Tuesday, May 31, 2011

John Mackie attacks secrecy at joint Community Council meetings

Recently we reported the fact that the meeting held in the Courthouse on the 11th of May for the three Community Councils excluded the public. There was a press release later however but a lot of what was said at that meeting will never be reported and it is a pity because the public have a right to know (and if they wish, witness) what their Community Councillors are saying on their behalf and how they back up their decisions - especially when it comes to deabte into how this tier of local government is organised in the town. In November the three councils will be up for election, if there are enough candidates then there will be elections. Isn't it only right and proper then that all the actions of all existing community councillors should be open to press and public scrutiny to help the electorate when it comes to making their mind up as to who to vote for?

At the Suburban meeting in the Academy this evening (Tues 31st May) it was reported that the West, River and Suburban Councils would meet four times a year to discuss matters of importance to Nairn (the next best thing to a single council for the town or simply a powerless talking shop - you decide!). Anyway it emerged that there would be another meeting in private first to set up the agenda and the ground rules. Now, you wouldn't exactly have had to buy a ticket on the black market for such an event but it would have attracted a few of the usual suspects and maybe some others that might have seen it advertised. It was agreed at the last (secret) meeting that this next one will not be open to the public too. Why not for goodness sake? The public have every right to be there. One person that will not be there unless there is a last minute change of heart is Cllr John Mackie of Suburban. He said:

"I wasn't at that meeting, and I'm not going to that closed one either. I make that quite plain now, unless it is an open meeting I won't be there. I'm totally against it. "

Well said John Mackie, there is no more need for any secrecy, let the people of Nairn witness the debate if they wish. If there is to be a joint Forum of the three Community Councils then it has to be built on a credible foundation.

Traffic warden now active in Nairn

Example of extreme bad parking from around this time last year which would now get you a ticket from Nairn's seasonal traffic warden.

At tonight's (Tuesday's) meeting of Nairn Suburban Community Council at Nairn Academy Sgt Olga Hansen gave her police report and stated that a seasonal traffic warden was now working in Nairn. Our traffic warden will be working until the end of September and she is full time.
Cllr Graham Marsden highlighted the softly-softly approach from the former warden Sandy Ford and the way that he worked by consensus rather than threat.
Olga told him that the warden would have a job to do and if the police were getting complaints they would have to take action. She added, however, that there would be a period of grace where advice and warnings would be given until folk become aware that there is a traffic warden back in the town.
Over on Green Dad's blog you can see an example of one of the warning notices that have already been issued.

Sainsbury's weekly picture update from Murray

Coming along nicely, picture from Murray MacRae
Development across the road from Sainsbury's too as the work on the Bitz MOT test centre continues.

Jobs at Sainsbury's

Thanks to Robert who forwards us the following webpage address.

STV goes in search of Hyperlocal news

This observer, with nothing better to do followed a link to a page giving details of the Forres and Nairn Welfare league. Elgin Thistle beat Nairn United 5-1 unfortunatly but there's a home Derby down the riverside between United and Wanderers tomorrow evening (weds). It seems STV are branching out into "hyperlocal" news. Here's the page that show the towns they cover. They don't have anything for the Highlands yet but they have a page for Forres where you can add events, stories etc. It needs a bit of filling up but maybe the like of this site is how many people will access local news in the future as many newspapers find themselves with declining sales and may disappear altogether..
Maybe it's just the time of year but this observer's regular use of Google News for Nairn related items seems to be bearing less and less fruit? Are we generally making less news or are the big boys like the P&J not so interested anymore? Perhaps it's all just going behind paywalls where no one will see it?
Only time will tell if STV finds that it can run a profitable business model running local news sites throughout Scotland but good luck to them for a fine effort so far, a lot better than a few other efforts that are available online these days.

New pavement but no dropped kerb - sorted as of 31/5 however!

UPDATE - 31/5/11 - Result - sorted according to some of our regular readers. The following article was originally uploaded exactly one week ago (24/5) and now we are glad to report the problem has been corrected:

Thanks to one of the regular Gurnites for pointing this out. The new pavement has been built beside the bridge side of the road outside Grants Garage but anyone wanting to continue up the brae with say a pram or a motobility scooter is presented with a considerable obstacle. There is a perfectly good dropped kerb at the red area further along for those wishing to cross the road but even to reach that do you have to travel along the A96 for a few yards if you can't get up onto the pavement?

Could someone please install a dropped kerb here please?

Nairn morning walk

"Nice houses. Brighton of the North. Town centre with tesco extra blight." Does he mean the Co-op? If only we had a Tesco Extra too. Anyway a visitor to Nairn has put the details of his morning walk up onto an internet service.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Centralisation in the Highland Council area – Could the SNP roll it back next May?

It’s not only folk in Nairn that are concerned with the centralisation of power in Inverness. Here’s a tweet by the LibDem Robbie Rowantree.

The former Holyrood candidate, was tweeting his impressions from a recent ward forum in Lairg. The irony of course is that the Highland Council is led by a LibDem/Indy/Lab coalition and it is under LibDem rule that all power has been steadily dripping away to Inverness from places like Nairn. If the SNP were to work out practical ways to give more say back to communities in the Highland Council area then they could be onto a big winner in next year’s May elections.. What would be wrong with giving total control of the Common Good Fund back to the citizens of Nairn for example? It could still be run under the guidance of our elected councillors but with real input from the Community Councils and other members of the community too. When it comes to planning applications in Nairn for the like of Lodgehill Clinic why should anyone from Inverness have a say? Surely communities can decide for themselves on this level of planning?

Anyway a week is a long time in politics and a lot can happen before May. Recently Cllr Glynis Sinclair defected to the SNP after a short spell in the wilderness as an Independent. She was quoted in the Hearald recently:

Sinclair, who was a LibDem before turning independent, said: “It is never easy to change to another political party but it became clear long before the Westminster election that the Liberal Democrats were losing touch and I have long seen that the SNP reflected the values of both myself and my constituents more directly.” More here.

One wonders how many more will follow here before next year’s elections?

In the meantime if the likes of Robbie Rowantree want to stop centralisation in the Highlands then they should be offering practical steps on how to roll back the Glenurquhart Road administration’s policies.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Retired Greyhound Trust sponsored walk

There was a large turnout of greyhounds and their owners for the sponsored walk in aid of the Skye Branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust down at the Links this afternoon. Everyone set off in a heavy shower but returned in brilliant sunshine. Here's another three pictures.

Three of the dogs taking part in the walk are Homeless Hounds who are looking for permanent, loving homes. They can be identified by the coats with ‘Greyhounds as pets/Take me home’. Check out the Skye Retired Greyhound Trust web pages for more information and for details of other Homeless Hounds. More pictures here on the Gurn Flickr pages.

More images now available on the Gurn Flickr pages.

Floating mink trap in the harbour

Midge Ure at the Strathpeffer Pavilion

Donald Matheson was at the Strathpeffer Pavilion last night to see Midge Ure and his one man acoustic set. Donald sent the Gurn an image and told us that the man still has it with the voice and played some of his and Ultravox's hits as well as some that influenced his own style. He had a local band as support (James Mackenzie and Neil Cameron from Aquascene) who played a half hour set.
Donald reports that the Pavilion is a cracking place for a gig and holds a few hundred people in quite an intimate atmosphere and there's an excellent restaurant at the back of the building called the Red Poppy. It is a locally run venue which has created around 40 part-time jobs and needs the support of the Highland community to make it work so keep an eye out for more events.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

River Nairn Crayfish problem to hit the small screen

The BBC Landward team were in town this week filming and interviewing for a programme that should be going out next Friday 3rd June.

The Gurn understands that they were at SNH Edinburgh on Monday, filming there about the crayfish (The North American signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus to be exact - picture here) then came up to Nairn later in the day. Tuesday morning at 9 they filmed Sandy Robb the River Nairn Water Bailiff then at 10 they filmed the Angling Association doing the traps and then asked a lot of questions. It was Sarah Mack who did the interview.
The anglers who were filmed were Willie Barron (president) Billy Milne (vice president) and Charlie Black (committee member).

Highland Council credit card usage

There's a Daily Telegraph article today about council spending claiming that the Highland Council has spent £2.8 million on credit cards. Quite interesting, more here.
Update - Brian has been looking at this too, details on mynairn.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Courthouse Service Point pay-offs

The Gurn understands that four Highland Council employees that work in the Nairn service point have been issued with redundancy notices and that their positions will be replaced with two new jobs which the four existing employees can apply for.

To this observer that means a diminution of service and two good jobs that will vanish forever from the Nairn landscape. One could be forgiven for wondering if the Courthouse has a long term future as a part of Nairn's Civic landscape.

Liz told the Gurn that this was a shocking decision and a shame for the staff that do such a tremendous job. She sees it as part of a centralisation process and fears for our local identity in the face of the ongoing cuts.

Brave New Renewable World

Personally I'm glad some effort is finally going into renewables but a lot more has to be done if humanity is to get away from coal-fired or nuclear generation. Bearing this in mind the following comment by anemophobe is perhaps worth an airing as a post in its own right:

"The recent gale force winds led to news headlines about power-cuts in and around Inverness and elsewhere in Scotland.

Which set me thinking, in this region of ever-more numerous windfarms. Back in the fierce grip of sub-zero winter with deep snow on the ground, frost on the trees and a massive increase in demand for power for heating, did the wind turbines deliver? Not a lot: the blades hung motionless in the still and freezing air.

Then this week: howling winds, so no doubt the turbines were spinning flat out and the windfarms were generating immense quantities of electricity. And what happened? What an irony: in the heart of windfarm country, thousands of households, shops and factories across the region suddenly found they were getting no power at all.

O brave new natural, renewable world!"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A seaside award but no mention in the MCS good beach guide

The image shows the Highland Beaches that made it into the Marine Conservation Society's Good Beach Guide 2011. We don't get a mention, here's how the MCS work out which beaches to recommend:
"MCS Recommended is our top standard for excellent water quality. To achieve this standard beaches must meet the European Guideline standard, ALL samples must pass the European Mandatory standard (compared to the 95% pass rate required by the European Guideline standard) and local continuous sewage discharges must be properly treated.
The European Union’s Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) sets standards for water quality at popular UK beaches that have been designated as bathing waters because they attract large numbers of bathers. ‘Designated’ bathing sites water samples must be taken regularly (typically once a week, generally totaling 20 samples per bathing water season1) by the respective environment agency2.
In order to meet this Directive’s Mandatory standard 95% of samples taken from a particular beach must contain no more than 10,000 total coliforms per 100ml of sea water, and no more than 2,000 faecal coliforms per 100ml of sea water. Total and faecal coliforms are used to indicate the presence of pollution from human sewage and/or livestock (e.g. cows, sheep and pigs) waste. An increase in any of these bacteria indicates a decrease in the quality of the bathing water.
The Directive’s Guideline standard is 20 times as strict as its Mandatory standard. For a bathing water to comply with the Guideline standard, the Directive’s Mandatory standard must be met and 80% of the samples taken from a particular beach must contain no more than 500 total coliforms per 100ml of sea water, and no more than 100 faecal coliforms per 100ml of sea water. Additionally 90% of these samples must contain no more than 100 faecal streptococci per 100ml of sea water."
More information here.

Readers of the Nairnshire Telegraphe will have seen that Nairn has received its eighteenth seaside award from Keep Scotland Beautiful. We're not a Blue Flag beach with them however, you can see which beaches in Scotland are here.

Two organisations two different standards. How much does it affect Nairn? The Marine Conservation Society has a big profile with its annual Good Beach Guide but just how many families look up the minutiae of the local beach before heading to Nairn? Nairn can be very unlucky too if the storm drains empty into the river during heavy rain in the lead-up to a SEPA test of water quality. Flags and awards and recommendations for Nairn beaches are not a new issue and will probably remain a subject of debate for many years to come.

Ceilidh in the Legion tomorrow night (27th)


Viewed from above Geddes on Sunday - sunshine and calm before the storm. Picture will enlarge

Nairn Sailing club open day Saturday 4th of June

Picture will enlarge

This Sunday 29th - Walk in aid of the Greyhound Trust Isle of Skye

GREYHOUND Walk in aid of the Greyhound Trust
Meet: Sunday, 29 May 2011, 2 p.m.
at the Links Car Park
Marquee: coffee, tea, homemade cakes and goodies on offer – “no donation too small – all received gratefully”!

A representative from the Greyhound Trust will be present and will answer all questions regarding the adoption of retired greyhounds or how to help to Trust.

More details here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

About to leave home

A young blue tit prepares to discover the outside world. Picture from Jingle Bangles.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"There will be a future but RAF Kinloss will sadly not be a part of it."

The Kinloss squadrons being addressed by the Lord Lieutenant of Moray

Large crowds gathering for the farewell parade

The words from the title of this post spoken by the 25th and last Station Commander of RAF Kinloss today in Forres as the Moray town bid farewell to the RAF. It was an emotional ceremony, RAF Kinloss and Forres have a special relationship, they are the same community really and it is hard to begin to imagine the closure of the base. But it is happening and today RAF Kinloss marched off into history watched by thousands of Moray citizens.

A few more pictures here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The River Nairn as a learning tool

Part 3 is here and there's no sign of Part 1. Part 4 could be in the pipeline however.

Windy Monday warning

One of the regular gurnites who subscribes to Met office alerts has received the following:

"Amber Alert of Wind for Highlands & Eilean Siar : Highland & Eilean Siar valid from 0900 Mon 23 May to 0300 Tue 24 May"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sewage/Merryton Bridge update

This in today from Scottish Water:

"Repair work is due to start on the pipe-bridge on Monday, the 23rd. It should only take a few days.
Notices have been pinned up at the bridge today by Scottish Water to give users advance warning.
As for the mystery barriers that appeared (and were soon bypassed) it was apparently the council acting on reports of vandalism.
Many thanks to regular bridge users for their patience."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ceilidh at the Royal British Legion this Friday (May 20)

Another family ceilidh to raise funds for the refurbishment of the Royal British Legion's Highland Hall is being staged on Friday (May 20) commencing at 8pm.
All proceeds will go towards the refurbishment which is much used by the local community by various organisations.
Master of Ceremonies Donald Wilson said: "The last ceilidh raised over £600 and it was a great night. We have Jimmy Urquhart's band, lots of local entertainers and if it's anything like the last ceilidh it's going to be a great night. Admission (which can be paid at the door) is £5.

9 cygnets this year

First three pictures above will enlarge. Full screen slideshow here. Individual pictures here.

New Highland Libraries web pages less user-friendly?

One of the regular gurnites has complained that the new Highland Council Libraries pages are now a lot more cluttered and user unfriendly compared with the old style. This observer has to admit that there are certainly a plethora of links to click on. Is it necessary to have all sorts of other council information on pages dedicated to libraries? Another complaint from our regular reader is that you can only renew one book at a time once you eventually find your way there. Has the Highland Council library internet service taken a step backward and created a digital assualt course for someone simply wanting to renew a book ?

Highland High Life Directors sought

This observer remembers oor Sandy saying it would be a good thing if someone from Nairn were on the board of the company that is to run the Council's Leisure and Community Learning services. The kind of folk they are looking for are peope with:

A good track record in business or community management;
Experience of working as part of a board or senior management team;
Experience of leading a team within a company or community organisation;
Knowledge of the cultural, learning and/or leisure sector in the Highlands; and
Relevant business skills that could contribute to the development of the company; including Financial, legal, property, personnel, marketing, ICT and general management skills.

There will be four councillors on the Board (none from our area) and eight citizens. More details here if you fancy it. It's the unknown really, let's hope it works and it would be better for us if someone from Nairnshire were there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Traffic light enigma

Can anyone explain to one of our regular readers what this area at the top of Moss-side Road/Junction with A96 is? Our correspondant is baffled and so are we.

Also, the lights are being installed but do they have to be switched on? Perhaps Fergus could ask for a rethink in the light of what has been published in the Nairnshire recently. Fergus is quoted:
"Now Sandown is not proceeding then the immediate need for the traffic lights has gone as well. It wasn't reappraised, there was not much consultation and I'm concerned about Transport Scotland not listening to the needs of Nairn."

Rumours of new logo for the County

Rumours are sweeping Facebook at the moment that the victorious Wee County have opted for a new logo for next season. Looks like KM has managed to get a sneak preview

Time's up for the River Nairn mink?

Picture taken by Tommy Hogg last November

The BBC reports:
"The largest ever initiative to remove breeding American mink from the north of Scotland is under way. The Scottish Mink Initiative aims to create a 20,000 sq km safe haven for native wildlife in rural Tayside, Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Cairngorms and the Highlands."

The mink on the river have shown themselves to be not entirely shy of mankind and their antics can sometimes be amusing but their impact on wildlife can be devastating. Their days could well be numbered.

Local Press Review

"Nairn United" is the Nairnshire's front page banner headline this week. The town's three community councils have agreed to, well, er, not much really/or something that might lead somewhere, perhaps, maybe? Decide for yourself and have a good read of the article and Iain Bain's hard-hitting editorial on this topic. The people that matter most, the public of Nairn, were excluded from the meeting between the CC's and some of the community councillors too. Incidentally if you look at the latest figures on the Gurn poll you will see that the majority still want a single council for the town. 264 votes and 71% want a single CC. Those for the status quo 12% are now outnumbered by the the "don't cares" on 14%.
A picture of David Hind lifting the Morganti cup on page 1 too and an extensive two-page spread on the sports pages detailing the Wee County's excellent victory. A close encounter of the dangerous kind on the Altonburn Road rat run on page 2 and news of how mobility scooters can't get up/down the cemetery path to Boath Park because of pedestrian barriers on the road. That will have to be sorted before Sainsbury's opens.
River CC are refuting claims that they are to blame for traffic lights - details on page 5. And the recent spate of bevvying on the beaches has led to calls for a by-law to ban drinking on the East Beach - all the nitty-gritty on page 7. All this and more in a bumper 16 page edition.
Nairn - the town where the dead-tree press still make waves!

Important crossroads on the Nairn by-pass is resurfaced

The Cawdor-Auldearn road is the poor man's Nairn By-pass these days. The crossroads where this road crosses the A939 Grantown road at Foynesfield can be very busy at times. It has recently been resurfaced and widened perhaps when one takes a good look at the picture. A regular gurnite asks why a small pavement area couldn't have been put in for pedestrians. If we are ever to get people out of their cars then cyclepaths/footways will have to be provided on this type of road. Some will say of course there is no money for such at the moment. Well there's no money for a real by-pass as well but it doesn't stop it being officially on the wish list. One wonders if there is a wish list for road-side footpaths/cycleways in the Highlands?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Scottish Water closed the sewage bridge

Let's hope the repairs are undertaken very quickly. All our councillors need to get on the case here too - not just Liz.
UPDATE: we've received the following information from Scottish Water:

"The bridge is Scottish Water's and there are some repairs required. I understand contractors are working on it for a few days. Thanks to anyone affected for their patience.

The bridge must be a quirk of history as I can't think of any other sewage pipes we encourage people to walk across! "

The spokesperson also told the Gurn that the helpline number to ring is 0845 601 8855 and not the number on Liz's tweet. No comments on this thread please but the previous article on the bridge is still open.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just a perfect day...Fosters Highland League (Morganti Cup) final - Fraserburgh 0 Nairn 4

Memories were made today

Former Provost Ronnie Watson told the Gurn he had to wait 48 years for Nairn to win the cup again. He was present when they won in 1963 by a four goal margin too and against Peterhead (5-1) that time round - Davy Johnston scored a hat-trick.

A major prize for Les Fridge and the side. County are back!

The Banffshire sun shone on the faithful today.

Pictures will enlarge. Two goals from Steve Mackay and Tony Low and Glen Main also on the score sheet. Match report here.

UPDATE: Slideshow pics

Individual pictures here and full screen slideshow here. Those were the Gurn pics more pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson to come.

UPDATE:Now pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson:

Individual pictures here, full screen slideshow here.

The Morganti Cup is coming home!

Nairn County have beaten Fraserburgh 4 - 0 in the Highland League Cup Final!

Well done the Boys. More later (much later!)

Sewage Bridge (aka Merryton Bridge) closed

Wire railings have appeared at each end of the bridge today blocking access. Will it ever open again, will any repairs ever be made?

Que sera, sera... Come on the County!

Off to Princess Royal Park today for the Highland League (Morganti) Cup Final. NCFC's biggest day for many years. Here's hoping for the correct result. See you all in Banff.

Friday, May 13, 2011

County faithful on the buses - the timetable for tomorrow Saturday 14th

Here's the information from Colin:

"We are meeting at the Star (Back door) stables at 11am for pre travel food and drink and to pay the remaninder of bus money. Total cost per Adult is £10 kids (Under 18) £7. Food is provided free. Departing 12 noon sharp. A raffle will be done before we leave, prizes will be drink (Kids winning will get £10) We are travelling with Maynes of Buckie and both buses have a toilet. We should arrive at the Castle Inn about 1:30pm where food again free will be provided in the Lounge bar. After the match we will be meeting at the Castle Inn again where we will depart at 7pm. If you are not at the castle at 7pm we will leave without you.

Please pass this information to anyone you know because not all are on this list. Please also note that these 2 buses are completely full and no one turning up on the day will be accepted."

Continental Market Castle Lane - here for the weekend 14th/15th

It appeared this morning and will also be there Saturday and Sunday up to 6.p.m. Glad to see anything that brings folk down the street. A Continental Market is a great idea but please could we have a weekly Nairnshire Market for local produce? Do you agree? See new Gurn poll below Independence vote.
A market would be a regular attracton and could get a few retail tourists down from Sainsbury's too.

PS there have been a few issues on Blogger (the platform that hosts the Gurn) and articles and comments have been vanishing and reappearing from time to time. For a while all the millions of blogs in the Google cloud were on read only and we couldn't get in to update. Things seem to be returning to normal and this observer has been very content with the service provided over the years since the Gurn started. If your comments have vanished or haven't shown up yet then please be patient :-)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Traffic stacking on the King Sreet "mini" roundabout

On Wednesday night at the River CC Andrew Purkis (former Community Councillor) raised the subject of traffic stacking on the roundabout during busy periods and thus preventing access from the Fishertown and Marine Road to the A96. Graham Marsden explained that he had tried without success in the past to try and get something done about this such as hatching and a sign telling drivers not to enter the roundabout unless their exit was clear but BEAR were not interested in doing anything. "They're just autonomous, they just ignore us," he said. Over to you Fergus?

Earlier this evening the Gurn popped down for a quick picture but things were unusually quiet and very little traffic was heading in an easterly direction. Perhaps it was stacking up somewhere else further back along the A96 somewhere.

One didn't have to go far to find an example of similar behaviour however. Here you can see a motorist waiting to turn into Gordon Street but is unable to do so because of someone content to block their way as they wait for the lights to change further along the A96. This observer also saw drivers unable to exit the library car park when their turn came with a green light as other drivers were parking directly in front of the exit there too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Station brae closure overnight 12/13th

The Station Brae will be closed to vehicles overnight 12/13th 22.00 to 06.00 to vehicles to allow inspection of the railway bridge. Pedestrian access will continue however.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Not "illegal" but unenforceable signs to stay on West Beach

More from the River CC meeting at the Community Centre earlier this evening(Tues) - River Cllr Stephanie Whittaker had been asked by several dog owners as to why there were still signs telling people that dogs were not allowed on the West beach when they in fact are.

Tommy Hogg said that the signs were illegal anyway to which Cllr Graham Marsden replied that the signs were not illegal but unenforceable. There was much laughter and then he continued "they probably never have been enforceable." Graham then asked the River CC if they wanted them removed. When the matter went to the vote the members voted as follows.

For removing the signs - Iain Gordon

For retaining the signs - John Dolan, Jeanne Tolmie, Mike Henderson, Stephanie Whittaker.

Leslie Boulton abstained and Tommy Hogg didn't vote.

Early this morning one of the regular dog walkers on the West Beach told the Gurn that the signs were "dishonest and cowardly". These observer believes that the signs could lead to arguments on the beach as those in the know continue to ignore the signs and those who believe them to be true might remonstrate with dog owners, leading to unfortunate scenes.

This commentator believes that not everything in the world can be solved with signs. If some dog owners are letting their animals crap on the beach, or anywhere else in Nairn for that matter, then where are the famous Highland Council enforcement officers? If dogs are not under control anywhere then ring the police and complain. Well done Iain Gordon the voice of reason on the River CC on this subject last night - what a pity he was outvoted.

UPDATE 14/05/10 Recent troubles on Google Mountain or wherever Blogger is kept on servers has meant that around 36 hours worth of comments have vanished. They may come back but in the meantime this blogger has extracted, hopefully, all of them from e-mail notifications and inserted them as five long comments.

Disquiet about format of meeting for CC’s organised by Highland Council

Tomorrow night (Tuesday) the future of how Community Councils in Nairn should be organised will be discussed in the Courthouse. Each Community Council is only allowed to take four members to the meeting and the public are excluded.

There was a call from the public benches for the River Council to boycott the meeting on account of the number restriction. Cllr Graham Marsden said the meeting had been organised in this way by Mr William Gillfinnan so as to be efficient. There was another call for all seven of River’s members to turn up anyway.

As regular readers will know this observer is a keen supporter of a single council for the Burgh but any reasonable person can only share the concerns of River CC. Why does this meeting need to be behind closed doors with the public excluded? Who is calling the shots here – the Community Councils that represent the people of Nairn or the Highland Council? Comparison was made of the large numbers that attend Ward Forums in the Courthouse without things becoming unmanageable

River Councillor Mike Henderson was incensed by the limit on numbers, he stated: “When we agreed to attend this meeting there was no restriction mentioned, this is building barriers before we even get there.”

Yesterday's Leaders

Last November they marched together with Alex Salmond and thousands of others in support of RAF Lossie. This week they prepare to march off to become footnotes to the historic seismic shift in Scottish Politics.

Fire at Yac's hoose

The Nairn fire brigade team were in action again last night. They ran a hose up the brae to Yac's old property on the Forres Road. Pictures from Murray. As you can see from previous pictures taken by Murray there wasn't much left of the house but it looks like someone has had another go at setting fire to it. Yac's plot is now for sale as a development opportunity. If anything goes ahead in the near future it won't take much for a demolition team to wipe away the last traces of Yac's residence.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Sunset 09/05/11

Thanks to Jingle Bangles for this picture.

Time for traffic-calming measures in Harbour Street?

Would traffic calming measures such as the set-up on the Grantown road just below Boathpark (picture above) work in Harbour Street? You can see over at Nairnmatters that there is concern about the speed of some drivers in the Harbour Street area.

The early morning tranquility in Harbour Street. Things can get quite busy down here however and folk on foot coming from the beach and pedestrian area of the Bailey bridge in a relaxed frame of mind might not be expecting to suddenly negotiate through traffic. Time for something to slow vehicles down?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Nairn County 3 Strathspey 1

Pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson. Individual pictures here. Match report here. A comfortable victory but Cammy is red-carded and will not play in the cup final.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Fergus had a majority too!

Fergus came away with 51.5% of the vote in the constituency. The Gurn fun poll was just that and not scientific in anyway but we accurately predicted this result. Some of the other figures now, Gurn poll result in brackets.

Labour 21.8% (17%) Maybe a few more Labour voters in Inverness than there are in Gurnshire?

Conservate 11.6% (11%)

LibDem 11.5% (7%) Perhaps there are some folk that are more forgiving but did the Lib Dem involvement in sacking Liz as Provost give a boost to the anti LibDem feeling in Gurnshire? This observer suspects it did.

UKIP 1.6% (4%) Maybe folk leaning this way just decided that a UKIP vote would be a bit bizarre for a Holyrood election.

The Greens don't stand in the first past the post but in the second vote ballot they got 5.1% (6%)

That's it all done and dusted then. The next big elections here will be for Nairn's three community councils in November and then there's the Highland Council elections in May of next year. Will the LibDem clear-out continue there? Could there be a Westminster election this year too? If the Tories go ahead in the polls for any length of time it might be tempting for them.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Congratulations to Highland SNP candidates

That's the Highlands and Islands list just announced. Another 3 SNP members from the list.

Congratulations to Fergus Ewing, David Thomson, Rob Gibson, John Finnie, Jean Urquhart, Mike MacKenzie. 'S math a rinn sibh!

That's the Highlands a LibDem free zone as far as Holyrood goes then!

Still a few hours to wait for the local result

The count starts for the Highland seats at 10.00 a.m up in Dingwall. How big will the SNP landslide be here? Fergus with 50-60% of the vote perhaps? And just how far down will the LibDems go? At this moment (06.51) the BBC are reporting three of the eight regional lists declared and the LibDem share of the vote down to 3.5% with no list wins. Could they fail to get a list seat in the Highlands? Will the Greens get anything? So far they've only managed one member on the lists - will Eleanor Scott make it here?

Interesting times.