Sunday, December 10, 2017

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 and you can scroll down the wee twitter boxie on the right hand side as far as you like to see what the latest craic is. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either. 

Nairn SSP members at Culloden protest

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Phallic Snow Art appears beside A96 in Nairn

Yes for once the phrase is spot on - "It's bollocks in Nairn"  The art installation is also directly across the road from the controversial housing scheme proposed by a north company - surely no connection?

Thanks to our regular reader who, although shocked by what they saw, managed to forward an image to us despite their anger and outrage.

Jordan MacRae to stay at Station Park: "“The setup is fantastic at Nairn and there is a great team spirit within the dressing room and across the whole club."

Friday, December 08, 2017

Meanwhile down at the Harbour in the "road closed to subsidence" zone daylight reveals the extent of the problem.

Click to enlarge

Clunas Christmas Conundrum Continues - another mystery gift appears on gates

 Clunas resident David Clem tells the Gurn:

Dear Gurn,

You may remember that last year we sent you details of an intriguing Christmas mystery in Clunas. All the cottages and houses in the area were delighted to find beautifully and lovingly constructed wooden Snowmen deposited at the end of their tracks or at the garden gate. Despite lots of local speculation, enquiries and publicising the event with The Gurn and in the Nairnshire we never found out who the benefactor was.

This year we all decided to put the Snowmen out at our front gates and imagine our surprise that, at the same moment, another Christmas gift appeared in the form of a fantastically and lovingly crafted, wooden, Christmas Robin which was placed at everyone's house.

The photo shows last year's Snowman with this year's Robin plus a close-up of the Robin. One has to admit it is a work of art and to construct about 16 or so would require not only a great deal of time and effort but quite an outlay of cash in paint, buttons, scarves and hats!

Yet again, we have not the faintest idea who is responsible for the work of art!
Does anyone out there have any idea as to the identity of the Christmas Robin creator? There are a lot of Clunas folk who would like to say "Thank you".

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Nairn Harbour Access closed due to subsidence! Video from the scene.

The road down to the car park next to the west pier was closed this afternoon at around 15.00 at the time of the high tide and in the eye of Storm Caroline. The dredger was busy at the part of the harbour where the problem seemed to be though - were the dredger crew pumping material up against the harbour wall to shore it up?

Update Press Release from Highland Council:

"For public safety, The Highland Council has closed Nairn Harbour access road from the point just beyond the Nairn Sailing Club’s yard fence. 

There is currently no access to the large car park at the end of the pier, and there is no access to the slipway into the harbour.

Access to the Sailing Club Yard is still in place at present and pedestrian access for boat owners to the pontoons is being maintained.

The closure is due to subsidence in the harbour wall. 

Access to local businesses is unaffected.

Signs have been erected and motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are urged to heed the signs.

Assessments into the condition of the harbour wall and repairs required are ongoing."

New logo for Partnership

The Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partership now has it's own logo, designed by two S3 Nairn Academy Pupils - Angus Baker and David Fleming.

The launch of the logo coincides with the release of the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partnership plan.

Storm Caroline no match for material dredged from Nairn Harbour

Accidentals Christmas Concert St Ninian's Church 7.30 pm Saturday 9th December

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Team Hamish Ceilidh 15th December

NRCC fight back against Councillor Liz MacDonald

A letter from Nairn River Community Council appears in today's edition of the Nairnshire Telegraph and it sets out their defence against a recent statement critical of the CC from Liz MacDonald.

One of the initial paragraphs reads:

"We wish to clarify our consistent support as a body for provision of appropriate housing in Nairn to meet local need. At no point have we ever as an organisation taken a position against provision of social housing for Nairn. We are thus disappointed to see this suggested on your front page."

It's a very good, well-structured letter which analysis Liz's present planning position in depth and it pulls no punches there. This observer would recommend that you invest 50p in this week's edition of the Leopold Street Thunderer for this masterpiece fightback alone. Keep up to date, read this letter!

There is actually criticism of our Highland Councillors in two other letters this week and support for the Community Councillors. GS Guthrie thinks Community Councillors have backbone and writes:

"Recent reports in your paper of attacks on the Community Councils by town councillors have caused me great concern. I have lost my confidence in them completely, as I feel this sort of criticism is totally unjustified."

A cracker of a letters page with Ritchie Cunningham also asking questions of Fergus Ewing and the Scottish government on the proposed ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth. 

A very good edition this week fellow Gurnites, break open the piggy bank and get down the paper shop asp. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Massive hike in cost of renting a garage from Highland Council?

We had a tweet from one of our readers tonight, he suggests that the rent for his Highland Council garage could rise an incredible 2500%

He went on to tell us that in cash terms that would be a rise from £39 to £936. This observer suspects that that would be a fair whack out of most household budgets in Nairnshire. We have forwarded Tams information to Oor Liz (via Twitter) to see if she can tell us whether Tam is merely unlucky or whether this will affect a lot of folk if it goes through.

To get a better idea of what is going on we had a look at the minutes of the Community Services Committee mentioned in the image that Tam posted with his tweet and with regard to garages. The minutes for the meeting on the 15th of February state:

"The continued difficulty in letting garages was acknowledged and alternative ways to address this were explored. It was suggested that they could be sold on the open market or, taking into account any potential parking issues, that they be used as house sites. Many were in a dilapidated state and attracted anti-social behaviour and ideally therefore they should be phased out. In addition, given that most were rented by non Council house tenants for storage and/or commercial/business use, there was a commercial opportunity open to the Council to increase the rent in these cases for garages and garages sites by more than the proposed 1%;"

The committee agreed: " a review of the use of garages and garage sites be undertaken."

More background here from the webcast of that meeting which indicates some of the dilemmas facing the Council with garages and some of the thinking going on. The video starts with Donnie Kerr it is also worth going to 2.22 in the video where an official responds to some of the points made. 

NCFC Chairnman's report -

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba ag radh gum bi am bamca aca ann an Inbhir Narann a' dùnadh

Chan e a-mhàin gu bheil e cudromach don choimhearsnachd mar bhanca, seall ciamar a tha e aig teas meadhan pàirt den Phrìomh Sraid agus ceàrnag le Sraid Leopold far a bheil cuisean air a bhith a dol gu h-ìre math, agus a dh'aindeoin a h-uile bacadh a tha bailtean a leithid Inbhir Narann air a bhith fulaing.

Ann an seadh ailtireach tha e cudromach cuideachd. Chithear sin anns an dealbh. Cha mhòr nach eil iad a' dèanamh sgrios air pàirt den eaconamaidh den bhaile agus a bharrachd air sin an sealladh laitheil againn. An gabh dad a dhèanamh? Gu mì-fhortanach tha sin den bheachd nach gabh agus gum bi riaghaltas Lunnainn coma mu a dhèanamh.

"Port of Cromarty Firth says ship-to-ship plans will be resubmitted"

"CONTROVERSIAL proposals for ship-to-ship oil transfer in the Cromarty Firth will be resubmitted despite a 100,000-strong public petition voicing concerns about the potentially disastrous impact on the environment and a world-renowned colony of dolphins."

It is really disappointing, Fergus Ewing and the Scottish Government cannot fail to be aware of the level of anger against this S2S proposal - you would have thought they would have found a way to sort the Port Authority over this by now wouldn't you? An imaginative bit of speedy legislation perhaps?

More Gurn comment on this over the next few days. Enjoy Christmas and Hogmany folks and then  prepare once again to fight the Port Authority and to put pressure on our local Scottish Government MSPs again too.

Meanwhile two wee snippets worth a read on the Cromarty Rising web site: "What’s the difference between Fergus Ewing, Rossana Cunningham and Douglas Ross?" and "Port of Cromarty Firth ignore their stakeholders"

A reminder of what we all got up too around this time last year below. Individual images here. 

Friday, December 01, 2017

All looking lovely and Christmasy in Auldearn

A Magical Christmas Fayre fundraiser for Nairn Play - Community and Arts Centre tomorrow Saturday 2nd December 10 am - 4 pm

Women's Charities and foodbank stall on Nairn High Street Saturday 9th December 10.30 am to 1.30 pm

Labour wifie speaks out against RBS closures

Drew got the ball rolling this morning and he has his finger on the wave of outrage sweeping across the Highlands today. Don't believe us? Go and have a look at the pages of the Nairn Rocks Facebook groups and the Royal Bank thread. 

Hopefully we will see cross-party support against the RBS Banksters and maybe even public demonstrations? Maybe, just maybe, this can be stopped? Now here's what Scottish Labour have to say.:

"Highlands and Islands Regional MSP, Rhoda Grant has hit out at the decision by RBS to close a further 62 branches in Scotland.

Rhoda Grant said “I understand that banks are coming under pressure due to reduced customer footfall with the onset of online banking and telephone banking becoming more popular. However, off the 62 RBS closures,13 are in the Highlands and Islands where access to online banking is limited and the distance to an alternative bank is prohibitive.

“It is the elderly and the disadvantaged who are the main users of on street branches and they are the very people who will find it hardest to either access these other forms of banking or be able to travel to the next available bank. We have to also think about the staff who at this time of year are more than likely to hear they are losing their jobs.

“Village banks especially those in the remote areas are integral to the community. In many cases they are the magnet that pulls people into our villages and towns. If they close we are likely to see what’s left of our business and trading community diminish as the villages and town centres become more like ghost towns.

“Banks always talk about their social responsibility, well in most of these cases the closures seem more about costs and savings than any form of responsibility to the community.

“ I will be writing to the CEO of the RBS, Ross McEwan, seeking answers to the questions many constituents of mine have been asking. These will include what plans have they to reduce any staff compulsory redundancies, how are they going to provide a service to the loyal customers in the towns and villages across the Highlands and Islands and what action do they propose to take to sustain and support the local communities they are abandoning. A further key question that I will be asking is have RBS taken into account the poor broadband connection in many rural places across the Highlands & Islands which will prevent many from utilising this particular service."

Royal Bank no more and ATM goes too! Latest from Drew.

Housing, Banksters - Social media comment on issues affecting the town today on the ever-popular Nairn Rocks Facebook pages

Interesting comments today folks, especially local thoughts on the Bankster decision to close the Royal Bank branch in Nairn, plus a load of stuff about events and businesses in the town.  More here. 

Royal Bank branch in Nairn to go according to shocked MP

News emerged this morning of RBS branches to close. This will be a devasting blow to Nairn High Street. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Finnie Raises Easter Ross Recycling Jobs with First Minister

We're going a little off-piste with this one Gurnites but it just seems so tragic that such a decision by Highland Council means workers in the Highlands getting paid off like this. The details is in the press release from John Finnie MSP which can be read below.

North Green MSP John Finnie raised the plight of 31 workers, who have lost their jobs due to a controversial Highland Council procurement decision, at First Minter’s Questions, this afternoon.

The decision has resulted in the entire workforce at Evanton-based William Munro Construction losing their jobs, after Highland Council awarded a £1.5million recycling contract to a French multi-national company, SUEZ.

The council informed the company by email, less than 2hours before their existing contract expired that their recycling contact would not be renewed.

Subsequently, SUEZ has denied they need to take on any of Munro’s workforce under the TUPE Regulations and the 31 workers now not only have no work but are also, due to their disputed employment status, unable to claim benefits.

This new contract will result in recyclable waste from across the Highlands being transported to Newcastle for processing.

John said:

“It is extremely concerning that the Highland Council have acted in this fashion, essentially pushing 31 employees into redundancy less than one month before Christmas.

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to raise the issue with the First Minister and welcome that she plans to investigate.

“It beggars belief that the council have decided they will transport this waste to Newcastle for processing. They have failed to adequately consider the workers involved, the impact this will have on the local economy in Easter Ross and the wider environmental impact transporting this waste will have and I’ve written them telling them so.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Nairn BID meeting goes very well in the Golf View tonight

Lots of support expressed to the BID team tonight from local businesses. More about the BID here at