Friday, March 31, 2017

Nairn Men's Shed moving into vacant building on Platform 1 of the Railway Station

At the NICE meeting in the Little Theatre last night Jeff Baker announced that the Men's Shed had finally found premises and would be moving into the former flower shop on Platfrom 1 of Nairn Railway Station. It's not just for men too - women are very welcome. Reducing Social Isolation - Find out more about what happens at a Men's Shed in the video below. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

That was the sunset that was - another stunner from Sunday 26th March 2017 on Nairn beach - video

We can't guarantee one of these but they come at all times of the year. Give Nairn a try this year, great beach, great people, great craic and a great base for exploring the Highlands. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nairn Common Good fund - written evidence submitted to Scottish Parliament Committee.

The Scottish Government's Local Government and Communities Committee) launched a call for written evidence from all interested parties as part of its scrutiny of common good property and funds on the 8th of February 2017. Organisations and individuals were invited to submit written evidence to the Committee and the local Nairn Residents Concern Group took that opportunity. 

In their submission the NRCG state: 

 "We found it interesting that our concerns, comments and criticisms parallel very closely the points made in the submissions published online so far by individual citizens in other parts of the country from Inverness to the Borders – all of whom identified shortcomings and inadequacies in the present arrangements. We also note that the submissions made so far by local Councils take a different view, and in general seem to consider that the present situation is broadly satisfactory and acceptable."

It's a ten page document that documents the considerable nature of the problems that have been encountered over the years by those who called for better and more local management of the Nairn Common Good Fund. Gurnites will be familiar with the topics and some of the things that have gone wrong - a good update then and aide memoire for those who also have concerns about the management of the Common Good. 

At Monday night's meeting of the Nairn West and Suburban Community Council Bill Young indicated that he too had submitted evidence of his concerns to the Scottish Government. More soon when the content of Bill's document reaches the public domain. One of our regular unreliable sources told us that the content is "explosive" so perhaps an exclusive might be in the offing when the Leopold Street Thunderer hits the streets on Monday night?  

10 candidates to chose from in the Nairn and Cawdor ward for the Highland Council elections on May 4th

That is if you will be voting, last time only almost 44% bothered. Anyway here's a screenshot from an Highland Council document.

Planting snowdrops on the river Nairn - successful day for Keeping Nairnshire Colourful on Saturday

Annie Stewart told the Gurn: 

"We had an excellent morning with a good turn out of volunteers & perfect weather, and we have managed to get plants in continuously on both sides of the river from Jubilee bridge to Firhall bridge, so a big thanks you from KNC to everyone who helped."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

NICE meeting Thursday night (30.03.17) Chair Alastair Noble reflects - video interview

There will be speakers at the NICE AGM on Thurday in the Little Theatre King Street at 7.30 pm.

Michael Green will speak on the Harbour proposals.
Michael Boylan will give an update on the BID
Michael Barnett will talk about the Town Centre Development
Iain Bruce will have the latest information about the Spa/Lido proposal

To hear a longer interview with Alastair on a range of subjects affecting Nairn's future please go to the Gurn Youtube pages here. 

Police in the Highlands warn public of bogus callers

Police in the Highlands are urging the public to be vigilant following a number of cold callers, bogus workmen and scam incidents being reported.

Officers have also been informed of a number of telephone scams where cold callers advise victims they have an outstanding debt and need to purchase iTunes vouchers to pay the debt. On 22 March 2017, a report was received that a 71-year-old man in Inverness had received such a phone call and was conned out of £950.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jim's taking a rest after 17 years working in Nairn's Blythswood Charity Shop

This is Jim Rae's final week in the Blythswood shop in Leopold Street, a familiar part of the Leopold Street fabric is moving on. The shop has expanded a bit in his term as manager and seven years ago the upstairs area was opened up. “It's more than a shop it's a hub,” he told the Gurn as he reflected on his time in the premises. Many of his customers have opened up to him about  the problems they face and hunger has been a very real experience for some who live in the town, he is very concerned that things are getting worse and has done what he can in recent years to highlight the problem through the local media. 

Jim has enjoyed his work for the charity but wants a bit of a rest and then a change. He has one or two ideas on how he can continue to help those in need in the town and beyond through some of the new initiatives cropping up like the Nairn Cares group and working with others highlighting issues in Nairn.

Recently the shop has been provided with a few loaves every day from Ashers Bakery, the loaves are free to customers on a no questions asked basis and Jim is certain that poverty is very much on the increase in Nairn with many folk going hungry and that a more informal approach is often necessary to help some of those “under the radar”. He worries about the direction society is going and wants to do what he can to help the increasing numbers of those in need. So a well earned rest for Jim and then he will be back.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Another in our series of election leaflets: Michael Green " A strong Independent Voice for Nairnshire

We've received another leaflet and present it here, the third so far. If you are a candidate in the Highland Council election that will take place on Thursday May 4th please send us a copy of your election leaflet and we will be delighted to publish. The images below should all enlarge if you click on them. We've also put the leaflets up on the Gurn Flickr pages here. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

“Nairn is a great place to live, there is no poverty here – False!” CAB workers give presentation at showing of I, Daniel Blake In Little Theatre

Friday night (24.03.17) saw the third showing of the moving film “I, Daniel Blake” in as many months. Film goers heading to the Little Theatre brought with them donations of food, toiletries and pet food  that will go to local foodbanks. Total cash donations to the foodbanks over the three showings have now raised
Food, toiletries etc donated by film goers 
approximately £1,000. 

Before last night's showing there was an informative presentation by Pamela and Dawn from Nairn's Citizens' Advice Bureau. What they had to say was shocking in its own right. Nairn may look prosperous to holiday makers or anyone passing through but for many of our fellow citizens poverty is a daily reality. In the last 12 months Nairn CAB has dealt with 5,439 enquiries and 51% of those enquiries were benefit related. In the past 12 months, the CAB has issued 193 Food Bank Vouchers. This is a last resort after they have exhausted all other options to help clients maximise their income of obtain crisis finanacial assistance. Please find the time to read a little more and find out what Pam and Dawn had to say and how perhaps you could help our local CAB with your existing skills or with training from the local branch. 

Pamela began the presentation:

"Firstly, thank you to Colin Macaulay for inviting us to speak before tonight's showing of I, Daniel Blake. I'm Pamela and I am the volunteer support worker at the bureau. Myself and a number of colleagues came to see the film at the last showing. And I can assure you that the portrayal of a man falling through the cracks of the benefit system you are about to see is in no way an exaggeration of the types of situation some of our clients find themselves in here in Nairn. I actually think it should be obligatory viewing for everyone. This film may make you laugh, cry and it may make you angry. You will see why anyone who has ever tried to deal with the DWP on the telephone has developed a life long aversion to the The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. It shows that our current benefits system is flawed and often injust. But it also shows that not all DWP employees are “the enemy”. Many of them want to help their clients as much as we do, and without the strong links we at Nairn CAB have with members of staff and Inverness Job Centre, the Job Club, local Housing Officers, social landlords and our links with all departments at Nairn Town and County hospital through our outreach project, and many, many other partner agencies, our clients would be considerably worse off. A special thank you must go to the volunteers at Blythswood Foodbank. I have visited the foodbank on a number of occasions and can attest that the volunteers are so welcoming, so friendly and empathise so strongly with the people referred to them. Like us, they know that once you are struck in the trap of poverty, it is difficult to escape the cycle, and time and time again they offer an invaluable service to users who find themselves and their families in dire straits. "

Dawn then spoke:

"Hello, I'm, Dawn – I am a welfare rights worker in the Bureau. I deal with more complex casework and help people to challenge benefit decisions. Since I started with the bureau, more than 5 years ago, I have witnessed many changes to the welfare system. Each change designed to simplify and improve. In reality the changes have served to create a system that is harder to access and harder to understand. This film looks at one benefit – Employment and Support Allowance. Since the time of this film, Universal Credit is being rolled out across the country and will eventually be the only means tested benefit for people of working age regardless of their circumstances. Inverness Jobcentre is amongst the first to have gone live for the full service. Unfortunately, this means that people living in the Inverness Jobcentre area who claim benefit are subject to the teething problems associated with this new benefit. Situations that could lead to a claim for Universal Credit: include being made redundant; becoming too poorly to work; being a carer; or being in work but on a low income.

Nairn CAB workers Dawn and Pamela

The amount of complex casework continues to increase while the options open to people become more and more limited. That said – it is of the utmost importance that people do get advice and do challenge decisions. One of our key roles is to help people understand their rights and responsibilities. The options are more limited but people do still have options. We can identify possible benefit entitlement and support people through the claim process. If an initial claim is unsuccessful we can help people challenge the decision all the way to an independent tribunal if necessary. There is everything to be gained by taking action – people who appeal a benefit decision have more than a 70% chance of success if they get help. If you are affected by any of the issues raised in the film tonight, or know someone who is, please take action – get advice or urge your friend or family member to to get advice. We have placed a flyer with details of our service on every chair."

Pamela then finished the presentation. 

"In the past 12 months we have verified client financial gain of £1,480,000 . That sum is made up not only of the benefits that we have helped people claim, but through helping clients get the money they are owed by employers, challenging debt liability, resolving consumer disputes, saving money on their energy bills and so much more. We are free, impartial, independent and confidential. So, if you leave here at the end of the film feeling that you want to challenge injustice, if you want to give something back to your community, if you want to learn new skills or put the skills you already have to good use, consider volunteering with Nairn CAB. Pop in, ask for me and find out more about what we do and how we do it. Our spring recruitment campaign is on now, we can provide you with accredited training and will welcome you to become part of our friendly, supportive and dynamic team. Our volunteers make a difference. Do you want to make a difference too? By the end of this film, perhaps you will.

Enjoy it, think about it, tell others about it. And tell them about Nairn CAB too."

The leaflet distributed by Nairn CAB at the showing of I, Daniel Blake

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another day and another Highland Council election leaflet - Peter Saggers Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Yesterday we had Tom Heggie's leaflet and today we have another candidate in the Highland Council election that will take place on Thusday May 4th. Here's Peter Saggers. 

Click on the images to enlarge and copies of all election leaflets as and when we come across them  also on the Gurn flickr pages here. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Successful meeting for Gaelic speakers and learners in the Community Centre earlier this evening

The "Cearcall Còmhraidh" (learners circle) regulars that meet every Saturday 12-1 in the library held a meeting in the Community and Arts Centre tonight as their advertising material stated:

"Looking for ideas of the kinds of things people of Nairnshire would like, with a view to starting up a new Highland Cultural and Social group where Gaelic would have priority but also where learners of the language would be welcome and supported in a friendly environment."

The cearcall folk had thought that an attendance of around 20 would have been a success but on the night it was neary 40 who turned up for a blether and to exchange ideas on ways of creating opportunities for using Gaelic and for learning the language. Some very interesting ideas were brought forward and a committee was set up. Abair thusa gur e toradh brosnachail tighinn as. 

— A Gurn from Nurn (@GurnNurn) March 22, 2017

More info on future events coming soon and a warm welcome awaits you. In the meantime want to try a bit of Gaelic? Here's a very good page to get going - just give it a few minutes every day - you never know you might get hooked :-)

Tom Heggie standing in May 4th Highland Council election "putting people before party politics"

The first of the leaflets has arrived at Gurn HQ. Please send us yours if you are a candidate in the election to Highland Council on the 4th of May and we will be delighted to display it on the Gurn for the benefit of our readres.

If you find these images hard to read then please try this Gurn flickr page where all leaflets received will be displayed. 

Toshy's Testimonial - Pictures Donald Matheson

Individual images here and also pictures of the Lossie game here. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

John Finnie MSP to Lead Ship to Ship Debate Tomorrow

Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands, John Finnie, will lead a Scottish Parliament debate on ship to ship oil transfers tomorrow.

Mr Finnie, who joined campaigners from the Cromarty Rising campaign group at the Public Petitions Committee last week, has been campaigning against the proposals to allow ship to ship oil transfers to take place in the Cromarty/Moray Firths since last year.

A parliamentary motion (1) submitted by Finnie has received the necessary cross party to allow it to proceed to the chamber as a member’s business debate.

Members of Cromarty Rising will be present for the debate, which will take place following decision time, at around 5.30pm.

Mr Finnie said:

“If ship to ship oil transfers are allowed to go ahead in the Cromarty Firth the consequences for marine life, including the iconic pod of bottlenose dolphins, could be catastrophic.

“The overwhelming majority of communities in the area, who would be in the front line of any oil spill, are opposed to ship to ship oil transfers, as are thousands across the country as the 103,425 signatures on Cromarty Rising’s petition demonstrates.

“The potential impact on the tourism sector, so important to the economy of the Highlands and Islands, cannot be overstated. I am therefore glad that my motion has achieved cross party support, and I look forward to leading a debate on ship to ship oil transfers.”


(2) Debate will be live at:

John Finnie speaking at Nairn Beach anti S2S demo 11th December 2016

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fantastic memories made and others rekindled today at Toshy's Testimonial

It finished Nairn County 3 Toshy's Select 3.  What an afternoon for the fans as cult hero Toshy led first the new Nairn County side that has played with so much pride, skill and passion this season against former players in the select - he switched to the select too (as is the testimonial fashion) for the second half and what a treat to see so many former players once again in County Colours. 

Kenny MacLeod of Cutter photography was there to capture the starting line-up. And a match report is available here. Thank you Toshy for all your years of service to NCFC and the Station Park Loyal and thank you too to his colleagues old and new who turned out today for our local hero. 90 minutes that will never be forgotten!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Optimism for Nairnshire's future - a wee blether with Alastair Noble

Get yourself a cup of tea or a dram and have a listen to Alastair Noble outlining some of the things that have been happening in the background recently - Alastair is optimistic that we have finally turned the corner thanks to recent Scottish Government policies and a few initiatives that have been bubbling away for a while will soon come to fruition.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Toshy's Testimonial Match Sunday 1 pm Station Park

Highland Council elections 4 May 2017 - Are Nairn's apathy levels unsustainable?

Last time round in 2012 only 44% of those on the electoral voted in the Highland Council election. Can we sustain that level of apathy or will we break the 50% barrierr? 

The image below (click on to enlarge) gives details of how the preference votes were transferred and who got in. . Remember Stephen Fuller replaced Colin MacAulay at a byelection held on the same day as the General election and he, Michael, Liz and Laurie are all standing again. Here at the Gurn we understand that there may be at least three other candidates that have shown an interest so far.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nairn Healthcare News March 2017

Phone Scam

NHS Highland has been alerted to a phone scam happening in the area where members of the public are receiving calls from people claiming to be from their local GP Practice.

The caller is reportedly asking questions about their medical condition before going on to ask about their specific medication and advising them to buy herbal medication. Please be advised that under no circumstances would the NHS or any company we work with be advising patients to buy herbal medication rather than what they have already been prescribed.

If anyone contacts you trying to do this do not engage, hang up the call and alert the NHS Counter Fraud team. The NHS Counter Fraud team can be contacted on 08000 15 16 28.

Scottish Primarty Care Information Resource

What is SPIRE?

On 7th March 2017, a national campaign launched to introduce SPIRE to the public and explain what it means for patients. SPIRE is a service that will be used to help NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government plan for Scotland's health and care needs. It allows information from GP patient records to be transferred electronically and held securely at NHS National Services Scotland. This information will help medical professionals to improve the quality of care for all patients, plan services, develop treatments, find out about side-effects and respond to major epidemics.

What information will be used and who will be able to access it?

Information such as date of birth, gender, vaccinations, diagnosis and prescribed medications will be used from the GP record. To protect confidentiality, the details will be encrypted before they are sent so the information is secure at all times. The information will be used by trained and authorised analysts at NHS National Services Scotland. Individual data will then be grouped together to produce national and local Health Board summaries which will be available publicly but the patient will not be able to be identified from these reports. The information will NOT be sold and solicitors, insurance companies, marketing companies will NOT be able to access SPIRE.

Opting-Out and Additional Information

Patients have the option to opt-out of SPIRE if they wish. There will be forms available at front desk that patients can complete. The data extraction is not scheduled to commence until May allowing patients to find out more about SPIRE and giving them the option to opt-out before data collection. If patients requires any further information, they can call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 or visit the website which contains a list of common questions.
Spam Alert

Complaint Procedures

Nairn Healthcare Group is committed to providing high quality care and treatment to people in our communities through the delivery of safe, effective and person-centred care. We understand, however, that sometimes things go wrong. If you are dissatisfied with something we have done, or have not done, please tell us and we will do our best to put things right. If we cannot resolve matters in the way you want, we will explain why it’s not possible to do as you suggest.

Who can complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to us. You can complain directly to us, or if you would rather have someone make the complaint on your behalf, we can deal with your representative. This could be a relative, a carer, a friend or any other person that you choose. We can also give you information about advocacy services, and about the Patient Advice and Support Service, which can help you to make your complaint. If you agree to someone making the complaint on your behalf, it is important for you to know that we will need to ask for your permission for us to deal with that person.

How do I complain?

You can complain in person at the place where you have received care, treatment or advice, or where the incident that you want to complain about happened. You can also complain by phone (01667-452096), in writing, by email ( or by using our online complaints form at

Wherever possible we encourage you to speak with a member of staff. It’s easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about. They will always try to resolve any problems on the spot if it is possible to do so.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of:

* the event you want to complain about; or

* finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why. If we decide that, because of the time that has passed since the incident occurred, we cannot consider your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to review our decision.

For more information about what you can and can’t complain about and what happens after you complain, please ask Reception for our Complaints Handling Procedure Booklet or visit

Snowdrop planting Sat March 25th on the Riverside - Keeping Nairnshire Colourful

Cinema Nairn's next film 'Wadjda' (PG) 2012 Friday 24th March 7.30pm at Nairn Community and Arts Centre

Cinema Nairn's next film 'Wadjda' (PG) 2012

Friday 24th March 7.30pm at Nairn Community and Arts Centre.Tickets at the door.
Cinema Nairn’s first non English speaking film of 2017 is award winning Saudi film ‘Wadjda’ .
This little gem is a gently challenging look at how the pressures on young women to conform to traditional roles build up through childhood, but how adept some strong minded individuals become at sidestepping the constraints. 

Wadjda is a fun loving young girl who pushes the boundaries, and longs for a green bicycle she has spied in a shop. She plans to beat her friend Abdullah in a race once she has the bike.
Naturally neither Abdullah nor the bike are likely to find favour, so Wadjda plans to find her own way to try to circumvent the traditions arrayed against her.

Cromarty Rising petition to Parliament - Nairn woman joins team giving evidence - link to video

A link here to the Scottish Parliament TV Channel showing the petition presentation by Cromarty Rising today. Siting with the Risers to answer questions from MSPs was Loreine Thomson. 

Ship to ship oil transfers proposed for the Moray Firth are to be debated in the Scottish Parliament.

Ship to ship oil transfers are to be debated in the Scottish Parliament.

Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie joined campaigners from Cromarty Rising at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee today (16/03/2017) calling for proposals for ship to ship oil transfer in the Cromarty Firth to be thrown out.

Mr Finnie, who has been campaigning against ship to ship oil transfers for some time was delighted to speak in support of the petition.

The Public Petition’s Committee have agreed to write to the Scottish Government and relevant stakeholders seeking their views on the petition and will return to the issue in a future session.

John Finnie has submitted a parliamentary motion on the issue, which will be debated in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (22/03/2017).

Green MSP Finnie, said:

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the Public Petitions Committee’s session on Cromarty Rising’s ship to ship petition. The petitioners should be commended for the articulate case they made before the committee. The committee have agreed to write to the Scottish Government, and relevant stakeholders and I will be interested in hearing what they have to say on the matter when the issue returns to the committee in due course.

“If ship to ship oil transfers are allowed to go ahead in the Cromarty Firth the consequences for marine life, including the iconic pod of bottlenose dolphins, could be catastrophic.

“The overwhelming majority of communities in the area, who would be in the front line of any oil spill, are opposed to ship to ship oil transfers, as are thousands across the country as the 103,000 signatures on Cromarty Rising’s petition demonstrates.

“The potential impact on the tourism sector, so important to the local economy, cannot be overstated. I am therefore glad that my motion has achieved cross party support, and I look forward to leading a debate on ship to ship oil transfers in the parliament next week.”

As seen on Scottish Parliament TV earlier today Duncan Bowers, Greg Fullerton and Loreine Thomson giving evidence for Cromarty Rising

Monday, March 13, 2017

Supporting Scotland's CABs

One of our regular readers whose family has been helped in recent times by our local CAB has asked us to link to a page which gives details of how you can help the vital service that is provided all over Scotland but now in times of austerity finds itself in the line for funding cuts. 

"MORI research shows one in five people in Scotland visited a local Citizens Advice Bureau in recent years and 98 per cent of clients trust the service and were satisfied with the help we gave them.

We’re cost-effective, with around 75 per cent of the 2,500-strong workforce in our bureaux made up of volunteers.

And we save Scotland money. Independent research shows the work of the Scottish Citizens Advice Service contributes more than £166 million to the common good in Scotland.

Welfare reform, rising energy bills and other increases in the cost of living mean that more and more people need our help. Yet funding for our bureaux is being reduced by the squeeze on sources of income such as local councils."
Please if you can help by giving a donation, skills or your time please have a read of this CAB page. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Good turnout for Public Meeting as Drew Hendry MP seeks to reassure EU citizens living locally

There was a good turnout for Drew Hendry MP's public meeting for EU citizens living locally. The meeting took place in the Nairn Community and Arts Centre this afternoon. A lot of folk worried about the future and the mechanics of applying for Residency or British Citizenship. Drew answered questions as best as he could and afterwards took details of specific cases and experiences some of our European friends and neighbours have been having with the application system.

Drew stressed how the EU folk are welcome in Scotland and how he and his colleagues are determined to do everything to help them remain here. The local MP will soon be publishing helpful information and links on his website.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Seizing the moment - using the Nairnshire Community Councils to make the most of Scottish Government "localism" and "community empowerment" policies

We hope to put up some more videos on this topic in the near future. The poltical landscape is changing - Holyrrood wants to see a whole new landscape when it comes to how communities and local government interact. It has been what a lot of people in Nairnshire have been calling for for almost 25-30 years now as Invercentric thinking gained the ascendancy.

Now it is all about making the most of it as the pendulum swings back the other way as it gets a big shove in the right direction from the Scottish Government.

Its now up to us as a community to make the most of the opportunity presented to us. If you can spare the time please take in some or all of this video from Monday night's meeting of the Nairnshire Community Councils where Loreine Thomson delivered a presentation to the meeting.

A copy of the presentation is available here. 

Here are some other documents readers may find useful in conjunction with the video:

Redesign of Highland Council Final Report
Commission on Highland Democracy Interim Report
2017 Review of Planning System - Consultation Document

Monday, March 06, 2017

Cawdor and West Nairnshire take first steps in preparing to manage Tom nan Clach wind farm cash

A large turnout tonight up at Cawdor All the spaces were taken up in the car park and folk had to park creatively. The meeting actually took place in the main school hall as the community centre room would have been too small and it looked pretty full anyway with a Fisheries  meeting under way. The subject awaiting debate inside - how best to form a Trust to manage the £60,000 per annum that the community will receive from the Tom nan Clach wind farm from 2019 onwards.

Fiona Milligan representing Infinergy sat up on a slightly raised platform with Sandy Park in the chair and on his left his colleague from the Auldearn Trust Will Downie. Fiona did the introduction, outlining the purpose of the meeting and the necessity of forming a Trust to deal with the money that will be coming to the community.

This was the first step in the community forming whatever type of body they feel appropriate to administer the cash windfall that will come their way in future years. Legislation excludes the community council from running such a fund so something has to be worked out and set up by a seperate body. The money can be spent on anything the community wishes apart from three areas of that will be excluded from the terms of the deal and they are anti-wind farm campaigning, religious bodies and political campaigns. There was some discussion later on on whether that would exclude say a church building that provides a venue for community groups – there will be clarification about that at a future meeting. So into the realms of the benefits of a development trust or an organisation limited by public guarantee – echoes there of the early days of NICE when there was much debate of how to make the first steps.

The meeting heard about the successful Auldearn Trust that enjoys a cross over membership of many of the community council members in the village. A problem that can emerge is that people come to the fund with ideas and expect the fund to oraginise them but really it is a fund's job to simply give out the cash to “oven-ready” projects and not to do the work on things that could need planning and other permissions etc. A very good range of advice dispensed from the top table by Sandy and Will and some very good interventions from the floor too. Also the experiences of the Davidson Trust were touched upon by Iain Bain who was at the meeting in his Leopold Street capacity.

Just what type of trust do you need to meet the modern changing circumstances that include ongoing community empowerment measures and land reform possibilities, and the trials and tribulations of seeking "matching funding"? Then there are the “planning gain” opportunities that can occur as in Auldearn where £6,000 found it's way into community coffers from development in Auldearn. Someone pointed out that Delnies is in the Cawdor and West Nairnshire area and there could be development there in the future.

So a successful initial meeting and more bones and perhaps bit of flesh to put on the way forward at the next meeting. There seems to be massive interest and folk there in the hall perhaps with some of the relevant skills to take it all forward and help a Trust materialise. And then it was tea, coffee and cakes and a bit of a blether before everyone set off into the cool Cawdor night. 

Coinneamh ann an Inbhir Narann airson Gàidhlig! 22 den Mhàrt, 7.30f,

Cromarty Rising and friends to hand in petition to Highland Council on Thursday morning (9th March)

Following a highly successful visit to Holyrood in January, Cromarty Rising and 38 Degrees have arranged a petition hand-in event to highlight the ever increasing number of people who fundamentally oppose ship to ship transfers of crude oil in the Moray Firth. 

On 9th March 2017 at 07:30 /08:00 members of the public plan to gather to greet Highland Council elected members as they arrive for the last full meeting before Councillor elections are held on 4th May 2017. This will send a peaceful, visible message showing the strength of feeling of communities and businesses against ship to ship crude oil transfer operations.

Staff from 38 Degrees Scotland will arrange to hand-in the list of signatures, which now stands close to 100,000 making a Westminster debate on transfers of millions of tonnes of crude oil inside a Special Area of Conservation appear inevitable. This is an important part of community involvement in decision-making and will be another major milestone for the campaign which has already seen the first licence application rejected.

38 Degrees and Cromarty Rising continue to raise awareness of the risks of ship to ship transfers. If you have already signed the petition,as many people will have, can you think of one more person who has not yet signed and ask them to do so?

The petition hand-in will take place at 09:00 outside Highland Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Achagour bus shelter installed

Click on image to enlarge
Left to right  Stewart Stansfield HC Community Services ENCC Community Councillors Louisa Stewart-Howitt, Dave Cook , Margaret Anne Walsh and Councillor Michael Green.

Michael Green told the Gurn: 
"I am delighted that the new bus shelter has been installed at Achagour.  The old shelter had been previously situated on the A939 and East Nairnshire Community Council had expressed their desire for a new shelter to be located in a safer and more easily accessible location. Landscaping will be carried out later in the year plus the existing shelter will be uplifted,  refurbished and relocated to Drumduan. Replacement crash barrier are due to be installed south of Ferness in the coming months as part of the ongoing maintenance programme for East Nairnshire."

Nairn 10K and Fun Run - videos as the runners leave the High Street


More pictures and video later

Saturday, March 04, 2017

A few words before they pour the whisky into the River Nairn

Down at the Jubillee Bridge this morning with the Angling Association at the annual opening of the river ceremony. Apologies for quality of sound.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Power to the people of Nairnshire! - Reading the funding runes for taking the town centre plan forward - brief notes of the NICE meeting tonight.

According to Alastair Noble we now have the mechanisms to go forward and do all the things that we have been talking about for years. You can download a copy of the town centre action plan here.

The mood music from Highlands and Islands Enterpise and others is pretty good too by all accounts. It all has to be seen in the holistic light of the Nairn BID application, the Nairnshire Partnership which involves a whole bunch of authorities and actually has community council representatives and also the coming together of the Nairnshire community councils to discuss important matters that could lead to a new Nairnshire plan engineered by the community itself and not the high heid yins at Glenurquhart Road and elsewhere in the existing power structures. Together we shall overcome and get our fair share comrades! There is still money out there and we are on the verge of looking credible enough to let it tumble into our grasp is how this observer interprets proceedings earlier tonight.

There will possibly be a lot more about tonight's proceedings (the drop in opportunities during the day were well attended too the Gurn understands) in next week's edition of the Leopold Street Thunder, they had a journalist present he could clearly be seen interviewing some of the main participants afterwards. 

The meeting of the Nairnshire Community Councils is on Tuesday night at 7.45 pm in the Community and Arts Centre and topics on the revolutionaries table are:

1. A guide to changes to our planning legislation (Loreine Thomson).
2. Nairnshire and Area as a model for decision taking and management (Alastair Noble).
3. Community Councils and Community Empowerment working through Partnerships.
4. Proposed Projects: Nairn Harbour, Nairn High Street, Water and Sewage.
5. Suggested dates for a limited number of future meetings and Agenda topics.

Fellow citizens, let's get behind these initiatives big time - it is time to stand up and take this all forward as a community instead of having others tell us what we can have. Let's carve out our fair share from the raft of Scottish Government proposals that are coming down the tracks to enable Community Empowerment. Let's do this. Join the People's Front for the Liberation of Nairnshire and get down to the Community and Arts Centre on Tuesday night and support Alastair Noble and the usual suspects!

Highland Councillor attendance note - the only councillor present tonight was Michael Green.

A96 Leopold Street junction - a big pot hole in a dangerous place

BEAR Scotland recently made a repair to this pothole, it didn't last long and the last thing motorists need at this busy set of dangerous traffic light junctions is a huge pot hole to worry about.

Images sent to BEAR Scotland via twitter 17.32 3th March

The Vic - Speculation is over

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Job at Nairn Library

Taking the town centre plan forward - public meeting Fri 3rd March 7.30 pm

Notice of Public Meeting
Friday 3rd March in the Community & Arts Centre

2.00pm - 5.00pm
Drop-in Session to Review and Contribute to Plans for the Town Centre 

At 7.30pm
Next steps with a timeline and strategy for taking forward the Plan

The Nairn Town Centre Charrette was facilitated by the Highland Council. With input from NICE’s community survey and the input of other business and voluntary groups, an agreed Town Centre Plan was developed and published in September 2015, but there was no strategy for delivering any of the agreed outcomes. For that reason NICE engaged the services of a highly respected consultant, funded by the Development Trust Association of Scotland, to look at the Charrette outcomes and identify options for taking them forward. Marion Francis is now in a position to present the results of her work and consultation. 

We are pleased to invite our members and the wider community to an Open Afternoon drop-in session between 2.00-5.00pm on the 3rd March in the Nairn Community & Arts Centre so that we can refresh awareness of the Town Centre plans that were proposed by the Charrette process. We have invited the Highland Council planning team who prepared the Charrette report to be present and to chat informally to visitors and take feedback. 

NEXT STEPS A more formal evening session at 7.30pm will be given over to Marion Francis’ presentation of the options for the next steps with a timeline and strategy for taking forward the Town Centre Plan - the core mission of NICE. As the commentary in the Town Centre Plan itself states, it is up to the community to work with the statutory authorities to drive the project forward.

We hope to see you there