Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bliadhna Mhath Ur nuair a thig i! - a Happy New Year when it comes!

Agus teine fosgailte sa gharadh a-raoir, a' cur an t-urram air Nollaig, la na Trì Suipearan agus am Bliadhna ùr cuideachd. Smaointinn son an fheadhainn nach eil còmhla ruinn a-nis, an fheadhainn a tha fhathast ann agus an fheadhainn a tha ri tighinn dhan t-saoghal bhrèagha, neònach, an-fhoiseil a tha seo. Mo bheannachd orra uile agus mise an dùil 's dòchas nach bi cuisean nas miosa buileach ann an 2017 son iadsan fo h-èiginn ge b' e far a bheil iad. Feumaidh sinn uile a cumail a dol ge-tà agus slàinte mhòr a chàirdean. Chi mi ann an 2017 sibh.

 See you in 2017 folks

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ship to ship oil transfers in Moray Firth - Campaigners going to petition Holyrood on 12th Jan

The Glasgow Herald reports today:

"Campaigners against ship to ship oil transfers at the mouth of the environmentally sensitive Cromarty Firth are taking their fight to Holyrood.

The Cromarty Rising group is now seeking to persuade MSPs to outlaw the controversial activity in areas of high conservation value across Scotland.

The group, which is leading the opposition to the Cromarty Firth Port Authority's application to transfer up to nine million tonnes of crude oil a year between tankers lying at anchor in open water, has made a submission to the Scottish Parliament's petitions committee."  More details in the Herald here. 

Any Gurnites concerned about the Cromarty Firth Port Authority's application for ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth who may wish to travel to the demonstration can find details here. 

Keep up to date with the campaign by bookmarking the Cromarty Rising Oil Leaks page here. 

Also follow Cromarty Rising on Facebook here. 

Who to write to and other suggestions on how to keep informed and get involved here. 

Jacqui Ross of Cromarty Rising explains why the group are opposed to the application for ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth in the video below

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Agus mu thràth beagan a bharachd solas an latha againn - Speuran Inbhir Narann 29 Dùbhlachd 2016

A96 King Street roundabout potholes getting quite large again!

One of our regular readers drew our attention to the potholes as you approach the King Street roundabout heading towards Inverness. There have been problems here for several years now and once again the potholes have become rather large and even the previous repairs are starting to disintegrate. Hopefully this corner will be on Bear Scotland's to do list. We have sent them a message from the Gurn twitter account. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"How do I keep informed and involved in Ship to Ship Oil Transfer action?" Please pass this information on

A Little bit of info on how to campaign against the proposed Ship to Ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth. Thanks to our regular reader who submitted this information. Please do as much of this as you can and tell your friends and neighbours about it over the holidays too. 

The recent Nairn Beach Demo last Sunday was organised in less than a week and brought together more than 500 people to oppose proposed Ship to Ship Oil Transfer in the Moray Firth.We got media coverage in Glasgow Herald, P and J, Scotsman, Moray Firth Radio, BBC and STV news and more. Well done to all who made this happen.Lets keep the pressure up.

This high profile action and the efforts of our own Nairn Councillors have persuaded Highland Council on Thurs 15th December to hold a special meeting in early 2017 to debate any revised licence application from Cromarty Firth Ports Authority due to be ready in January to submit to the Maritime Coastguard Agency in London (part of UK government).
In the meantime we need to persuade all Highland Councillors and other influential agencies and individuals to take a strong position against Ship to Ship Oil Transfer  in the Moray Firth so that the UK Government get the message loud and clear to  reject this licence application

Keep Informed
Nairn Rocks  Facebook page, 4750 members, anyone can join, event publicity  Fridays only
Nairn Our Town Our Views Facebook page 1615 members anyone can join and regular updates about goings on in Nairn.
Nairnshire Telegraph   -see articles from last 2 weeks, and more to come….
Posters in shop windows/library and other public places in Nairn

Keep Talking to friends, relatives, neighbours. Make sure they know about this and how to get involved

Write Letters/Show your Opposition to Councillors, MPs , MSP’s, UK government , environmental agencies and anyone else you think could help to oppose this development, which could threaten our beaches, wildlife, health and tourism economy.

Sign the Petition   has a link to online 38 Degrees Petition-18000+ signatures so far

Fundraise or Donate to the fighting fund
www.cromartyrising.comhas a link to the Fundraising website. At least £30,000 will be needed to pay for a judicial review if the licence is granted by UK government in early 2017

Offer your Help
We need people power to oppose this and get the right result for our communities.

Who do I contact, to show my opposition to Ship to Ship Oil Transfers?
Highland Council -Nairn Councillors   (all already opposed to Ship to Ship Transfer)
Laurie Fraser
Liz MacDonald
Michael Green Chair – Nairnshire Committee)
All Other  Highland Councillors
The resubmitted licence application from Cromarty Firth Ports Authority will be debated by the whole Council before a recommendation to Maritime Coastguards Authority is made. ( Council has no power  to veto UK government final decision, merely to give an opinion  which will be considered by  the UK Minister for Transport  who will approve the licence or not .)
UK Parliament MPs
Drew Hendry MP for Inverness, Nairn , Badenoch and Strathspey ( already opposed)  Tel: 020 7219 6118.
Angus Robertson MP for Moray and Deputy Leader of SNP at Westminster

UK GovtMinisters( who will decide whether to approve Cromarty Ports application)
John Hayes MP Minister of State – Dept of Transport ( responsible for Maritime and Coastguard Agency) Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road , London, SW1P 4DR
Email:        House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA  Tel: 020 7219 1389
Chris Grayling MP Secretary of State for  Transport       Email:
Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road , London, SW1P 4DR

Scottish Parliament MSP’s and Ministers
John Finnie MSP( Green) for Inverness and
website ( at Beach Demo last Sunday .video on
16/22 Market Hall,Victorian Market,InvernessIV1 1PJ    Tel: 01463 710 194
Richard LochheadMSP(SNP) for MorayT. 01343 551111
Fergus Ewing MSP for Inverness and Nairn and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Connectivity
Constituency Office  112 Church Street  Inverness  Scotland  IV1 1EP
Fergus.ewing.msp@parliament.scottel 0131 348 5000  or 01463 713 004 
 Ministers’ Mailbox   email

David Stewart MSP, Highlands and Islands Regional MSP
Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
Tel: 01463 716299 Email:

Roseanna Cunningham MSP and Scottish Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for  Environment,Climate Change and Land Reform,    St Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG
Scottish Parliament Edinburgh EH99 1SP  Telephone: 0131 348 6087

European Parliament
Alyn Smith MEP  email   website

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cromarty Rising asking very serious questions of Marine Scotland that need to be answered - essential reading folks

Yesterday we published bitties from Hansard that stated that Marine Scotland had been invited to submit to the consultation on the Cromarty Forth Port Authority's ship to ship oil transfers application in the Moray Firth but declined to do so. You can read that post here. 

Today Cromarty Rising are looking much further into this issue, they have some documentation and are asking some very serious questions that need to be answered. They are also wondering what has happened to a meeting that Kate Forbes MSP promised to set up between Marine Scotland and campaigners against the application. 

Please keep up to date on this issue - Read the latest Cromarty Rising article here. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Christmas scene on the Dava

A picture below sent to the Gurn from Rosemary Young - it was taken by her son-in-law on the road across the Dava yesterday. Click on image to enlarge. 

S2S Oil Transfers proposed for Moray Firth - Marine Scoltand was asked to contribute to consultation but declined!

Regular readers who are paying attention to the proposed ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth may wish to pay attention to comments recorded in Hansard (the Journal of the House of Commons). 

In a debate secured by Ian Blackford MP in the House of Commons on the 22 February 2016 entitled "Emergency Tug Vessels (West Coast of Scotland)" the member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber asked the following:

"Let me deal with the issue of vessels in the constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber. This wanton disregard for marine safety takes place at a time when the MCA is considering an application for ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Cromarty Firth. Here again, the Government seem to be coming up short in discharging their responsibilities to consult effectively and take environmental considerations seriously. It is environmental concerns that demonstrate the need for our marine safety to be taken seriously, and our communities need the comfort of knowing that emergency towing vessels are there as part of the Government’s responsibility. 

The Scottish Government are responsible for marine safety yet, incredible as it sounds, we do not know whether Marine Scotlandwas consulted as part of the process. The application for the ship-to-ship transfer dated 5 November states that the MCA confirmed that the main consultees would be the local government authority, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage, with the appropriate wildlife non-governmental organisations. There was no mention of MarineScotland. Why not? 

That is why I tabled a question to the Minister dated 9 February, which was answered on 15 February, stating that Marine Scotland was consulted. I have not been ​able to clarify whether this was the case or not. Perhaps the Minister can do so this evening. Why was Marine Scotland not listed in the consultation document? Was it consulted? In the interests of transparency, will he publish any related correspondence?"

A little later into the debate The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr Robert Goodwill) was to reply: 

"Let me develop my argument, and I will return to that point. Scotland is not only a stunning landscape but the home of important industries such as agriculture and fishing, which are economically important to Scotland and the whole United Kingdom. Protecting the environment and safety at sea are our top priorities. The hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber mentioned the Cromarty firth oil transfer licence. Marine Scotland was directly consulted on 10 December, and on 8 February, when the consultation ended, it had not responded. When it was asked whether it intended to respond, the answer was no. I hope that that clarifies that point."

Fergus Ewing MSP in a recent letter to constituents worried by the S2S oil transfers in the Moray Firth, said that he would be meeting with Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, in connection with the role of Marine Scotland. Perhaps we will receive more information soon about Marine Scotland's role or lack of it in the consultation process for the application by the Cromarty Firth Port Authority. 

Auldearn Community Council indicates opposition to S2S oil transfers in the Moray Firth

There was no objection in the Dunbar Hall on Wednesday evening (14th December) to the suggestion that Auldearn CC support the campaign against S2S in the Moray Firth however there wasn't a full complement of Councillors present so the decision will have to be ratified at the next meeting. The minute read:

"It was brought to the Community Council’s attention in November of the Cromarty Firth Port Authority’s application for a licence to carry out ship-to-ship oil transfers in an area of the Moray Firth to the south of the Sutors.

Any oil transfers undertaken have, up to date , been ship-to-shore transfers at the oil terminal at Nigg, and of substantially lower volume than that now proposed.

The number of transfers in the application is stated at 48 per year, which would see a total volume of oil processed at over 8.5 million tons, plus scope for over 2 million tonnes of ballast water to be discharged into the Firth per annum.

The application did not come to the Community Council’s attention as the port authority do not consider Community Council’s on the south side of the Moray Firth as statutory consultees, so we weren’t informed.

Part of our area includes the Nairn Bar and the tidal flats to the landward of it, which are afforded Special Area of Conservancy (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status.

Anything that could possibly prejudice these protected areas and the Moray Firth at large is of concern, and these sentiments were echoed from the floor, unanimously.

Points were raised about the potential for even minor spillages to cause damage to the protected seabird and cetacean species and that, with several large tankers likely to be anchored at any time, the already audible low frequency drone of their generators would become much more pronounced.

There was no objection from the floor to the proposal that Auldearn Community should voice its opposition to these proposals." 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Copy of Fergus Ewing MSP's letter to constituents re Ship to Ship oil transfers proposed for Moray Firth

Below is a copy of a letter from Fergus Ewing to constituents who have raised their concerns about Ship to Ship oil transfers proposed for the Moray Firth. I'm hearing severe disappointment with this letter from some of those who have been campaigning against the proposal. 

There is a lack of understanding as to why the Scottish Government are reluctant to take a position on this issue - they have been known to take a position on issues not within their control haven't they? And surely they should take a stance on an issue that concerns the Moray Firth environment? Even more so when you consider that local SNP councillor Liz MacDonald's motion to the party conference in the spring against S2S in the Moray Firth was passed unanimously. 

Click on the images to enlarge and a PDF format of the letter is available here.

Route 66 diner support the County by sponsoring new warm-up jackets

Nairn Healthcare news December

Click on images to enlarge. PDF file available her.e

Grian-stad a' gheamhraidh sona dhan a h-uile duine! Happy Winter Solstice everyone.

Grian-stad a' gheamhraidh sona dhan a h-uile duine. Fuar agus fluich fhios’m ach tha sinn air tionndaidh turas eile An-diugh, faodaidh sibh mionaid a gabhail son aislingean samhraidh.

Happy winter solstice everyone. Yes it’s cold and wet but we’ve turned once again. Today you can take a minute to indulge in dreams of summer

Monday, December 19, 2016

STS oil transfers in the Moray Firth - a response from Dave Stewart MSP

Yesterday we asked Dave Stewart if he would like to share any thoughts he might have on the proposed ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth. Dave sent us a reply earlier this afternoon.


Thank you for your message on Twitter re ship to ship oil transfers. (I’m replying also on behalf of my colleague Rhoda Grant)

I realise the issue is one that is rightly is exercising a lot of debate as highlighted by the big turn-out in Nairn recently.

Rhoda and I are listening to both side of the argument and debate and looking in more depth into this whole issue.

However decisions relating to ship to ship transfers and oil transfer licences rest with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who are a part of the UK Government. 

Given the Scottish Government’s responsibility for environment protection in Scotland, the Scottish Government considers it necessary for Scottish Ministers to have a clearly defined role in the licensing process for any ship to ship transfers in waters adjacent to Scotland. Furthermore all enforcement and authorisation decisions made by the UK Government in relation to Scottish waters must be in accordance with the National Marine Plan.

Notwithstanding the above, we have to listen to the views of constituents on both sides of the argument and that is currently what we are doing.



Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas on the riverside walk

Murd and friends were up the Riverside this morning decorating the tree. This year there were a few more bits and pieces available after the Nairn Rocks group gave some of their extras to Murd. One lady went up to put up a special decoration of her own too. 

Nairn 1 Keith 1 Pictures Donald Matheson

Individual images here. 

Nairn 1 Keith 1 - some video action from the second half

Despite sustained pressure on Keith from Ronnie Sharp's selfless and devoted band of equals, playing their hearts out for the shirt, the second goal just wouldn't come but fantastic entertainment for another good turnout of supporters at Station Park.

Nairn County Foodbank Collection prior to game against Keith - Saturday 17th December 2016

There was a massive response to a club appeal for donations for the Highland Foodbank. Many fans also made a cash donation including visitors from Keith. Kevin Staines  also made a large donation of food on the behalf of the Newton Hotel. Well done fans of NCFC a wee club with a big heart.

A few pictures below and individual images here. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Commission on Highland Democracy - local perspectives - what they said at Highland Council meeting

Good morning Gurnshire. Regular students of the democratic deficit in our part of the world might be wishing to make a cuppa or pour a huge dram and listen to the discussion that was held on Thursday at Glenurquhart Road. Start the video below and move forward to 7.17 in. The mannie that is in charge of the Commission is quite frank about the cynicism that is out and about there in the Highlands when it comes to what people think about how much democracy they have in the local government sense. 

Perhaps you don't want to go the whole hog so here are a few highlights you may wish to have a look at. 

Well worth listening to Inverness Councillor Donnie Kerr who appears at 31.00 minutes into the video. He suggests that consultation is going through the motions and the council has a game plan that continues after consultation anyway. He thinks the Highland Council has had its day and Invernes should have a city council.

You can see Kate Stephen at 35.11. She laments how the unanimous consensus in Ardersier was ignored when it came to the controversial new waste water plant. It seemed that the voice of a whole community was ignored. 

On at 37.19 was Alasdair Rhind, oh dear he has a very bad opinion of Tain Community Council. 

Then at 38.50 we had oor Laurie. He told the meeting that it was unfortunate that they hadn't been at the Nairn River CC meeting the previous night. There the first thing they would have learnt is that Highland Council is an officer led council and not a council led council. He thought that Nairn was more than capable of taking over its own duties and responsibilities again. He thought that to make the organisation a real Highland Council it should be moved to Dingwall. 

Then Michael Green at  55.45 who mentioned the disconnect where everyone had said no to South Nairn and still it went ahead. 

There you are folks some weekend video action for you

Friday, December 16, 2016

S2S oil transfers proposed in the Moray Firth - here's some e-mail addresses to contact

One of our regular readers has produced a contact list of politicians you can contact on this issue.

Addresses of elected members Highland Council

Nairn Councillors ( all already opposed to Ship to Ship Transfer)

Laurie Fraser

Stephen Fuller

Liz MacDonald

Michael Green Chair – Nairnshire Committee)

Highland Council Planning Development and Infrastructure Committee

Chair: Dr A Sinclair (Ind) Sinclair

Vice Chair: Mr M Reiss (Ind)

Drew Hendry MP for Inverness , Nairn , Badenoch and Strathspey ( already opposed)

Share your views on his website 020 7219 6118.

Angus Robertson MP for Moray and Deputy Leader of SNP at Westminster 551111

Fergus Ewing MSP for Inverness and Nairn and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Connectivity

As local MSP Constituency Office 112 Church Street Inverness Scotland IV1 1EP

Fergus.ewing.msp@parliament.scottel 0131 348 5000 or01463 713 004

As minister St. Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

Ministers' Mailbox (

Roseanna Cunningham MSP and Scottish Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

St. Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

Email Ministers' Mailbox (

The Scottish Parliament Edinburgh EH99 1SP Telephone: 0131 348 6087

or ( as MSP)Email:
The Scottish Parliament Edinburgh EH99 1SP Telephone: 0131 348 6087

John Finnie MSP( Green) for Inverness and Nairn

16/22 Market Hall,Victorian Market,InvernessIV1 1PJ Tel: 01463 710 194

John Hayes MP Minister of State – Dept of Transport ( responsible for Maritime and Coastguard Agency) Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road , London, SW1P 4DR

Email: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA Tel: 020 7219 1389

Chris Grayling MP Secretary of State for TransportEmail:

Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road , London, SW1P 4DR
Tel: 0300 330 3000

Thursday, December 15, 2016

S2S oil transfers in Moray Firth debate at Highland council today - video now available on their webcast page

The debate was raised by the leader of the Nairnshire Area Committee Michael Green when it came to the approval of the area minutes, he raised a unanimous recommendation from Nairnshire's four councillors. There's comment out there today about what was said at the meeting - best way though is to watch it for yourself and make your own mind up. 

S2S oil transfers proposed for Moray Firth - street stall Royal Bank Corner Nairn High Street 11-1 Saturday 17 Dec

Perhaps you were on the beach, perhaps you have heard about it since. Well pop along to the stall at the Royal Bank corner on Saturday between 11-1. And exchange information and ideas on what to do next locally to keep the campaign going. Come and have a blether and let's see what we can do! If you've still got your banner bring that too.

Good news from Glenurquhart Road today - S2S oil transfers in the Moray Firth will be debated by full Council!

As soon as the Highland Council put the video of the meeting up we'll link to it and the relevant times in the broadcast where debate begins. A lot of other interesting stuff concerning democracy and the Nairn angle too. We will also tell you where to go on the vid to watch that. In the meantime some good news:

Local company helps Green Hive volunteers clean up Viewfield leaves

Plenty of action in Viewflield yesterday

More images here

Riverside Christmas Tree decoration Sunday 10.30

Murd will be master of ceremonies up the left bank on the Whinnieknowe bend of the river on Sunday at 10.30. Some of the Nairn Rockers facebook group have volunteered to give him a hand and more importantly to take down the decorations in the new year when it is likely Murd will have to go in for an operation. 

So if you are free Sunday morning and fancy a stroll, pop up for a bit of festive action and help decorate the tree that brings a bit of seasonal sparkle to riverside walkers. 

Murd in action Christmas time 2014

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Work Continues on Reviewing Nairn Traffic Signals

A recent meeting between local community groups and Transport Scotland has continued to explore the traffic signals in Nairn along the A96 trunk road. The meeting on 24 November was the latest as part of the “Nairn Community Focus Group” which includes representatives from each of the Nairn community councils, the Nairn Access Panel and the Association of Nairn Businesses, alongside Transport Scotland, Police Scotland and councillors and officials from The Highland Council.

The group first met in late 2015 to review options which the community wanted to explore on the number and operation of the signals throughout the town. This work has focussed on the A96 junctions with Leopold Street, Albert Street, Seabank Road and the Manse Road/Waverley Road crossroads.

Jonny Moran, Transport Scotland’s Operating Company Manager said “These meetings have given us the opportunity to work with local parties and to explore a range matters from the community groups in Nairn. We are undertaking some modelling of the traffic signals on the Group’s suggestions and we will meet again in the New Year to present and discuss the findings.”

A Magical thank you from Nairn Play

STS oil transfers in the Moray Firth - a day for democracy at Highland Council meeting tomorrow?

Tomorrow Highland Council may find a mechanism to bring the ship to ship oil transfers to full and open debate at the Council. The submission that they put into the process when the first Cromarty Firth Port Authority application went in has been heavily criticised by campaigners and community councils around the Moray Firth. Many thought it was so weak it was more or less a green light to the application. 

Tomorrow Highland Council has a chance to redeem itself and give this topic the full and open debate that it demands and deserves and that over 500 people stood on Nairn Central Beach for on Sunday (pictures here). And then there are the thousands that have signed petitions and written letters. 

The response to a written question from the Black Isle Councillor Craig Fraser is not encouraging. It amounts to the official Highland Council position but it was probably written before the demonstration on Sunday. 

 Craig's question:

"To the Chair of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee “Will you take the necessary action to ensure that arrangements are made/time allocated/an adequate opportunity is provided for the Council to consider in formal Committee the revised/amended STS oil transfer licence application, which PoCF has reportedly stated will be submitted "early in the New Year"; and to make provision for elected Councillors to review and comment on the Highland Council's updated formal representations on that revised application before they are submitted?”

And the response:

"Response to Mr Fraser A response to the revised application will be presented to a meeting of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee and/or the Ross and Cromarty Committee. If a response is required outwith the Committee cycle, it will be produced by Officers in consultation with Local Members in relevant Wards and the Chair of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee and submitted by the Director of Development and Infrastructure."

If it doesn't go to the full Council for debate then the decision will be left basically to officials because last time we saw little or no input from councillors - it will just be more of the same. Leaving so much power on this issue in the hands of officials is simply not the right thing to do - that is not democracy! Many feel that nothing less than a full council debate on this in an open and transparent manner will do. Tomorrow Highland Council has a choice. Ironically the first topic for debate is the Commission on Highland Democracy. Tomorrow Councillors have a chance to demonstrate that democracy exists in the Highlands.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New main sponsor for Nairn County - Reach Digital Telecoms Highland

Local MP Drew Hendry has new page on website dedicated to STS oil transfers in the Moray Firth - he wants your views for a survey too

Drew's page complete with survey is here. 

Ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth - staying informed - what the media say - Cromarty Rising research group latest

Cromarty Rising state on their latest post:

"We’ve had some great media coverage over past couple of days – the BBC, STV, The Herald and the MFR and P&J to name a few. We’d encourage you all to write to these publications (and others) to keep the issue in the media. However its time to straighten out some inaccuracies that are circulating:"

They have a point or two to make with local media - find out more here. 

Quite a few videos on the Gurn youtube channel on the STS topic now - find them and more on other issues here. 

Nairn River Community Council meeting on Wednesday night includes discussion on proposed ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth

A good place to go and have your say. Usually some of the town's Highland Councillors will be present and the local paper too. Anti ship to shippers might want to hear of the latest developments in the fast moving situation and the Gurn understands there will be an update on how local community councils are working together to oppose this. 

Wednesday 14th December 2016
Change of venue
At Nairn Community & Arts Centre
At 7.30 pm


  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of last meeting (IB)
  3. Matters Arising, including:
    1. Outstanding correspondence
  4. Treasurer’s Report (SB)
  5. Community Engagement (intro by SN, presentation by SE)
  6. Budget and financial priorities – HC Scheme for Community Councils
  7. Nairn & Ardersier Partnership – Community Council representation
  8. Ship-to-Ship oil transfer proposals – Update Community Council Consortium working group
  9. A96 Nairn Community Focus Group meeting, 24th November
  10. Correspondence (briefing note to be tabled)
  11. AOCB, including
  12. Planning (briefing note to be tabled)
  13. Date of next meeting

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pictures from a demonstration on Nairn Beach - Sunday 11th December 2016

Individual images here

Doggie jobbie bin goes missing from Elizabeth Street

Major setback for the Queenspark fight against doggie jobbies. More on River CC Facebook page. 

Buckie 2 Nairn 1 Pictures Donald Matheson

Please support Nairn County's collection for the Highland Foodbank on Saturday at Station Park

Just in case there is anyone who hasn't heard yet about what happened on Nairn Central Beach yesterday... video

Following the proposed STS oil transfers in the Moray Firth debate - keep informed - essential reading on Cromarty Rising site

Cromarty Rising state on their latest post:

"We compared charges at Sullom Voe and the CFPA’s proposed charges looking at the cost for three tankers transferring 120,000 tonnes of oil at Sullom Voe and in the Cromarty Firth. At Sullom Voe the cost would be £49,792, while in the Cromarty Firth it would be £15,120. Shetland Islands Council, operators of Sullom Voe through their role as harbour authority and the CFPA have confirmed to the Herald that these figures are accurate."

Good coverage from Moray Firth Radio on yesterday's protest

But actually wrong about earlier transfers - they have been taken place at the Jetty in Invergordon. Ship to ship transfers in the Moray Firth are an entirely new process.

Friday, December 09, 2016

A Christmas Mystery up at Clunas as wooden Snowmen appear!

Dave Clem tells the Gurn:

"Over the last few days houses and cottages in the Clunas area have received wooden Snowmen (see photos, they have been placed outside the house or at the end of access tracks. They are beautifully made and must have taken some time, effort and expense to build. No-one has any idea who has given them to us. At first it was thought that a gifted and versatile local craftswoman was responsible, but she denies all knowledge and has been the recipient of a Snowman herself.

It's a mystery, but we would like to thank whoever it is for such an interesting Christmas surprise!"

Thursday, December 08, 2016

This Saturday 10th Dec please stay in town and support these two excellent fundraisers....

From 10-12 there is the Nairn County Christmas Coffee morning in the Legion, after that why not pop over to the Community Centre for the Magical Christmas Fayre?

Winter roads plan for Nairn area approved

Highland Council press release:

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in Nairn are urged to be aware of The Highland Council’s gritting plans in the local area over the winter months.

The Council’s priorities for gritting roads this winter have been approved by Councillors at a meeting of the Nairnshire Committee held today (Wednesday 7 December 2016).

Committee Chair, Councillor Michael Green said: “We have worked hard to ensure that the Council’s Winter Services Policy is as responsive as it can be to local needs and circumstances within the given amount of resources available to us.

“We all need to be prepared for the bad weather so I encourage everyone using the roads over the winter months to read the policy and look at the route maps so they know when and where Council gritters will be. They can’t be everywhere at once, but staff will be working hard to keep our roads and pavements clear in accordance with our local policy.”

The Nairn area has its own Winter Maintenance Plan which sets out operational details to deliver a service and comply with council policy.

57 km of Primary routes are treated first followed by 75 km of secondary routes. Crews will treat another 169 km of other roads as resources permit and only after primary and secondary route treatments are completed. The policy and gritting route priorities map approved by members today can be viewed on the council’s website at:

The council’s weather forecast provider (Meteo Group Ltd) provides daily and 5 day weather forecasts which support local winter maintenance decision making. In addition to this across the Highlands real time data is obtained from 30 icealert sites. Nairn Area operates a Duty Officer rota to ensure that there is always an experienced member of staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to take decisions on the deployment of resources to deal with the prevailing weather conditions.

Nine council staff are involved in the provision of a winter maintenance service in the area including 1 Foreperson, a Community Works Officer and 7 Operatives who receive support from the local Amenity / Streets and Waste Operatives. The staff have 3 front-line gritters and a footpath tractor to deliver the service.

The average amount of salt used in Nairnshire each year is approximately 2,500 tonnes and the Council has currently around 60,000 tonnes in stock throughout Highland and has no concerns about salt supplies.

The public are reminded that they can apply for grit bins and community self-help through the Council’s ‘Winter Resilience Aid’ programme, details of which are on the council’s website at:

Going to the Beach Demo (Nairn Central) at 2 pm Sunday - print off a few wee leaflets to tell your friends/neighbours!

Cromarty Rising, Communty Councils Alliance and Nairn Residents Concern Group have designed a wee leaflet - 8 to an A4 page Just print off (double sided) this PDF available here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Nairnshire Committee motion passed "total opposition" to ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth - video reaction

Nairnshire Committee confirms local priorities

Members of the Nairnshire Committee have drawn up and agreed a set of strategic council priorities for the area to ensure that local needs and issues are taken into account by the Council as a whole.

The priorities are listed under a number of headings that include Economic Development and Prosperity, Broadband and Connectivity, Transport and Infrastructure, Housing Development, Health and Social Care, Education and Partnership Working.

At today's (Wednesday 7 December) Nairnshire Committee, members had the chance to discuss the list of priorities and confirm their commitment to working in partnership with others to improve the health and well-being of local people.

Nairn Play Santa Special Saturday - 10th December - Nairn Community and Arts Centre

Nairn Players at Highland Junior open squash tournament

Dave Clem tells the Gurn

Nairn Sports Club fielded 12 junior squash players at the Highland Junior Open Squash Tournament held in Inverness on the 3rd and 4th of December. There were seven 8 player Divisions in the Tournament with Nairn players winning 3 of the Divisions. Competition was strong as there were a number of national junior players from the Central Belt plus a large contingent from Orkney.

Harry Barron was the highest placed Nairn player and came fourth in Premier Division 1, losing 3-2 in the Semi Final in a hard fought match that could have gone either way to James Riches from Edinburgh. Although disappointed this was a well deserved result for Harry as the rest of the Division were all the cream of the best Scottish junior players.

In Division 2 Lewis Barnard and Calum Scott came seventh and eighth. These were well deserved and hard fought results as the rest of the Division were all seasoned and experienced Scottish players.

Division 3 was nearly an all Nairn affair with Harry Jack defeating Andrew Torbet of Orkney to win the Division. Lewis MacLennan came third, Struan Donald fourth, Euan Booker Milburn sixth and Ben Barron seventh.

Will Jack won Division 5 with Ben Booker Milburn taking third place.

In Division 6 Ross Donachie came first with Angus Baker taking third place.

Kyle Macdonald came third in Division 7.

It also has to be said that Nairn Junior players are also performing well in the senior Highland Squash Leagues. Harry Barron is playing for Nairn A and Harry Jack playing for Nairn B, they are both winning most of their matches. Nairn C team is an all Junior team and they are standing at third place in their Division, this is a fantastic achievement as all the other teams are comprised of adult players. Their improved competitive performance is, in great part, due to playing adults in the senior leagues, in fact Nairn C defeated Kinloss Army 4-0 last week, a bit of a shock for four, burly Army gentlemen. They did, however, have the grace to compliment the performance of the 'Wee fellows!'

In the photo:
Back Row: Euan Booker Milburn, Harry Jack, Harry Barron, Lewis MacLennan, Lewis Barnard and Ben Booker Milburn
Front Row: Angus Baker, Calum Scott, Ben Barron, Struan Donald, Ross Donachie and Will Jack

Nairn 0 Fraserburgh 2 pictures Donald Matheson

Individual images here.

A document for Nairnshire priorities going forward for approval later this morning (10.30 am) at the Area Committee meeting

Could almost be the manifesto of the Freedom for Nairnshire movement. It looks good but in the cuts apocalypse environment it will take inspired leadership and thinking out of the box to get any of it done - all the same good luck to the fab four. It might of course be appropriate to add in there "absolutely no ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth!"

The text of the document for approval is posted below. 

Ward 19 Nairn Draft Local Strategic Priorities – November 2016

 Economic Development and Prosperity 
 Create a blueprint for Nairnshire for economic development and regeneration with key targets and timelines including: 
- Delivering on Town Centre and High Street regeneration 
- Supporting development of a Business Improvement District (BID) for Nairn - Delivery and implementation of a tourism action plan
 - Regeneration of the harbour area through creation of a development strategy
 - Support for a new Business Park
 - Further development of commercial units
 - Support for development of local employment and training opportunities 

Work to maximise the benefits of the Inverness City and Region deal for Nairnshire Broadband and Connectivity 

 Ensure delivery of next generation Broadband to all areas of Nairnshire
  Lobby to ensure that mobile phone providers bring minimum 4G to all areas of Nairnshire
 Support development of Nairn as a Wi-Fi town 

Community / Localism 

 Continue to strengthen the Nairnshire Committee through development of the localism agenda
 Working with partners and the community, support the development of an effective Nairnshire Community Partnership to achieve effective Community Planning and address inequalities through partnership working
  Continue to proactively and effectively manage the Nairn Common Good Fund and seek opportunities to maximise the Fund to benefit the local community 
 Continue to support participatory and other local budgeting initiatives to empower wider community participation in decision making 

Transport and Infrastructure 

 Support rapid development and delivery of the A96 Bypass
  Capitalise on strengthening connectivity as a result of dualling of the A96 including:  progressing integrated transport initiatives 
 improving rail commuter services both in and out of Nairn
  improving links to the airport 
 improved walking and cycling routes
  Deliver a connected Coastal paths network through capitalising on opportunities presented by A96 dualling working with Transport Scotland and other partners to achieve this 
 Continue to lobby and work toward improving the bathing water quality to achieve top status for Nairn’s beaches 
 Also address fundamental water and sewerage infrastructure issues
  Continue well established partnership working on key transport and infrastructure projects with community representation 

Housing Development
  Focus on development of key sites in Nairnshire to deliver the housing needs of our community
 Provision of affordable housing and increase the range of affordable rented accommodation 

 Health and Social Care
  Support the maximisation of key hospital services at the Nairn Town and County Hospital as the main hub for delivery of health services for the Nairn Community 
 Ensure patient transport services meet patient and family needs 
 Protect NHS Healthcare provision for Nairnshire
  Protect quality local care provision and access to care at home services 

  Seek opportunities to develop further and higher education provision in Nairn with UHI, Inverness College and Moray College
 Explore local Campus development 
 Seek solutions to reducing the attainment gap
  Ensure education estate provision is fit for purpose 
 Skills and employability in a Ward context to offer choice to younger people Partnership Working
 Work with partner organisations to create a dynamic change agenda for Nairnshire