Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
BT customers can check the availability of the new service here: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/
Businesses in the Highlands have often been critical of the lack of fast broadband but it would seem that many Nairn based companies may benefit from this high speed service"
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Steven Manders introduces the magnificent seven
Question 1 Feral kids in the High Street?
Question 2 Food parcels and Highland Council wasting money?
Questions 3 and 4 Candidates' membership of organisations and political parties?
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Outdoors the rain continues and any candidates will indeed be very soggy today if they are still knocking the doors. Has one of the candidates switched sides mid-stream however? Murray drew the Gurn's attention to posters that have appeared in the Jubilee Bridge area. Must be mad to put out posters for a party that's not standing in the election?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Two brief headlines. One of the first questions was whether any of the candidates are Freemasons. The response? None of them are. On the issue of a single community council for Nairn members of the public were asked for their preference and the majority wished to see such a body for the Royal Burgh.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
We had heard here at the Gurn that there would be closures and that the Cove squad had been informed that they would have to head to Station Park via Delnies on Wednesday night. Does anyone know how long the closures will continue? All week perhaps?
Part of the wall round the village green and flower beds was kicked over, white paint thrown around in the woods at the start of the Newmill path, as well as poured over the path signpost and obscene graffiti daubed on the road.
What a shame to see this destruction, contrasted against the good stuff, such as the refurbishment of the Lethen Road hall and the timber works in progress along the Newmill woods walk to keep it attractive, safe and healthy...
I haven't seen anything like this for a while, so let's hope it's a one-off."
Sunday, April 22, 2012
"Scots Guardsman 46115 with a steam excursion pulls away from Nairn station early this evening" (22/4)
Update 20.08: More from the Northern Constabulary site
"Police are making enquiries in relation to an alleged assault on a young woman in the Gordon Street area of Nairn around 1.30 am on Saturday 2st April 2012.
They would also like to stress there is no connection between this incident and a previously reported assault at the Duncan Drive/Kilravock Crescent area of the town around the same period."
And in connection with the other alleged assault the Northen Constabulary released the following statement later on on Sunday night.
"POLICE have charged an 18 year-old man in connection with an incident late on Friday night, 20 April, in which a woman was alleged to have been assaulted in the Duncan Drive area of Nairn. A report has been made to the Procurator Fiscal.
The man is expected to appear in Inverness Sheriff Court on Monday 23 April."
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I am less bothered about who gets voted in than their ability to roll up their sleeves and work together for the good of Nairn. In the past there has been too much jockeying for position and headline grabbing.
Update from Nothern Constabulary site:
Police are making enquiries in relation to an alleged assault on a young woman in the Duncan Drive/Kilravock Crescent area of Nairn last night, around 00:30 21 April 2012.
An 18 year-old man is in custody and police would like to trace anyone who witnessed or heard anything or who has any information in relation to the incident. Anyone with information should contact police on 01463 715555
Friday, April 20, 2012
Street Names of Nairn Vol 2 - Local author Irene Main Mackintosh follows up on the sell-out success of Vol 1
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
He had his first swimming lessons in Redleaf Pool in Double Bay in Sydney's east and grew up with a shark-netted beach near his house.
From 1956 to 1960, he was the world's best men's swimmer, winning four Olympic medals and setting 15 world records. After the Melbourne Olympics, he won a swimming scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he studied drama and television. He last competed for Australia at the 1962 Commonwealth Games." More on the Austrailian.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
This provoked an regrettable outburst of snide and hostile comment - not least in the esteemed pages of the Gurn (see http://www.gurnnurn.com/2012/01/altonburn-road-access-only.html ) - including remarks about posh people, armed guards and gates, NIMBYs etc, - all of which revealed a disturbing level of prejudice among some, at least, of the folk of Nairn. There were even calls for Nairn West CC to be disbanded....
Michael Green informs the Gurn that hustings are to be held on Wednesday the 25th of April commencing 7.30. p.m. Stephen Manders, United Reform Church minister, has agreed to take the chair, plus provide the URC as a venue. All candidates are being invited to attend. Micheal also says that a specific format has not been agreed but the favoured option at the moment is to have all potential questions submitted via the Community Councils. The town's three community council chairs, Rosemary, Dick and Tommy are all in favour but Rodger at Auldearn has not been contacted yet as he is on holiday.
The Gurn now has uploaded copies of all the candidates' leaflets apart from that of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate but we did ask their Highland Party office for a copy. You can find links to the leaflets here and there are also buttons in the side bar that will take you to any web presences that the candidates have.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Sgt Hansen said that having no specific taxi rank in Nairn made it quite difficult to monitor fully.
Tommy Hogg asked Liz if a designated taxi rank to be made in the area of the old community centre once it came down.
Liz didn't see why that couldn't be added into the plan but did say it would have to be through consultation.
The Community Works manager for Nairn Debbie MacGuire (based in Inverness) was at the River CC meeting on Tuesday night to explain a few things to the Councillors gathered in the Community Centre. Gurnites will be aware of the complaints about the Links play park not being cleaned at the weekends during the winter months. No joy there according to Debbie, there just isn't the money. She did reveal where the money for the Bailey Bridge repairs came from however:
"Well we had money left coming towards the end of the financial year, last financial year. We had money left in our bridge maintenance program and that was highlighted as the project to get done in the last year so we did manage to get it done." She went on to add that the existing narrow part of the bridge that was the original pedestrian walkway will be closed as it will deteriorate further."
Among the comments made to Debbie was one from Murd reporting that one of the interiors of the litter bins at the skateboard park was sitting in the middle of the river. That was Tuesday night and Murd reported to the Gurn that it was still in the river on Weds afternoon. Not there today though and not back inside the bin. Has it been retreived and taken for repair by the council or has the wee spate taken it away. Murd is still on the case.
"Well here it is the Labour Rose outlining my background and what Labour will do for Nairn if elected in May. I cannot promise changes overnight but given time and commitment from the Highland Council we will halt the decline in public services and restore civic pride to Nairnshire.
So best of luck to all candidates as we enter the final stages of selection.
Scottish Labour Party Candidate"
Takeshi says that the plant doesn't harm buildings or roads in Japan, it is prolific however but renowned for its health benefits if eaten. A quick google reveals that the BBC has some culinary details on this. If the three year eradication plan fails on the Nairn perhaps we could start a new local industry? Knotweed, North American Crayfish and chips please?
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
The Gurn has up to now received leaflets from 7 of the 8 candidates participating in the election that will take place on May 3rd. As they have all been published here on the Gurn at different times it is perhaps best to put links to all of them in one post as some readers might not have seen them all yet. We still haven't had a copy of Rossie MacRae's leaflet but will be happy to post one once it comes through either the digital or snail mail letter box. Anyway here's what we have so far:
Ashley Broadbent Scottish Labour
Laurie Fraser Ind
Michael Green Ind
Colin Macaulay SNP
Liz MacDonald SNP
Graham Marsden Scottish LibDem
In the the Gurn sidebar you will also find links to any web presence that the candidates have. As far as we know it is only Laurie and the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Rossie MacRae up to now that are not using either Facebook, twitter or some other form of internet resource for this election. Please take the time to vote on May 3rd Gurnites, let's see if we can get Nairnshire at the top of the % turnout.
Following our conversation this morning I email with information on the current situation with training at Nairn Fire Station.
Nairn follow our 2 year Maintenance of Skills training structure, carried out on their weekly training evening. The Watch Manager in the station is being supported by ourselves in Inverness & Nairn District Office in ensuring this is up to date and fully recorded in the appropriate manner.
Here's another leaflet - this time through the digital letterbox. Ritchie told the Gurn that the leaflet is now through more than 4000 doors. He added: "Perhaps different from the normal political leaflet but hopefully gives the voters an idea of who I am and what I offer." See a larger copy here. This observer also notes that Ritchie has added a new page to his website, he states there:"I’m finding I have to keep my diction very clear on the doorstep. If I speak too quickly voters get concerned I’m promoting Independence and nothing could be further from the truth." More here: Independence or Independents? You can also tweet Ritchie here.
Monday, April 09, 2012
At last week’s West CC meeting mention was made of the lease on the library running out at some time in the near future. This observer wondered where best to get information that would confirm that. The library is quite a busy place and brings a lot of people down into the High Street, it would be missed. Today Laurie’s leaflet popped through Gurn HQ’s letterbox and in Laurie’s essay was the following little gem:
”The Library’s lease is due to expire in two years and a new location will be required.”
In the meantime Laurie also states in his leaflet: “The old community centre and petrol station are close to demolition and by the time of the election should be down and the land tarred.” Land tarred – ah excellent, ideal for car parking? Wasn’t there the wee problem of the Highland Council administration looking for a developer for the community centre site however? Recently River CC called for a permanent car park on the site and Liz backed them up. Liz reiterated her position on keeping the Community Centre as a permanent car park again at the weekend, she told the Gurn:
“The delay to the work at the old community centre is due to there being 3 electric supplies. The chaps came from Hydro and were only able to disconnect 2 of them and another crew has to come to sort out the commercial supply. The contract did begin from 5th March and I am disappointed as much as everyone else at these delays as I'd been hoping the work would be completed in time for the Curtis Cup, which was the initial aim. However in the longer term it'll be great to get the site cleared and let's keep it for a car park for our town centre.”
Commenting on his election Facebook page Independent candidate Michael Green states:
"Not campaigning over the Easter break and just back from a cycle round the river.The Firhall bridge really needs to be widened for disabled access. This point was made to me earlier in the week and I totally agree; it must be so frustrating for people in wheelchairs finding themselves unable to use the bridge."
Most gurnites will be aware of the present state of the bridge but if anyone is not up to speed here's a few pictures that were published recently.
A copy of Laurie's leaflet has been delivered to Gurn HQ. It's four sides of A5, printed locally by the Nairnshire Telegraph. What is interesting about this leaflet compared to others that this observer has seen so far is that the inside pages contain quite a lot of information, several hundred words of our present Provost's thoughts which may delight or upset voters depending on they feel about our current Civic Head's performance. Plenty in there for voters to digest: "Laurie Fraser - A message" see what you make of it here in googledoc format.
Community Councils finding consensus on the Common Good – can it happen or is it “a big mountain to climb”?
“We were outmanoeuvred by the Highland Council. They came there ready with the answers that they wanted to answer and without any information regarding what we wanted to hear. It was quite clear that Mr Gillfillan was dancing to a tune that he’d been given, he was not telling us about the past errors and he was making it very difficult for us to find out about these past errors. What we as a community council and the other community councils need to do is get our act together and say this is what we want, this is where we need to be. There are two separate issues one’s the past and one’s the future. The stuff that’s in the past, we have to decide whether we pursue that or not and what we definitely need to do is to decide how we get control of what is going on.
Graham Vine also present at the meeting made mention of the Scottish Government’s localism agenda and suggested Highland Council were going against this with their administration of the fund.
Cllr Kerr then said: “At the moment Highland Council are saying that they administer it, and we’re saying fine just you carry on administering it. What we’re after is that Nairn people have to decide what is going to happen with Nairn’s common good.”
Brian Stewart was more pessimistic than Graham Kerr. He thought the Council had used the meeting to close off local public debate but he saw a couple of small chinks of light. He added: “I don’t have a great deal of confidence that all three community councils will be anymore willing now than they were a month or two months or six months ago to come together to discuss a strategy on this issue And secondly, I am willing to lay good money on the fact that even if all three community councils did get together to discuss this they would not be able to reach consensus. I’m very willing to try and take part in that effort, but I’ve been round that course and the evidence is that it would be a big mountain to climb.
Graham Vine had the last say at the meeting: “Madam Chair, now that I no longer have no official status whatsoever I would suggest that if the price of forgetting history was that they no longer charge the Common Good for the Community Centre that would be a very fair compromise all round.”
This observer feels that that would be an ideal outcome but would Highland Council write off around £3 million to placate the citizens of Nairn in order to put the long running festering sore that has been the administration of the Common Good to bed?
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Steven Innes has decided not to pursue a cloned cow future: "Public fears about ‘Frankenstein farming’ have killed off plans to sell milk from Britain’s only herd of clone cattle. Most of the 96 animals – sired by two bulls bred from embryos from a cloned cow – have been destroyed or exported to Europe. The farmer who owned the cows decided to get rid of them after it became clear the public would not accept milk or meat from them." More on the Daily Mail webpages.
Brian Stewart speaking on the subject of the management of local council services on Wednesday night in the Community Centre:
Japanese Knotweed ( Reynoutria japonica) leisurely makes its way skyward through a thriving patch of Giant Hogweed ( Heracleum mantegazzianum), basking in the sunshine just down from the A96 bridge. Their days are numbered though as Tommy Hogg will soon be on their case when the River CC's improvement project kicks into gear. Larger picture here.
Friday, April 06, 2012
Councillor Graham Kerr asked the police rep at the West CC meeting earlier this week if anyone had been charged with dropping litter.
“If we see somebody dropping litter they can be charged,” replied Sgt Olga Hansen.
“Has anyone been charged?” Continued Cllr Kerr.
“I did research it but not to my knowledge,” said Olga.
“Maybe next time you come you could research it and tell us how many have been charged.” This observer got the impression that Graham was wanting a few litterbugs charged in the interim.
Olga did add: “If we see someone drop it we would ask them to pick it up.”
Graham feels that litter is a problem in Nairn he said:” The High Street is full of it, the High Street is full of CCTV, no one’s been charged.”
Graham Vine (former councillor) then asked if CCTV was evidence adequate to charge someone with dropping litter.
“It would require to sit and review the CCTV, if there was nobody sitting monitoring at the time. At weekends a lot of people are asked to pick up various things that they drop, it’s usually down to the influence of alcohol. We don’t use CCTV to monitor litter dropping,” replied Olga.
Cllr Brian Stewart then entered the debate: ”By charging one or two people you send a pretty clear message that this is something that is unacceptable. In the same way you would ticket people for parking on yellow lines or ticket people for motoring offences. It’s a very, very clear message. If you transgress you get nailed. Now, to do that with littering wouldn’t require very many people to be charged.”
Olga then added: “A lot of the litter is from takeaways and I know most places where they are licensed they’re supposed to tidy up the mess outside.”
Rosemary Young intervened: “I went to that place over there and told them to tidy up and they were out like a shot. They just need to be warned about it and that would help wouldn’t it?”
Some concern was then expressed at the level of litter being caused by school children. After some more debate Rosemary said: “We are coming to the tourism season now so we want the litter reduced to as minimal as we can get it.”