Wednesday, March 17, 2010

West Community Council supports Gaelic on path signs

The West Community Council voted, on the Chair’s casting vote, to support bilingual path signs in Nairn. The Gaelic element of the signs will be funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig – the Government Quango responsible for implementing the Scottish Government’s Gaelic act. There was a lively discussion on the merits of Gaelic signs with support from most of the members of the public present. Graham Vine and Seonaid Armstrong voted against the proposal with Jim Ferguson and Rosemary Young in favour. Brian Stewart, with mixed feelings abstained. Ailidh Chisholm the Nairn Academy rep on the Council was in favour but is not actually a voting member of the organisation. The Casting vote fell to Rosemary Young. Jimmy Ferguson’s pragmatic approach of using the extra funding available just to get new signs was probably an indication of how you have to grasp every opportunity available in these new, credit-crunched times. The Gurn understands that last week the River Community Council voted emphatically against any Gaelic on path signage however.
The Gurn supports Gaelic but accepts there are those who would legitimately argue that Gaelic is irrelevant to the modern world, it is a fair basis for argument but there can be no denying the unmistakeable element of Gaelic heritage in Nairnshire. According to the last census there are 200 speakers of the language in Nairn and another 100 capable of understanding the language. There is also now a Gaelic unit at Millbank primary and a well supported and successful Gaelic choir. Gaelic culture is an element Nairnshire life in 2010, by no means as strong as in 1891 when 23% of the residents spoke Gaelic according to the census at the time but Gaelic is still here and may be around for some time yet.


Anonymous said...

I don't think the issue is one of pro or against Gaelic, as much as that in an economic crisis cuts need to be made all over.

However, if there's an existing government fund, that money has been earmarked to be spent within the financial year.

In which case, if Nairn can get some fresh signage simply to accommodate Gaelic then there's no foul - the government will ensure the fund money is spent regardless.

Seems better use than blowing it on a very over-priced website, as they did last year. :)

- Brian

Anonymous said...

Why don't these people get real! If the end result is some new signs with a bit of Gaelic then what's the problem? They'll have some new signs which they wouldn't have otherwise!
At least Jim Ferguson seems to have grasped this particular nettle when it comes to funding - if the money is in the pot then take it and run!!!
Time to rise above your prejudices folks?