed’ or similar. Then as the motorists pass these lights, they are made aware that the lights have not been set up for no good reason and it immediately takes the heat out of the whole situation.

“Trust me, there is nothing more infuriating for the travelling public than to see apparent road works, temporary traffic lights and no work on going, or workmen present. If they know the reason for these lights then everyone concerned understands the situation and there is reduced frustration. I am not saying we need sign for every different scenario, I am just suggesting an appropriate sign advising ‘collapsed manhole cover’ or ‘urgent road repairs’. This allows everyone to know that there is a valid reason. Let’s be honest, two weeks ago a utility company arranged for temporary traffic lights to be installed on the A96 at Barn Church Road, for non emergency work and then never turned up to do the work. There were massive tailbacks, driver frustration and chaos and after my intervention we had the lights removed.

“ I have made contact with Bear Scotland regards to the signage suggestion and I hope they will take it on board.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

MSP worried over removal of road kill - cites dead badger by side of A96 at Auldearn as example

Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and road safety campaigner, David Stewart contacts Transport Scotland to ascertain policy on the removal of road kill by operating companies on trunk routes.

David Stewart said “ I have been contacted by a constituent who has advised that there has been a dead badger on the side of the A96 Auldearn bypass for two weeks now. This is not the first time I have received such contacts. I have previously been advised of dead deer on the verges between Inverness and Nairn. I assumed that the operating company, in this case Bear Scotland, had a responsibility to remove these carcasses within a set period, as part of their contract. I have written to Transport Scotland today to ask this question and ascertain with which body this responsibility lies.

“Considering the operating companies travel along out trunk routes daily, I am surprised that no action is being taken.

“ Of course it is upsetting for animal lovers to see such animal deaths, but I am afraid that is one of the hazards of driving on rural roads. As the dark nights creep in we have to be more aware of the likelihood of wild animals straying onto our carriageways, so I would urge extra vigilance. Wild animals on the road can and do cause collisions. The best advice is to brake and try to avoid a collision without leaving your lane, unless it is safe to do so. If you hit an animal which is covered by The Road Traffic Act 1988 – namely, dogs, goats, horses, cattle, donkeys, mules, sheep and pigs you are legally required to report it to the police.

Parking meters are coming to Nairn - "The option of no charges is no longer on the table"

A season ticket for locals? 

More in this week's Nairnshire Telegraph which reports the comments by Cllr Peter Saggers at a recent community council meeting. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

65-70 "affordable houses" - will it all go Hunky Dory or will everyone have another sup at the Sandown poisoned planning chalice

A company that Highland Council has a sizeable share in has put in a scoping application for 65-70 “affordable houses” on Sandown. Highland Council is the planning authority and also administers the Common Good Land on which the houses would be built. Highland Council will also be holding a consultation on the proposal as under the Community Empowerment Act that has to be done if Common Good Land is “disposed of”. That's a bit of a complicated mix. Add into that a motion that was passed way back in 2013 when the debt the Common Good had incurred with Highland Council due to various things concerned with Sandown was partially written off. 

Flashback then to June 2013 and this from an article we wrote on 23/06/18:
“Sandown debt - no motion for deferral - 390K written off but Council will still get a share of Sandown”

“The total debt up for debate was £734,410.78 but the Nairn Common Good still takes a £344,000 hit. Here is the motion that won the day.

"Option 5. The Council writes off all or part of the debt that relates to the fee of £390,000 paid to acquire vacant possession of the land, and transfers a pro rata share of the land equivalent to the value of the remaining debt."

The following proviso was added from the Director of Finance's report para 3.7: 

(a) any gain in land value is returned to the Nairn Common Good Fund
(b) Highland Council does not gain financially from any future sale of the land"

This adds another element into a situation that this observer feels will not please everybody. Will the toxic history that has plagued previous planning issues concerned with Sandown come back to haunt this new application or can a satisfactory way forward be agreed with the community? There is no doubt that there is considerable support for public housing of some kind on Sandown but will what is proposed here hit the spot? Will the Common Good get any cash at all once the sale price is paid? 

Whatever way this pans out however we thought some of our readers may wish to follow a few links to other articles concerning Sandown that we published in 2013. They may also be of some use to new Councillors on the block, Peter Saggers and Tom Heggie, who were not in office when everyone was supping from the Sandown poisoned chalice last time round.

Just click on the titles to see the full articles:

FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

Debt decision - Michael Green's view - "closure to the Sandown saga"


Saturday, September 08, 2018

Oirthir gu h-oirthir - Rèis nan Radain - Coast to Coast - Rat Race 8th September 2018 Start at Nairn

Brigadoon like it will all be over by 9 am when the last wave leave on their journey across the Highlands to the West Coast. Good to see this competition returning each September to Nairn. 

Individual images here. 

Friday, September 07, 2018

Apples - got too many? Why not get juiced up at the Nairn Festival - Sat 15th September - Viewfield 13.00 - 16.00

Review of Nairn Sandown for new affordable homes

There has to be consultation then before any disposal of "Common Good Land".

Highland Council's previous involvement with proposed development on the Sandown Lands has been highly controversial to say the least. This time round it looks as though the local authority is setting out its stall before things go any further. Here's the press release issued today:

"The Highland Council has a commitment to deliver 2500 new affordable homes over a 5 year period. The Council and its partners have been carrying out a review of potential development sites throughout the Highlands regardless of land ownership in order to deliver this programme.

As part of this review, the Sandown area south of the A96 was identified as a zoned site, within the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan, with potential for housing development. The site also benefitted from an approved development brief. 

The Council asked Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) as one of its development partners, to facilitate a feasibility to determine if this would be a viable site for consideration to assist the council in meeting its overall affordable housing targets. 

Initial feasibility work included contacting statutory authorities to determine whether there would be any significant constraints on the site. This also included contacting the council’s planning service with regard to a screening application to determine whether an environmental statement would be required if a planning application were to be submitted. 

The feasibility work being carried out will assess if the site is suitable and viable for potential housing development, and whether HHA should consider submitting a proposal of application notice (PAN). 

Any application related to Sandown land would have to be considered by the Nairnshire Area Committee and subsequently by the full Highland Council prior to any decision being made. 

Also as part of this process, in accordance with the Community Empowerment Act, the Council is now required to undertake a consultation process before any disposal of Common Good land can proceed. Representations received must be taken into account when reaching a decision on disposal. Proposals would be published on the Council’s website together with a guide for making representations, with the relevant community council and any interested community bodies being notified directly. This consultation is separate to the formal planning process.

Any potential planning application would have to follow the major application process. No planning application would be made without approval from the Nairn Common Good and prior to submission of any planning application, full public consultation would take place. 

Feasibility work is at an early stage but this is potentially a great opportunity for new affordable homes for Nairn."

Gurn comment - how about Council housing instead of "affordable housing"?

More Gurn comment - Highland Council administer the land, they are also the planning authority and own a sizeable share of the company that has put in the application. Bearing all that in mind would it be wise for them to put this consultation out to an organisation that has no financial or other interest in Sandown?

Dà thachartas Gàidhlig aig Fèis Leabhraichean Inbhir Narainn Dihaoine sa tighinn

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Housing Development in Nairn turns East? 65-70 Houses for Sandown?

Oppps apologies "West" - a bit confused folks, so much in Nairn has gone West already. 

A screening application for 65-70 houses has appeared on the Highland Council website here. 

The application takes in a large area of land on the southern field of the three Sandown Lands fields between the wetland area and Sandown Road, a map can be seen on the site. The application is in the name of the Highland Housing Alliance. Their website here states 

"Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) is a development company dedicated to building and managing a wide variety of good-quality homes for people in the Highlands.

The HHA’s vision is to facilitate and deliver additional good quality housing in the Highlands with a wide range of private and public sector partners and to provide a top quality housing development and management service to our customers."

Further information on the site as follows:

"The Highland Housing Alliance is a development company set up to work in partnership with the Highland Council, housing associations, Scottish Government, private landowners and developers to help build more homes of all tenures for people in the Highlands.

The Highland Housing Alliance’s vision is to facilitate and deliver additional good quality housing in the Highlands with a wide range of private and public sector partners and to provide a top quality housing development and management service to our customers.

The Highland Housing Alliance is owned by five housing associations working in Highland, one housing trust and The Highland Council."

Ploughing the Sandown Lands
The Sandown Lands are owned by the Nairn Common Good Fund and this observer has heard them referred too in the past as "a common good asset" rather than common good land". One would imagine that any potential developer would have been in contact with the Trustees of the Common Good Fund (the Highland Councillors) before submitting any sort of application - and as Highland Council are part owners of the Highland Housing Alliance then it would be hard to imagine that this application might have escaped their notice. 

Obviously our four Nairn Councillors will be bound by commercial confidentiality should any such discussion have taken place or be ongoing but perhaps it may be to everyone's advantage for all parties to be as transparent as protocol permits given the troubled history of previous applications for housing on Sandown. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Team Hamish and NICE "Vision for Nairn" Initial project plan now published

The potential of Team Hamish working with NICE and the fledgling BID to finally kick start regeneration of Nairn has been outlined in a document now available online on the group's site. Reports and initiatives have come and gone (usually to gather dust on a shelf somewhere) or to await a further reinvention of the wheel a few years later. It is usually about suits coming into town with powerpoint presentations telling us what is good for us. Now it is time for home grown talent to take the lead, will the incredibile potential of allowing this community to do it's own thing finally be unleashed with this project being allowed to be the driving force for regeneration of Nairn, with the backing and good will of the many willing and talented folk able to put their shoulders to the wheel? 

The Introduction to the Project Plan begins:

"Nairn is widely recognised by outsiders as being ripe for regeneration as a tourist destination. It is in a location that has assets in abundance, but the town centre itself and the seafront do not offer enough to encourage visitors to stay for more than a few hours or the potential to choose Nairn as a ‘return’ destination.

Over the years many ideas have been offered, but unfortunately these have not been brought to fruition. We would suggest that previous proposals have lacked a holistic, overarching strategic master plan that encompasses all of Nairn’s assets and highlights their potentoal. Similarly, full collaboration between community bodies, voluntary groups, local businesses and the statutory authoritoes has been overlooked. This has resulted in there being limited ‘joined-up’ thinking to put Nairn back on the map as a tourist destination and revitalised for the benefit of its Community as a whole. 

We believe that a number of recent key developments make this moment in time the perfect opportunity to begin enhancing Nairn.

 The BID, now approved, will play a critical role in Nairn’s future, and will be the local businesses’ contribution to its regeneration. "

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fancy becoming a volunteer driver for the Community Minibuses?

Originally posted by Andrew Randerson on the Nairn oor Toon social media page

Goodmorning folks..

I know most if not all of you have seen the nairn community transport busses in nairn ...

And the transport do a great job for the 70 groups who use them ..but they after more people to hire them especially evening and weekends..

Did you know you can hire them like you would hire a car ? 

Do you have a dart group pool group dominoes or even an outing to a city or event etc.. well the busses maybe available to hire ..

Imagine only needing 1 responsible driver :) 

Or instead of upto 14 of you needing trains busses etc to Aberdeen invernss Glasgow etc it could well be cheaper clubbing together to hire the bus ..

As for the driver you have two options either use your own (who will need to go through an easy Midas test first. Basically it's just to prove your a safe and responsible driver if I can do it anyone can and Gary who runs it is very friendly and welcoming ) or if your lucky then the community centre maybe able to draw from its pool of volunteer drivers as they currently do for a vast amount of folk ..(If you use a volunteer driver id advise payment of a wee chokkie bar ;) ;that's me just hoping it's not mandatory lol ) if this is maybe of Intrest to you or someone you know please pass along .as sometimes people dont know what they have on their doorstep ..

Also if at all you fancy becoming a volunteer driver hours.. times .. days commitment are all upto yourself and extremely flexible then the community transport need you ...

If you have d1 on your licence all the better but it doesn't matter as it's not needed for all the busses, a standard normal full licence is all you need ..

If any of this interests you or someone you know then please contact Nicola Mackinlay at the community centre .... :) 

Fèis chiùil Gàidhealach a' comharrachadh òigridh ceòlmhor na h-Alba le 1,000 dhiubh ann an sàr-chuirm

Chaidh am prògram airson Fèis Blas na bliadhna-sa fhoillseachadh an-diugh, a' taisbeanadh sàr chruinneachadh de luchd-ciùil bho air feadh Alba agus thar a crìochan, a bharrachd air cothromanan inntinneach do dh'òigridh a tha airson iad fhèin a chur air adhart mar luchd-ciùil agus sgrìobhaicheran-ciùil.

Tha Blas air a cho-òrdanachadh le Fèisean nan Gàidheal an com-pàirteachas ri Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd bhon 7mh-15mh dhen t-Sultain. Tha e na amas aig Blas cultar na Gàidhlig agus saoghal beothail ceòl traidiseanta na h-Alba a chomharrachadh thar naoi latha de chuirmean, cèilidhean agus tachartasan nas motha, aig diofar àiteachan air feadh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean.

Thug Blas air adhart cothroman inntinneach ùr do dh'òigridh cuid de phrìomh thachartasan fèis na bliadhna seo a dhealbh agus a lìbhrigeadh, le taic bho stòras thachartasan Bliadhna na h-Òigridh 2018, fo stiùir Roinn Thachartasan VisitScotland.

Am measg prìomh luchd-ciùil fèis na bliadhna seo, a bhios a' tachairt eadar Bheàrnaraigh is a' Chomraich, bho Phort Rìgh gu Port MoCholmaig, tha a' bhana-sheinneadair Julie Fowlis, dithis a bhuinnig Farpais Oigridh Folk BBC Rèidio 2 roimhe seo, Mischa Nic a' Phearsain agus Brìghde Chaimbeul, an còmhlan rock Ceilteach Wolfstone, a tha a' nochdadh aig Blas airson a' chiad uair, an còmhlan folk Breabach a tha air a bhith am measg nan duais iad fhèin, an còmhlan òg Ceilteach leatronaigeach, Niteworks agus an còmhlan sàr-chliùiteach RURA.

Bidh dithis shàr-Ghàidheal, Alasdair MacGillIosa agus Dolina NicIllInnein, le chèile a' comharrachadh an 80mh ceann-bliadhna le tachartasan sònraichte anns an Eilean Sgitheanach agus Leòdhas an cuideachd taghadh iomraiteach. Agus le Runrig air an t-slighe tron Mhìle mu Dheireadh, bidh Trail West a' comharrachadh ceann bliadhna air leth - 40 bliadhna bhon chaidh an clàr ainmeil agus adhartach Play Gaelic fhoillseachadh, a lìbhrigeadh ciùil bhon chlàr aig dà chuirm anns an fhèis.

Chan eil e na annas gu bheil òigridh nam pàirt chudromach de dh'fhèis Blas, ach ann am Bliadhna na h-Òigridh thèid barrachd cothrom na bha riamh ann a thoirt do dh'òigridh na Gàidhealtachd an cuid thàlantan fhoillseachadh. Bidh luchd-ciùil òga a tha a' gabhail ceumannan-toisich air an àrd-ùrlar a' nochdadh aig a' mhòr-chuid de thachartasan agus gheibh an òigridh deagh eòlas air margaidheachd agus stiùireadh thachartasan mar a bhios iad ag obair ann an suidheachaidhean le uallach airson a bhith a' cumail rian air fèis na bliadhna seo agus ga sanasachd, mar chuirm mhòr a' foillseachadh òigridh.

An déidh cuirm mhòr Ceòl nam Fèis anns a' Phàillean ann an Srath Pheofhair air Dihaoine 14 Sultain, thig Blas gu ceann aig sàr-chuirm ann am Pàirce Cruinneachaidh a Chinn a Thuath ann an Inbhir Nis an ath latha, Disathairne an 15mh; bidh barrachd air 1,000 de luchd-ciùil òga air an an tarraing bho Fhèisean air feadh na h-Alba agus buidhneanagus iomairtean-ciùil òigridh leithid Buidhnean Ciùil Òga Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd. Bidh òigridh sàr-thàlantach a' gabhail an àrd-ùrlair còmhla ri còmhlain a thagh iad fhèin, leithid buidhnean mòra ainmeil mar Skipinnish, Trail West agusBreabach còmhla ri Brìghde Chaimbeul. Thèid òran Gàidhlig ùr a chaidh a sgrìobhadh le Robbie MacLeòid a tha na oileanach ann an Glaschu, a lìbhrigeadh leis a h-uile neach-ciùil anns a' chuirm, an tachartas as motha a chaidh a chur air adhart le Fèisean nan Gàidheal nan eachdraidh thar 30 bliadhna.

Tha cothrom air leth air a thabhann do neach-ciùil og eile tron fhèis, a bhana-sheinneadair Gàidhlig Mischa Nic a' Phearsain à Leòdhas. Bidh Mischa, a bhuinnig an duais Folk ainmeil agus luachmor do dh'Òigridh aig Rèidio 2 ann an 2014, a' lìbhrigeadh a coimisean ùr, le taic bho Thorntons Investments, grunn thursan tro Bhlas. `S e cruinneachadh de dh'òrain ùra an Gàidhlig a th'a nn an Bho Èirigh gu Laighe na Grèine – Sun, Moon, Land, Life, Sea, a' gabhail a-staigh seann bhàrdachd Ghàidhlig, dealbhan agus fiolmaichean goirid.

Thuirt fear de thosgairean òga Fèis Bhlas na bliadhna seo, Lache Robinson: "Tha e dìreach sgoinneil a bhith an sàs ann a bhith a' deisealachadh airson fèis na bliadhna seo agus a bhith a' coimhead air adhart gu prògram a tha cho inntinneach agus tarraingeach, le cuid dhen luchd-ciùil òga as ainmeile a th'againn nam pàirt dheth. Tha Òran Mòr gu bhith dìreach sònraichte agus tha mi fhèin agus mo cho-oibrichean òg a' coimhead air adhart gu mòr gu bhith na mheasg agus a' frithealadh thachartasan eile tro Fhèis Bhlas."

Thuirt an Leas Phrìomh Mhinistear Iain Swinney: “Ann am Bhliadhna na h-Òigridh, tha e sònraichte a bhith a' faicinn Fèis Bhlas a' foillseachadh uibhir de thàlantan òga agus mar a thathas a' cruthachadh chothroman ùra do dh'òigridh air àrd-ùrlar agus a' tabhann chothroman dhan ath ghinealach de sgrìobhaichean agus luchd-lìbhrigidh ciùil”.

“Bidh prògram na bliadhna seo, le measgachadh air leth de chèilidhean, cuirmean agus tachartasan eile air an cruinneachadh agus an dealbh le taic bho na tosgairean òga a' cur air adhart agus a' comharrachadh cultar na Gàidhealtachd gu luchd-amhairc is èisteachd bho fhad is farsaing”.

“Tha Blas fhèin a' comharrachadh prìomh innleachd aiseag cultar na Gàidhealtachd agus tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba a' gealltainn an tuilleadh taic son fàs, a bhios a' cur ri beatha cultarail na h-Alba agus a' cur ri taisbeanadh agus misneachadh na Gàidhlig ann an Alba."

Thuirt an Comhairliche Alasdair MacFhionghain, Cathraiche Buidheann Ro-innleachd agus Buileachaidh na Gàidhlig agus Cathraiche Stòras Corporra Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd: "Tha a' Chomhairle air a bhith taiceil do dh'Fhèis Blas bhon a chaidh a stèidheachadh 13 bliadhna air ais. Bha a' chiad fhèis ann an 2005, agus tha an fhèis air fàs agus tighinn air adhart, ach chaidh aig an fhèis air leantainn le bhith a' cur cultar na Gàidhlig a tha cho sònraichte aig cridhe chùisean, a' leigeil le luchd-ciùil ainmeil eadar-nàiseanta a bhith a' nochdadh air an aon àrd-ùrlar ri òigridh bhon sgìre seo fhèin. Tha prògram na bliadhna seo tarraingeach, inntinneach, agus làn foghlaim, gu h-àraidh seach gu bheil sinn a' comharrachadh Bliadhna na h-Òigridh. Tha sinn a' moladh do dhaoine a dhol gu aon tachartas aig a' char as lugha ach am faigh iad a-mach dhaibh fhèin cho sònraichte agus tlachdmhor sa tha an fhèis seo de cheòl agus cultar na Gàidhlig."

Thuirt Ann Marie Reid, Ard-Mhanaidsear Leasachaidh, Iomairtna Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean: "Tha sinn air leth toilichte a bhith a' toirt taic do dh'Fhèis Blas a tha cho cudromach mar thachartas do choimhearsnachdan air feadh Alba. Tha an fhèis a' fuasgladh chothroman do dh'òigridh an cuid thàlantan a thoirt air adhart agus am misneachd agus an sgilean a thogail, a bharrachd air a bhith gan lìbhrigeadh fhèin agus a' soillseachadh na sgìre do luchd-tadhail agus muinntir an àite fhèin ach am faigh iad cultar na Gàidhlig agus na Gàidhealtachd a chomharrachadh."

Gheibhear an làn-phrògram de na tachartasan aig far am faighear cuideachd fiosrachadh mu cheannach thiocaidean agus, an lùib sin, lùghdachadh phrìsean mu choinneamh chairtean Young Scot.