Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The building is of a modular form costing some £2.5 million.
Hopefully the new building will go some way to resolve some of the major accommodation issues which the Academy has seen this year
A visiting rib came into the harbour for a brief visit and then set off in the direction of Cromarty.
In the river young people enjoyed a cooling dip as have many for generations, although several now sport wet suits to stay warm. Other folk were swimming in the sea, and fishing off the pier.
The occasional porpoise was seen in jumping the firth, and as the wind dropped the temperature rose and the sea turned glassy.
The harbour looks empty as some 15 Nairn boats have set off on their summer cruise, this year to Barra.
Both Nairnites and visitors took in the beautiful evening along the bankie (Will the new path ever be finished!)
A perfect summer evening
Monday, June 29, 2009
It would deprive the hoodie crows nesting ability on this stretch of the river, in addition it would open up the river view to passers by, which in turn would keep the herons on the move at the island hotspot. Planting deciduous species, and various bushes and shrubs, like gorse, broom , honeysuckle for fragrance and colour etc, would be much more attractive and beneficial to other bird species.'
The disruption has been horrendous with one trader reporting that he has seen his passing trade fall away as folk either avoided the Brae or scuttled past the shops as fast as they could, no doubt the same is true for other businesses.
Autumn sees the next part of the work kick off which is in Gordon Street. Fun and games as that will mean all High Street traffic will have to be diverted up the newly refurbished Brae!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
There were printed copies of power point presentations on the Common Good fund (two councillors from the group had attended a seminar in Elgin) and how things should be working if we really were going to get a by-pass.
Yes Gurnites, the team of Rosemary Young, Alison Miller, Graham Vine, Seonaid Armstrong and Jimmy Ferguson mean business and they had some forensic questions for Laurie Fraser and Liz who were present to observe the meeting. They intend to get their teeth into all the issues that impact on their 2,000 plus constituents, be they internal to the area covered by the West Council or those such as the Sandown Lands which will have a massive traffic impact on the West End according to the councillors.
Just to give you a flavour of the meeting here’s a few lines from one of the documents presented:
‘It would appear that an informed discussion on the most effective method of how to manage the Common Good assets on behalf of the Nairn community has not taken place, or if it has it has not been adequately communicated.
Should common good asses be sold off? Land leased or other?
With ownership comes responsibility, who can do that most effectively?’
It bodes well citizens that we have another hard-working team of volunteers ready to fight for the interests of the town. It is encouraging too to see that the West Council pledge their support to efforts to establish a single community council for Nairn.
‘We do pledge our support to co-operate with public consultation on a single Nairn Community Council and to assist with the setting up of such a body, should that be the outcome of the consultation.’
Interesting times ahead!
Well that's fine then.
We can't wait for the Nairn High Street of the future - no food retailers but plenty of opportunities to get bladdered and place a bet. '
Maybe with the impending school holidays in mind Highland Council have announced a list of summer activities.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Again this is not a scientific survey or analysis but just a snapshot of an ongoing situation. This has been reviewed and tweaked since the previous (totally non-scientific) survey in June 2008. Some additional categories have been created and some premises transferred into others, ie Physio and Health Shop into Hairdressers etc.
There are now approx 131 retail and business premises within the area from the British Legion in Cawdor Road to Jacko’s in Harbour Street. Premises in Moray Place, Falconers Lane and Gordon Street, which had been omitted from previous survey, have been added as has the British Legion, Seaforth Club and Jackos.
Out of these there are:
Banks/Finance/Insurance/EstateAgents/Solicitors/Offices/Local Govt 21
Bars/Off Licences 10
Charity Shops 3
Clothes Shops 4
Flower Shops 2
Food shops (not supermarkets) 2
Fruit Shops 1
Gift Shops 9
Hairdressers/Barbers/Beauty/Health shops/Physio 13
Paper Shops 2
Pet Shops/Services 4
Other: Various ie, Tattoist, Taxi's,
Furniture & Carpet, Funeral Directors etc 13
So nearly 75% of the High St area consists of;
Other: Various ie, Tattoist, Taxi's, Furniture & Carpet, Funeral Directors etc
some Pet shop/Services
There are 96 premises, nearly 75%, unlikely to be affected directly by a Sainsbury’s ; Banks/Finance/Insurance/Estate Agents/Solicitors/Office/Local Govt, Bars/Off Licences, Bookies, Bridal, Chemists/Pharmacies, Hairdresser’s/Barber’s/Beauty Shops, Opticians, Restaurants/Cafes/Takeaways, Others, some Pet shop/Services, Empty premises.
Again, depending on what Sainsbury’s may sell 26 Business could find some impact but may well not suffer too much as they are located within the town centre and are used on an everyday basis or are specialist retailers;
Clothes Shops, Charity Shops, Electrical, Gift Shops, Paper Shops, some Pet Shops/Services, Multinationals.
That leaves 9 premises which may be directly affected by Sainsbury’s; Supermarkets, Fruit shops, Flower shops, Butchers, Food shops (not supermarkets).
So whats changed in a year? Not much! All the comments I made in June 2008 are still relevant. Leakage is still happening, probably more so with the opening of Lidl in Forres and the growing popularity of the expanded Asda and Tesco’s in Elgin.
We’re another year further down the line and Nairn is still in the shopping dark ages and still no access to a decent supermarket.
Let’s hope that the Reporter makes a decision which will bring us into the light! A supermarket worthy of a town of this size. Aren’t we worth it?
"An early start to work on the community centre should send out a signal that we are back in business and I am confident it will be the catalyst to a wide range of improvements to our town."
Three years ago Somerfield seemed ready to start their expansion, but any new town centre supermarket seems to now be up in the air. Perhaps something could be revealed this week at the Sainsbury’s hearing but who knows?
The announced £500,000 of improvements to the High Street has only started this year, with the controversial streetscaping of the Brae.
The new Nairn hospital isn’t finished as yet, but as predicted Social Work staff have moved there.
We do have our new community centre but it has saddled the town with debt due to Sandown land not being sold as yet.
Our unique bandstand has been refurbished but we have yet to see the ‘wide range of improvements’ that Sandy had hoped for.
Predictions for three years hence anyone?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Good to see that business can thrive on our High Street
Do you enjoy the spring and early summer colours along this part of the seafront? Perhaps you won't have the chance next year. Could this clump of gorse be next for the chop?
Further along the beach, Japanese Knotweed ( a plant that has devasted areas of the riverside) grows unmolested as the broom is destroyed further along. Please e-mail the gurn if you have any details about why the broom was cut and who is carrying out the work.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
In recent weeks our local MP Danny Alexander put some detail of his expenses on his web site. Although this gave information of his bulk expenses, more detail is now released.
DANNY Alexander, the Lib Dem MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, claimed £1,140 for shelves and a cupboard in two alcoves in his house. Then in 2007 he claimed £175 for roof repairs before moving in June that year. He got back £750 for survey and £1,000 for removal costs, but it also meant that the taxpayer had to fork out for a much higher mortgage of £1,138, up from £550.
He removed his wife Rebecca's first name from bills lodged. In 2007/08, he claimed a total of £168,478.
You might be intrigued by the fact that Danny Alexander, Lib Dem MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, bought a Cox’s apple in the Commons, according to his receipts, but why did the authorities black out the item just above it on the bill? Was this a clumsy clerical error or something else? As the bill only came to £1.50 it hardly seems that it has the makings of a national crisis. Splashing out £1.29 on Wet Ones tissues might seem extravagant, but he would need them to clean up after the crisps he bought as well, obviously.
But the 64,000 dollar question is, why did he start buying blueberry muffins when this seemed so out of character as his receipts show a clear liking for Kettle chips? You start to notice things like that after being fed scraps by the censors.
Will the revelations with regard Mr. Alexander’s spending cause him enough embarrassment to stand down? There are no moats or duck islands but clearly the odd apple or two, and now the blueberry muffin scandal.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Providing they can get permission to build in Nairn the news would seem to suggest that despite the recession they will have the money to go ahead with the store.
And so to the P&J:
It came after a QC representing Sainsbury’s at the public inquiry into plans for its first store in the Highlands accused the council of “outrageous and unreasonable behaviour”.'
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The proposed development at Whiteness Head includes a marina that would see increased boating activity near or around the firing range. Highland Council have already given the go ahead for planning permission but it would seem the MOD are unhappy with subsequent negotiations with regard to the frequency with which it might have to close its firing range.
Although the development at Whiteness Head seems to be on hold at the present time, the owners have continued to clear the land.
Nairn sailing club has recently enjoyed some weekend use of the lagoon at Whiteness for dinghy sailing.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Discover another of Scotland's languages - your chance to get all gaelicked up in Nairn this summer!
Friday, June 12, 2009
The mantra could get a little confusing but if you hear it being chanted it hopefully means that someone near you is going to thoughtfully dispose of a nasty item into a bag!
‘Grab it, bag it, bin it’ is quite catchy, perhaps someone could write some more words and we could get the likes of Chaz & Dave to record it as the summer single of 2009!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Nairn certainly enjoys several arts based festivals each year, but despite the attractiveness of a new arts centre I don’t suppose many Nairnites would be over the moon about having to go out of town for all their food shopping if this proposal goes ahead and we don’t get a new town based store.
It does however add a new dimension as to what to do with the Co-op owned Somerfield store, but will this just lengthen and complicate the already exceedingly long debate over the issue?
Nairn Sailing Club is hosting a regatta this Saturday (13th), which should see further boats visiting the harbour and club. href=
What do we like about cinema? That it takes us somewhere, imaginatively, in its arms so to speak, and that it is communal.
We have devised an event to render these things; a journey for kids and adults between two places that mean a lot to us. The journey will start in Glencoe, in the west of Scotland. It will end in Nairn where Charlie Chaplin holidayed, where the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams took place in August 2008, where we first showed a modest wee Iranian journey film, The Boot, which has become our totem.
We will pull the Screen Machine mobile cinema (www.screenmachine.co.uk) on our journey, over 5 days. Why? To make a pilgrimage for cinema. To bear witness to its wonders. To miscegenate walking and film. In tribute to the road movie genre. In tribute to the brilliance of the Scottish land. To show the world that film deserves such an effort.
Many of the roads are too busy for such pulling, so our efforts will take place on quiet stretches, in sites of great beauty. In between times we will drive the Screen Machine, and travel on a bus. Every night we will stop in a small town or village and screen movies.
The journey will take place between 1st and 6th August, when we will arrive in Nairn and show films until Sunday 9th. The full route, programme and tickets will become available through our website (www.a-pilgrimage.org) from 1st July. Those travellers wishing to join us for the whole journey will be invited to book a seat on the bus too. We'll provide some suggestions for accommodation, but you may have to be prepared to camp occasionally, as the Highlands in August are very popular!
We hope you can join us on A Pilgrimage...
love Tilda and Mark
Liz speaks about the Sandown Tenancy Agreement: 'once again no seconder the story of my life in Nairn!'
In relation to this subject Liz told the Gurn:
I requested at the onset that we discuss it in public (no seconder) then I moved when in private that the farmer not be paid off because by that time 1. the ECS had confirmed bank rolling the community centre which I always thought they should have provided anyway, I still have reservations about Nairn Common Good being used for this purpose as ECS have a responsibility for them and 2. the farmer was not using the land so how long would he keep paying for something with no income - even if he had set it aside I don't think it would have covered his rent - once again no seconder the story of my life in Nairn!
Councillors at the time were me, Laurie, Sandy and John Matheson - the bigger question is who were the councillors in position when the farming tenancy was permitted and the whole debacle started?'
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Action for Planning Transparency, APT, is a group made up of members of the public, and it is based in the Highlands of Scotland.
The Objectives of APT are:
To encourage honest and open debate between communities and planners;
To create a focus for communities and a sharing of experience in planning matters;
To raise public awareness of the planning process, and strengthen the participation of local people in all stages of that process
One report prepared by Rocket Science for HIE was allegedly plagiarized from other academic papers, monies charged for this report were to be returned.
HIE have announced today a review of the tendering process with Rocket Science, and it is believed that the chairman Willie Roe has severed all ties with the company.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Brave tourists peer into shop windows as they scuttle past trying to get away from the noise and dust as quickly as possible, I don’t suppose many mementos of a Nairn holiday will be purchased from the Brae today – anyone for a fridge magnet?
In Highland, the Liberal Democrats topped the poll with 14,550 votes. The Scottish National Party were second with 14,393, the Conservatives were third with 6,728 and Labour were fourth with 5,325.
The Highland result of the Election to the Scotland Region of the European Parliament is as follows:-
Party/Individual Votes cast
British National Party 979
Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship” 1,485
Conservative Party 6,728
Jury Team 275
Liberal Democrats 14,550
No2EU: Yes to Democracy 361
Scottish Green Party 3,806
Scottish National Party (SNP) 14,393
Scottish Socialist Party 336
Socialist Labour Party 596
The Labour Party 5,325
UK Independence Party 3,458
Duncan Robertson 414
Rejected votes 218
Total votes cast 52,924
Sunday, June 07, 2009
‘Professor Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, has suggested Scotland’s poor health record may help to explain why its population appears more prone to the virus than elsewhere.’
In this media age it is all about perception and if the idea that it is easier to catch swine flu in Scotland gathers momentum then the dangers to tourism are obvious. Mark Macaskall goes on to say in his article.
‘Ministers may yet decide that a ban on major events such as the T in the Park music festival and the Edinburgh Tattoo, which is attended by more than 200,000 people from around the world , is necessary.’
Is that an alarmist statement or simply a reflection of the fact that it would be a dereliction of duty if ministers had not planned for the possibility of such action? Many experts seem to think swine flu will take hold with the onset of winter anyway as is usual with cold and flu viruses so we may indeed see the cancellation of major sporting events, closure of cinemas, theatres etc but could it happen sooner than that?
Whatever happens, it is instructive to look at how a community already affected by the virus is coping. Forargyll.com has been posting updates on the situation in Dunoon and in doing so offering a platform to those threatened by the virus to exchange information. Another example of how the new media offers alternative sources of information when they are needed.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Exhibitions are free so take a wander and see what is on offer; the paintings in the Court house really do make a change of scene from the usual business!
Are these trips ‘foreign jollies’ as The Sun labels them, or genuine fact-finding and promotional business ventures? All councils are hard pressed for cash and so you can only assume that such trips are deemed as truly necessary
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Cawdor Village Stores no more? But anyone got a village business idea? There's £400,000 for the taking!
We're also looking for six Village Champions, enterprising individuals who will work with the successful villages to launch and run their brand new businesses.
Their stories will be followed for a major primetime series for BBC One in winter 2010.'
The deadline for all applications is 14th August 2009.'
More details here.
If someone had a cracking business plan I'm sure the beeb would go to Cawdor in a flash, the Gurnmeister knows the village and Castle really well and there's no shortage of characters up there. A Cawdor community soap would offer so much and hold the nation spellbound, the mouth waters at the prospect...
In Nairn Co-op today it was clear to see that the Co-op has adopted Summerfield’s value range with its distinctive plain yellow packaging but labelled ‘The Co-operative, Simply Value’.
For anyone approaching the Brae it would be very hard not to be dissuaded from entering, I’m sure if there were a viable alternative route many folk would use it.
A few inches from where pedestrians tread, construction workers and visitors to the site are protected by hats and florescent jackets. The nature of the work is of quite light construction but nonetheless is noisy, dusty, and makes it somewhere you wouldn't want to go to by choice.
I hope that businesses on the Brae are surviving despite the streetscaping; it is hardly a place for window-shopping these days. If you do venture to look might we suggest similar attire to the construction workers, seems to help keep them safe!