Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday night limo

Larger picture available here.

A lot more disruption over the next few months

We could be in for more traffic problems yet, over and above the installation and eventual operation of the five new sets of lights. When asked for a Highland Councillor's report at the Suburban CC on Wednesday night Laurie said that he hadn't much to report but gave some interesting insights into a recent meeting between Highland Council, BEAR and Transport Scotland.

In repsect to the traffic lights and BEAR he said, "They weren't really told anything about this either." He went on to say, "The other thing they did say is that there is going to be a lot of resurfacing work done on the A96 because there are so many potholes and problems. There's other things as well because they are putting extra sensors in and they are insisting on resurfacing the area. So, a lot more disruption I think during the next few months in Nairn."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rothes 0 Nairn 4

Pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson. Another very good result for the Wee County and a hat-trick for Steven Mackay. Match report here. Individual pictures here.

Business opportunity

A tale of our times. A tourist staying in Nairn for a few days suggested to a regular Gurnite (a keen photographer) that a business opportunity could exist for someone prepared to take photographs of visitors at the first set of of lights entering Nairn. With the time it might take for them to get through town, pictures could then be printed off and sold at the final set of lights.

Jac's plot for sale

Donald & Henderson are marketing Jac's old hoose and plot. Comes with planning permission. Thanks to Murray for the picture.

First vote totally wasted?

Here's Davie standing behind the main man at the Save Lossie march and rally last November. Currently Davie is a 16/1 outsider to win in this constituency (Paddy Power Constituency bet as at 28/04/11). It looks like it's all about how big Fergus's majority will be but SNP activists in Nairn seem to be still going full out devlivering leaflets and Party newspapers, obviously they are not allowing complacency to set in.

The Cawdor Road Bridge situation - the only thing that might stop South Nairn

Before we enter the substance of what John Mackie had to say about the South Nairn development at the Suburban CC on Wednesday night up at the Academy it is worth considering a regular theme that crops up at Suburban and many other meetings in Nairn. The lack of a single Community Council prevents a co-ordinated town-wide approach to planning and many other issues in Nairn. Often the three councils have to stray into each others territory to comment or campaign on issues affecting the whole of the community. Perhaps the best example to cite is the Firhall Bridge, if Murd Dunbar had just gone away home and given up after being initially rejected by River with his ideas for improved access then that would have been it. He didn't however, and went to West and Suburban where he got support, eventually River climbed on board too and now we are seeing, perhaps, the first signs of serious movement by the authorities in regard to Murd's ideas. We need a single council desperately to campaign effectively for Nairn. Anyway back to South Nairn.

Here's what John Mackie had to say:
" South Nairn is one of the problem areas of having three community councils, myself, Dick and some of the other ones attended the consultations the developers had over the last 18 months , 2 years and now that's all gone through and they're coming forward with arguments against it. It's no going to carry an awful lot of weight because of all the consultation that went on and this is one of the dangers. If they don't participate in the consultation, and then come along at the end of it with objections they're just going to get knocked back out.
Marting Ashford then asked who specifically John was referring to.
"I think River is putting objections in," he replied. "There's nothing against them putting an objection in but there's got to be something that hasn't been covered in the consultation, otherwise the consultation will have been done and it's important if a developer comes along and there's going to be consultation and we attend the consultation and we go to raise the issues that come up then. The only issue that I can see that maybe hasn't been addressed, the Cawdor Road coming into Nairn, and I've had an e-mail back from Graham. He took the matter up with planning and that road has got to be developed before the planning or the development goes ahead. I've got reservations about that happening"

John then outlined how the difficulties at Cawdor Road had been raised prior to the construction of the hospital and one year on from that nothing had yet happened to alleviate traffic problems there.

River are of course not the only council objecting, West are now supporting them. Meanwhile a large number of objections have been received by Highland Council planners from residents in the River area, particularly Firhall.

UPDATE: worth reading the details sent in from APT sec.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May 5th - What the bookies think will happen in Inverness/Nairn

Here's what bookies Paddy Power think will happen here. This observer would put Christine Jardine way back beyond even the sad Labour odds but there you go. You can see what they think about other Scottish Constituencies here.

Laurie on Police Force Review

The Scottish Government, before it dissolved for the election, was conducting a review into the size, organisation etc of the eight existing police forces in Scotland and asking the public for their input. As Liz said recently, nothing has been decided, all options are on the table. The LibDem desperadoes, seeking a ploy for getting a few votes back into their almost empty bag, have been carrying on like a crime apocalypse was about to befall us, claiming the Government were hell bent on a single police force. Here you can see the LibDem leader - (sorry forgotten his name, is it Steve Davis?) in his new "Save our Police" car. Perhaps the sign should read "Save our LibDems"?

Last night at the Suburban CC there were two ex-policemen present who gave their views. John MacKie was in favour of retaining the existing boundaries of the Highland Police force. Laurie Fraser, who has worked with two police forces agreed with him. He said:
"My real concern with one force in Scotland is political control, because there are too many politicians and civil servants trying to exert political control centrally. That's the serious concern. I could live with one force but I don't think they'd be any savings. they'd be no financial savings because you'd have to pay the Chief Constable, his deputy and his assistant chief constables, and it's a lot of money they're getting now. That would wipe out any savings along the way and your travelling lone would push u[p the costs as well. If it's not broke don't fix it."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kilnhill - One thing the Greens did try to do for Nairn!

Anyone remember this? - It was reported in the Press and Journal on February 18, 2008

"Local Green Party activists have given their support to Forestry Commission Scotland's plans for an eco-housing development in woods near Nairn. But they want to see more affordable houses included in the scheme at Kilnhill Wood, Lochloy.The Forestry Commission submitted proposals for 32 houses, eight chalets and community services last week.Green Party spokeswoman Eleanor Scott said: "We believe that this has the potential to be an innovative scheme which would give people the chance to live and work in a woodland setting.' "
Green Candidate Eleanor Scott went on to say in the article:
"We believe this development must become much more than just a group of nice eco-friendly houses - it must be about creating a truly sustainable community".

Here at the Gurn we blogged:
"Well the problem is that everyone that lives in the country has a car and that will mean at least 40, 50, 60 cars coming down Lochloy Road every day? Many people are opposed to this scheme because the road out that way is just not up to it at the moment and people fear a serious accident. Just how will the folk from the truly sustainable community get their kids to school? Will the folk in the 'truly sustainable community have their own truly sustainable supermarket and truly sustainable petrol station? Maybe our former green msp knows something we don't - will cars be banned? 'See you later darling, just taking the handcart down to Nairn.' "

Sadly we think the Highland Greens are out of touch with what is really going on in our community, if they get an MSP this time round will we see more like the example above? If that proposal had gone through we might have got Nairn East even before Nairn South got off the drawing board.

Buses to the Highland League cup final - 14th May

One bus is full and there may be another if enough folk want to go through. Colin is sorting it on Facebook.

Local press review

Quadruple Easter lambs make the front page along with a “splash” concerning the planning debacle at Cawdor Road. Fingers are pointing in a certain direction. Read the Nairnshire for more or the stop orders from the Highland Council and information from the resident posted on the gate to the property on Cawdor Road.
Inside on page 3 pictures as Davie Stewart pops up to Queens Park in search of votes and Mary Scanlon tries to get Geoff Skeet’s vote. Move along Mary, you’ve absolutely no chance there lol.
The blue bins are coming This might be a problem in some of the more narrow closes in town that are already full of big green, and brown, wheelie bin obstructions but it will be good to see more recycling in Nairn.
Children from the Chernobyl area will be coming to Nairn once again this year and the Nairnshire has been talking to Tom Heggie about the work the Nairn Link have been doing for a number of years now. The Nairn West AGM is reported and there is a letter from John Hart supporting a single CC for Nairn All this and more in the Highland’s best weekly bargain media marvel.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Airport plan "Pie in the Sky" says MacKay

"Tony Mackay said the developers’ claims were “ludicrous” – and he also cast doubt on the viability of two other projects in the so-called A96 Growth Corridor between Inverness and Nairn.

He said he doubted the proposed new town at Tornagrain and a major leisure and retail development at Whiteness, near Ardersier, would “see the light of day”."

More on the Press & Journal

Willow discovers Nairn beach

This observer has a look at all Nairn mentions on twitter two or three times a week (you do get some mentions and links to odd things nothing to do with us too but often there's interesting info to be had) and yesterday there were plenty of folk telling the world how they were having a great time on Nairn beach. One post mentioned Willow the Lab's first trip to Nairn beach and there was a link to pictures on facebook.
There are some that don't want dogs on Nairn's West Beach (you will see from the poll now closed in the sidebar how divisive the West Community Councils proposal for polite anti-dog signs was) but remember dog owners come to Nairn and spend money too!

Local wildlife

Thanks to Jingle Bangles for this picture taken earlier in the week

Last night's sunset (22/04/11)


The end of a fantastic day in Nairn captured by Donald Matheson.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gaelic conversation the Vic 22/04/11

How many Community Councils should there be in Nairn?

One more vote for that particular poll in the Gurn side-bar and over 200 will have demonstrated their intention
So far 74% of voters want a single council for Nairn. Those preferring the status quo have been overtaken by the "don't cares" at 11% and 12% respectively. Highland Council are you watching - will you give the people of Nairn the chance for a real vote on this?

Meanwhile down at Mill Road allotments

Green dad tells it like it is. There's also the latest on the Nairnallotments.org site.

Do you have any spare land that would do for one or two allotments or even more? If you have the society would like to hear from you, they are also campaigning for more allotments at Sandown and for all new housing schemes in Nairn to have a few as well. Maybe you would like to be on the waiting list for an allotment or would like to get involved in supporting the aims of Nairn Allotment Society, if so you can contact them via the e-mail address in the sidebar on their site.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nairn 2 Lossie 0 Pictures

Pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson

Ceilidh Saturday 23rd April at the Legion

With the Jimmy Urquhart Band
in the Royal British Legion
8.00 p.m - Tickets £5.00 Concessions £4.00
Available at door

A fundraiser for the Nairn Amateur Athletic Club

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nairn 2 Lossie 0

Floodlit action earlier tonight as County take the points against 10-man Lossie. Match report from Louise Shaw available here.

Gurn Fun Poll continues - 12 days left to vote


The SNP still have a commanding vote in Gurnshire. 323 votes now in and it looks like no one can catch them. Of course the real poll is on May the 5th but this observer thinks there may be quite a swing in the same direction right across the Highlands.

UPDATE: Interesting to compare the latest Gurn figures with an Ipsos mori poll reported by the press association:

"In the constituency vote the SNP were leading with 45% while Labour trailed on 34%, the Tories 10% and the Lib Dems 9%.
The SNP recorded 42% in the regional vote while Labour were on 32%, the Tories on 10%, Lib Dems 8% and the Greens 6%."

Gurn figures this morning. SNP 50%, Labour 17%, Tories 12%, Lib Dems 7%, Greens 6% and UKIP 4%

Here in Gurnshire the Labour party are polling a lot less in the Gurn poll than nationally but when you think about it they generally do here. Perhaps the Labour support in Inverness might take them up a bit in the Constituency but on the list in the Highlands it will be interesting to see what they achieve. The Press Association also report that the poll suggests the Greens will get 4 seats across Scotland. Will they cross the line in the Highlands? It just might happen if the support for the Con/Dems and Labour frays a little more at the edges and flows in their direction.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cearcall Comhraidh Inbhir Narann in the Vic this Friday

Due to the Library being shut for the holiday, the Gaelic Conversation group will be meeting in the Vic at 06.30 p.m this Friday. Bidh Chuc "An Gaidheal Alascanach" an lathair – Alaskan Gaelic speaker Chuc is staying in Nairn this week and he will be at the group’s meeting.
Fàlte oirbh - All abilities welcome – no charge

46115 Scots Guardsman travelling through Nairn

From the Mill Road allotments 46115 looked an amazing sight coming across the Railway bridge in the evening sunset. This observer didn't have a camera though but someone has posted a video on Youtube of the steam locomotive as it pulled into Nairn railway station.

Anyone see Westenders last night?

Monday, April 18, 2011

War Memorial news

The Gurn was contacted about the state of the War Memorial by a concerned gurnite who sent us a picture of a fine but inappropriate crop of weeds. Regular readers will remember that we previously highlighted the state of the memorial last year. Bearing this in mind the Gurn sought the latest news from the Legion’s Ian MacGillivray. Ian told the Gurn that Highland Council have budgeted for essential maintenance on the War Memorial this year and once permission is granted from Historic Scotland then work can commence. This observer is sure that gurnites will welcome this news. Worries persist however, over the general state of the area and the grass cutting regime. Surely this is one area where there should be care and attention over and above the normal levels. It is of course still too early to plant annuals but could not a clean-out of a healthy crop of spring weeds have been carried out by now? The lawn area looks in need of a good cut too. This is one area that we must not neglect regardless of cutbacks.

UPDATE: 20/04 The weeds have gone - sorted this morning by Highland Council

New welcome sign


Lessons to be learnt - Time for Transport Scotland to come to Nairn and explain

A sensible suggestion from a regular Gurnite:

"The only way forward I think is for one or more of the CCs in Nairn to invite a rep from TS to come along to a town meeting to ‘help people understand’ how the traffic modeling works in terms of making life easier for those who travel to and through and live in Nairn. No agro just asking to be better informed."

Main thread for comments on red lampies is here

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sandown, a supermarket and road improvements

Thanks to one of the regulars for mentioning this wee gem in the Reporter's decision paper"
" 3.50 At Transport Scotland’s request, the applicant treated a 550 house proposal at Sandown on the west side of Nairn, which was the subject of a planning application at that time, as “committed development”. Transport Scotland asked for this to be done because the NLP allocates the site for housing. However, the Sandown scheme should not have been treated as “committed” because it did not have planning permission. A developer cannot expect not to contribute to road improvements just because its site is allocated and the need for mitigation only becomes clear when permission is granted. Furthermore, the NLP allocation is for only 140 houses and business use. In any event, the Sandown application has been refused. If it had not been included, Transport Scotland would probably not have required additional signals. The reduction in the amount of non-food floorspace at Balmakeith since SSL 38 was produced provides further comfort that the scenario it considers is robust."


Make of that what you will - did the plan for 550 houses on Sandown seriously influence the thinking in demanding lights?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Turriff 1 Nairn 1

Pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson. Match report here. Individual pictures here.

Road improvements to the A96 – Highland Council’s statement of case at the public inquiry - encouraging sustainable modes of transport?

Thanks to Lamplighter for the link to the following document:

APPLICATION FOR ERECTION OF CLASS 1 RETAIL DEVELOPMENT, PETROL FILLING STATION, ASSOCIATED ACCESS ROAD, CAR PARKING, LANDSCAPING AND ANCILLARY WORKS AT FORRES ROAD, NAIRN FOR PETTIFER ESTATES LTD

(THC REF: 07/099/OUTNA) (DPEA REF: NA/HLD/045) JANUARY 2009

STATEMENT OF CASE BY THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL”

Here’s a wee bittie from section 6 - Draft Conditions & S75 agreement

"15. Prior to the occupation of any part of the development hereby granted the following improvements to the road network shall be implemented to the satisfaction of the Council, in consultation with Transport Scotland, in accordance with the details submitted to and approved in writing by the Council;

(i) Modification of the A96(T) Forres Road/Tom Semple Road junction, generally in accordance with Colin Buchanan Figure 3.2 of the Transport Assessment submitted in support of the application,

(ii) Modification of the A96(T) Inverness Road/Moss-side Road priority junction generally in accordance with Colin Buchanan drawing 132461-SK-01,

(iii) Modification of the A96(T) Academy Street/Seabank Road priority junction, generally in accordance with Colin Buchanan drawing 132461-SK-02,

(iv) Modification of the A96(T) Academy Street/Albert Street priority junction, generally in accordance with Colin Buchanan drawing 132461-SK-03,

(v) Modification of the A96(T) Forres Road/A939 priority junction, generally in accordance with Colin Buchanan drawing 132461-SK-04,

(vi) Traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing over the A96(T) Forres Road to Balmakeith Industrial Estate,

(vii) Bus lay-bys and shelters on the A96(T) Forres Road in both directions.

Reason: To mitigate the impact of the development on the road network, and encourage sustainable modes of transport."

Now that all talks of modifications – did that mean lights? Looks like it doesn't it? If so then Highland Council officials should have warned their members for Nairn and the Community Councils perhaps about what was coming. Lamplighter had a few more points to make in a comment but unfortunately we don’t have the resources to follow them up effectively. I’m sure students of how these lights came about will find this document of particular interest however, and will thank Lamplighter for drawing it to our attention.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blue River

Thanks to Billy for this picture of Keeping Nairnshire Beautiful's Blue River

More to Nairn than traffic lights

Bratach's latest image published on flickr reminds us all that there is more to Nairn than traffic lights.

Traffic Lights - Nairn's new found fame spreads

A major page three article in the Courier today and an editorial too. The Courier states: "An additional set of lights are also being installed at the new Sainsbury's store at Balmakeith." That information certainly comes as news to this observer. The Courier thinks we are getting 5 new sets of new lights then, taking us up to nine to negotiate through Nairn compared with only 10 others the whole length of the 106 mile A96 trunk road.

The Courier quotes oor Graham:

"The reality is we already have significant problems in Nairn with traffic coming through and this is going to make it a whole lot worse."

In the Editorial the papers quotes some of Nairn's cultural attributes, golf, tourism etc, but then goes on to say:

"But soon it will be forged indelibly into the minds of motorists using the A96 as Traffic Light Town."

We'll link to the article and editorial if they appear on the Courier site later today. Another interesting point in the editorial which will resonate with objectors to the South Nairn proposals:

"What this affair underlines is that Nairn's roads are close to breaking point. If the building of a supermarket necessitates five new sets of lights to keep the town moving, imagine what 300 new homes at Sandown would require."

One wonders if Highland planners would agree with that statement?

UPDATE: article now on the Courier site and a leader too.

UPDATE: P&J article with quotes from John Mackie and David Brownless

with traffic coming through and this is going to make it a whole lot worse.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Nairnshire bridge that will be getting fixed

Regular gurnites will remember we recently published pictures of the sad state of Logie Bridge on the A939. One of our readers informs us Highland Council are looking for contractors to repair Logie Bridge. 250k’s worth of work is available for the right bidder and according to the Public Contracts Scotland site:



“This scheme is to carry out repairs to a three span masonry arch bridge, which has Category A Listed Building status. The works comprise the taking down, reconstruction and repair of the downstream masonry parapet, requiring specialist stone masonry skills.More here.



The Nairnshire reported this week that Cantray Bridge has to stay closed. There’s no money to help out there but moves are afoot to get a replacement for the White Bridge. The Nairnshire stated:



“The White Bridge (one of the many built by General Wade between 1725 and 1737) can currently take vehicles up to 42 tonnes but has to be controlled by traffic lights to centralise and reduce the overall load on the structure.



Highland Council are only too aware that the White Bridge is itself failing, but with budgets tight it sees its replacement as the best option for the area.”


One wonders how soon funding could be found for a new "White Bridge"? Before or after the Nairn by-pass comes into being?



The White Bridge has for some years now been part of the unofficial Nairn by-pass where folk leave the A96 by the B9090 and head for Cawdor, then Auldearn where they rejoin the main road. With the recent delays in Nairn and the forthcoming inauguration of 4 new sets of traffic lights there’s little doubt that the White Bridge will be seeing a lot more traffic this year and for many more years to come.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Contribution night 1 - Playhouse (aka Social Club) gutted - this post back to the top for the memories contributed



Pictures will enlarge, thanks to the regular Gurnite reader that sent these pictures in.

UPDATE: Back to the top for the following memories contributed:

"memories memories memories..
Remember the ashtrays on the back of every seat, I can smell it now if I think about it, not bad for a non smoker.
Remember the little kiosk where they took the money, and the lady with the ice cream tray at halftime. Also the usher who wore a green suit with gold braid epaulettes,he showed you to your seat then 10 minutes later he would throw you out for mis- behaving, but he would still give us posters from the outside adverising window,wish I had kept them they would be worth a bob or two today.
The boys spent more time crawling about under the seats on a Saturday afternoon than they did watching the film.I don't think they ever knew what happened to "Flash Gordon"
Do you know which decade I mean?
When you went out of your house with a shilling- sixpence to get in and the other sixpence for a bag of butterkist and an ice cream
You could leave your house at 12 noon and your parents didn't look for you till about 6.
Along time ago but only yesterday really."

"Happy memories of The Playhouse Cinema, if you were flush & had a date went to the balcony with your girl & treated her to butterkist toffee flavour popcorn & the temptation to have a fondle in the dark, some of us lads were lucky & never got our faces slapped, after the film when the lights went on you could spot those who had no luck with a wee feel as one side of their faces were always bright red.

Other lads sat down the front with cricked necks looking up at the big screen, & woe betide if the film suddenly stopped all you would hear is the stomping of feet until the film started again, & you would dread if there was any love scenes as the leading man & lady fondly kissed as you knew one of the front seat lads would let off a rasper of a fart, with the usher frantically searching with her torch to find the culprit who would be grabbed by the lug & thrown out.

Thing seemed so innocent in your youth as you could not wait till Saturday to find out what happened in the next instalment of Flash Gordon.

Hell I've got a tear in my eye. "

"I remember it well.Left hand side, back row last two seats at the end.
Friday and Saturday nights.It didn't matter what was showing.Who wanted to watch a love story anyway.Nothing like being hands on,so they say.Just trying to remember who the other regulars were in the next seats.
I know they made a hell of a noise anyway.The Ice Cream Mivvies before the trailers,used to cool everyone down a bit.Once the lights went on at the finish you couldn't see a thing.Everyone had the same look on their faces,as much as to say "it wisnae us.Happy Days!
The Regal had real luxury,double seats in the back row.Better not go there! I think the wife is watching.?"

UPDATE: more memories still coming in - scroll down the comments for the latest

Mill Road Allotments - fence goes up

More pictures on Nairnallotments.org

Anyone still in love with nuclear power?

As far as this observer knows the Greens and the SNP are definitely against building nuclear power stations in Scotland. Perhaps someone out there knows the other parties official line on nuclear power (and can provide links to manifesto statements etc)? Anyway, you might think Japan is a long way away but a regular gurnite sent a link to an alarming article:

"Europeans warned to avoid drinking milk or eating vegetables due to high radiation levels"

That headline is spin on advice from a French independent organisation CRIIRAD and for expectant mums, kids etc and another site has a more measured take on the advice: "The risks related to prolonged contamination among vulnerable groups of the population can no longer be considered "negligible" and it is now necessary to avoid "risky behaviour," CRIIRAD claimed." Just how serious do you take that information? Bearing in mind the UK Foods Standards authority stated on the 7th April:

"Following reports that radiation from Fukushima has been detected in the UK, the Food Standards Agency can confirm that levels are far too low to cause any concerns over the safety of any food in the UK.

There is a possibility that minute levels of iodine-131 could land on grass and be consumed by cows - but at these levels there is no food safety risk. Minute amounts of iodine-131 could also settle on the surface of vegetables but this will not cause any food safety concerns and will soon decay or be washed away."

Regular readers may have seen the link to one of Green Dad's articles recently:"By George, He Hasn't Got It!" Green Dad wrote about a talk given by environmentalist/journalist George Monibot in Findhorn. George has had a road to Damascus conversion to nuclear power and now supports it as the least ugly way out of our date with runaway global warming that still lingers just around the corner. I suppose Nuclear George is doing us a favour in pointing out the real deep mess we are in but there's no way this observer is convinced that nuclear power is safe. George reckons the green movement has misled the world over radiation. Now this observer is not a scientist but neither is George, he is a journalist. Yes a journalist that has done a great deal of research and read a lot of papers but then so have others, here's Helen Caldicott who beleives the Nuclear Apologists have misled the world over radiation.

Citizens, we have to find a way out of the mess we are making for ourselves but as food article linked above indicates, if we want safe food to eat in the future then we'd better stop building nuclear power stations and think of ways of making the existing ones safer. It might help, if you feel so inclined, to vote in May for parties that are against expansion of nuclear power in Scotland.

UPDATE: got the following information about SLAB and Scots Tory nuclear policy from HighlandSNP on twitter:

@GurnNurn Tories p.26. "we will end the policy of current Scottish Government of refusing to consider replacement of existing nuclear power"

@GurnNurn Labour manifesto page 15: "Any application for consent to new nuclear capacity will be considered on its merits"

River CC & Liz to take up Murd's rusty benches complaint

Gurn riverside reporter Murd warned the Highland Council about the serious rust problem on the new riverside seats sack in February last year, suggesting to the TECS department that holes be drilled into the seats to let the water out. Later that month we took more pictures of serious cracks that had appeared in the benchs.

One year on and the seats continue to decay. Murd showed River CC members and Liz pictures of the seats from this year last night at the Community Centre and the community watchdogs agreed to investigate the matter.

Traffic Lights - fifteen more weeks of roadworks

Liz told the River CC meeting last night of a meeting between Nairn Highland Councillors, Transport Scotland, BEAR and the contractors installing the lights. From what Liz had to say there is no joy for anyone wishing to stop the traffic lights.The work will continue for 15 weeks and nothing can be done to stop the lights now. There will be breathing space between the Albert Street lights and the Leopold Street set to allow people to get out of Leopold Street. The lights will be synchronised with the “Mover” system and if that doesn’t work properly then the “Scoot” system will be installed. Priority will always be given to A96 traffic

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sainsbury's jobs in Nairn

The first vacancies are now up on the jobcentre site. They are hiring managers first. Go here, enter "all" and "Nairn" in the search boxes and maybe you could be one of the first to get a job.

Lodgehill site visit

A busload of councillors came from Inverness this morning to look at the Lodgehill Clinic site and then effectively decide what they think is appropriate for this part of Nairn. Yes our four reps were there too but they were well outnumbered by the out of town councillors. Is this democracy? Folk being bussed in to decide what is good for us? Why can't we decide for ourselves what we want? The point to bear in mind is that the residents in the clinic site area are not against development, they just don't want over development on this site.
Paddy Maher speaking for the objectors told the circle of assembled councillors, objectors and developer's representatives that the development represented a density of 117 persons per hectare and that the Highland Council's own definition of high density was 50 people per hectare. If this goes ahead on the clinic site will it become the benchmark for the future development of Nairn town centre?

The bus is probably back at Glenurquhart Road by now where the decision will be made. Once again decisions on Nairn being taken in Inverness. They couldn't stroll down to the Courthouse for the decision because there is no webcam there! One hopes they will support the Nairn objectors.

A representative of the developers describes the proposed layout.

Nearby historic architecture

Labour mannie Jimmy Gray, Master of site visit ceremonies and Inverness Provost, addresses the circle

More pictures later if time permits.

UPDATE (17.09) heard the application was refused unanimously - and more pictures now available here.

Snagging

Looks like the fancy bricks taken away this winter are finally making a comeback to parking bays outside the Co-op.

Gurn Pothole Patrol - Update.

0800-028-1414 is the number to report potholes on the trunk road network. Transport Scotland then logs them and forwards the information to the trunk road operator responsible.

This morning the Gurn informed them of the potholes between the Lochloy Junction and the King Street roundabout. Pictures here. One or two of these holes are more serious than others especially the one at the manhole cover at the Harour Street/Brae junction. Also entire sections of this stretch seem to be breaking up and look as though they too will soon become even longer series of pot holes. Repair work was undertaken in January but things are looking bad again.

One wonders why we have to report these potholes, surely BEAR vehicles travel the route daily and their employees will have to negotiate these holes just like everyone else?

Buddy can you spare a Saltire?

We live in an age of municipal penury but this observer feels that perhaps it is time for a new Saltire on the Courthouse. Image will enlarge
Update - Breaking News - Liz has sorted it - we'll be getting a new Saltire for Easter.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Contirbution night 3 - Tandori take-in

Nairn Tandori offers you the chance to take your own booze in if dining out until the licence problems are sorted. Thanks to another regular Gurnite for this picture.

Contribution night 2 - Murd gurns about the rusty seats

Murd thinks the Council could have done more to prevent serious rusting to seats that were installed around the riverside as replacements - it might not be too long before the replacements need replacing according to Murd and he thinks more could have been done to avert this situation. Murd told the Gurn

"We have all heard the expression for the sake of a nail the shoe was lost for the sake of a shoe the horse was lost. Well does this not not apply here? But instead of nail a hole would of done the job and let out any water that was trapped. Now after two winters the legs on most of the new seats are split open and rusting, the life of the seats wont be long at this rate. We are constantly told money must be saved and to put forward any suggestions to save unnecessary expense what is the point if it falls on deaf ears!!!"

This observer feels Murd is correct, a couple of holes drilled to let the water out might have avoided the major cracks that have now appeared in a lot of these seats. The experts know best - especially when it's with our money?

Nairn's Rubbish

Bratach is disappointed to see rubbish on the beach. Happens every year doesn't it, the beaches get busy and litter is left behind.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The first of a few new Gurn pages: Manifesto for a better, more democratic Gurnshire

This observer, fresh from a glass of cider in the spring sunshine, wishes to share a few thoughts about things that could be achieved pretty quickly in our community if the authorities showed a wee bittie more willing. (more soon - see side-bar)

1) Liz back as Provost:
Liz was the modern face of Nairn in this second decade of the new millennium. We need her back!

2) Liz back as Provost:
Someone recently said to this observer over the garden fence: " Liz might have made the odd wee mistake, no-one is perfect but she is representitive of Nairn."

3) A single community Council for Nairn: ( i.e. a Nairn Town Council) working in conjunction with Auldearn, Cawdor and other CC's to promote and defend the interests of Nairnshire:
more info here

4) Control of the Common Good Fund back in the hands of the people of Nairn and out of the control of Highland Council. (implications for Sandown)

5) Lots more allotments

6) Development yes - but on a scale that the community desires and not development that Highland Council, the Scottish Government or the developers or anybody else dictates.

7) More consultation on Red Lampies (traffic lights)

8) Produce/grow more food locally and create jobs - Sainsbury's please take note, milk, bread and garlic spring to mind immediately. For example, Lidl (Forres) carrots are locally sourced

9) Open to offers - what do fellow gurnites think?

10) Oh aye, better access to the Firhall Bridge.

11) O aidh, beagan a bharrachd Gàdihlig sa bhaile.

12) Reinstate the "Weeklie Mercat"

Join the Gurn Party - you know we make sense!

Nairn 1 Buckie 1 - Pictures

First 33 images from gurnnurn.com, the rest from official club photographer Donald Matheson. Full screen slideshow here. Individual pictures here.

Town centre Sparrowhawk in action

Thanks to Wife Features (Green Dad's other half) for this picture of the town centre bird of prey snacking on another unfortunate pigeon. Wife features reported earlier in the week:
"Sparrowhawk came to ours for snack this morning. He or she brought their own. I got a pic through the window. It gave me a bit of a Paddington Stare but didn't seem bothered at my photo shoot." (picture will enlarge)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Could streetscape snagging cause more traffic snags?

The ANB state on their website today: "As mentioned in a prevous article, the snagging starts on the Streetscape on Monday 11th April - hopefully it will be done quickly and without any great disruption."

Let's hope so, more on the ANB pages about a meeting between Highland Council, BEAR and Transport Scotland over the traffic lights carry on.

The bitter-sweet green, green grass of home for the Wee County - Nairn 1 Buckie 1

One of the Buckie players slightly perplexed by a refereeing decision

Somewhere in this pile of football players was something worth two red cards

Uneaten hospitality munchies about to be distributed to supporters. Pictures will enlarge.

The man in black gave two penalties and two red cards as County took a point from the title contenders in the first home game on a Saturday for some time. The grass was green, the sun was shining but controversy left a bad taste to what should have been a showcase for Highland league football. More news on the game later.
UPDATE: Kenny MacLeod's match report now available here. Pictures to follow later this weekend.

Fergus in County colours - Fearghas ann an dathan NCFC

Picture will enlarge

LibDem litterbug stung for £50

Charles Kennedy gets fined for dropping his fag ends in Glasgow City Centre.

"He said: “He'd been puffing at the entrance for about half-an-hour while chatting away on his mobile phone.

“He stood in the one spot and must have smoked four fags – each time letting the dog-end fall on to the pavement beside him." More on the P&J And a picture of "A right Charlie" in the Sun.

Worried LibDems must be smoking a lot more fags than usual these days but there is no excuse, it is irritating to see fag-ends left lying in the street, well done the wardens that hit the MP for £50!

A quick google finds the LibDem policy on litter:

"4.3.1 We know that people hate it when their local area is blighted by litter. Despite councils collectively spending more than £600 million a year cleaning it up, litter is five times worse now than in the 1960s and is particularly acute in rural areas where litter is often left to lie for much longer. Liberal Democrats believe in tough action on litter, not just cleaning up the mess but preventing it in the first place. We would encourage local councils to fine offenders by releasing the money raised to be spent on measures to improve the local environment." More here.