Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tom Heggie tells the Gurn that the Harbour road will reopen.

This observer bumped into Tom Heggie today and he told the Gurn that the necessary works down at the harbour come under the title "emergency repairs" and will have to be done. He told us the road would have to reopen.

Tom, a relatively new councillor,  has been consulting his colleague Liz MacDonald who for sometime has been Nairn's representative on the Highland Council Harbours Management Board. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Nairn harbour by night 29th December 2017

Individual images here


Christmas Rocks at Nairn Harbour!

Gurn fashion prediction for 2018 - sand and gravel is out but next year rocks will be big!

Let's rock on! All go at the harbour as a temporary repair goes ahead. Sand and gravel oot now rocks are in. A million campervan owners breathe a sigh of relief?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas e-planning Lochloy badger survey document mystery

The other evening this observer was on the Highland Council website browsing the Badger survey document submitted by Springfield along with their planning application for 115 houses on Liz's land out at Lochloy. 

Now the document no longer seems to be available on the Highland Council e-planning file for this application though and no doubt Glenurquhart Road will be closed for a day or two now - I suppose we'll just have to wait until after the holidays until we can find out what happened to it?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Community Council chair concerned about another part of the harbour - no money for this area either?

Last night Tommy Hogg, Chair of Nairn River Community Council, explained how he had been told by a local Highland Councillor that there was no money to fix the current situation at the harbour (previous article here).

Tommy also expressed his concern about an area over by the housing and cafe where things seem to be going wrong. He said there had been a problem there for sometime but  he was certain that recently it had got a lot worse. 

This morning we went down and had a look. You can clearly see a lot of empty space through the gaps that have appeared. Could this be the next area to suffer subsidence? Obviously Highland Council have this situation in hand too?  This observer is sure that they would swiftly let us know if there was any danger at all to the public.

Perhaps soon we will see a press release from the Highland Council or one of the four local Highland Councillors about the situation? The harbour is a vital part of the town's tourism and recreation infrastructure - just how long will it take to fix things or will they ever be fixed?

More images and a larger one of the above scene here on the Gurn flickr pages.

Grian-stad an t-samhraidh sona dhuibh uile - happy solstice to everyone!

Caran lag ach gathan na grèine air an taigh-cùirt sa mhadainn seo. A bit weak bu the rays of the sun on the Courthouse this morning. Tha sinn a tilleadh a chàirdean, we're on the way back folks!

Nairn Community Councils to hold joint meeting to discuss Springfield application for 115 houses on Liz's land at Lochloy

In January of next year the CCs will hold a public meeting to discuss public concerns over the Springfield application. On a night when there had been traffic jams outside the Community Centre almost up to the start of the meeting at 7.30 pm the watchdogs heard concern expressed over the impact of traffic on the road including the busy A96 Lochloy junction, the sewage infrastructure and the capacity of the the local Health system and the schools capacity. There were also worries for the welfare of the many badgers on Liz's land. 

An interesting discussion ensued around housing lists and the suggestion that it was often the Highland wide list that was paramount for allocation social housing in Nairn rather than simply those Nairn folk waiting for a home. The meeting heard how developers may be building the wrong type of homes when it comes to social housing as the demand for single bedroom accommodation was very high now. Members wanted to know why over the years more social housing had not been insisted on in the Lochloy developments and reference was made too to the lack of any social housing on Sandown yet given the plans developed after public opinion was canvased via a "Charrette" over five years ago.    

Members of River CC seem to be coming round to the view too that any development on Liz's land and on the Morganti plot too cannot be seen in isolation given the effect on the sewage system and also on the A96.  

Nairn Health Care News December


Nairn Healthcare has had a few changes in the past season. We have said goodbye to Dr John Pitman and Dr Rachel Armitage, who has finished her six-month placement with us. Our Data Quality Administrator, Rosie, has also retired after 10 years of service.

We will be saying goodbye and good luck to Dr Katie Reid who will be going on maternity leave in the coming months.

We have welcomed new GP, Dr Nick Baker to the team and will be welcoming new receptionist, Jacqui, in the New Year.

Dr Kirsty Clark has also change her name and will now be known as Dr Kirsty Duthie.

Christmas and New Year opening Hours

Christmas Jumper Week

The surgery took part in an annual Christmas Jumper Week from Monday 11th December – Friday 15th December. We decided this year to fundraise for Team Hamish.

Re-ordering Prescriptions

We would like to remind patients to please have enough medication to see them over the festive period.

You can re-order your prescription by handing in your re-order form to the reception team at the desk, on our website ( or by email at Prescription requests take 2 working days to process.



Christmas is just round the corner so please follow these tips on how to be safe and healthy this Christmas:


Can we just remind patients to drink in moderation and sensibly this Christmas. Research shows that people tend to drink 41% more alcohol in December than any other month. Also, laws make the legal drink-drive limit in Scotland lower than elsewhere in the UK. So if you wish to have a jovial tipple, please leave the car at home.


Make sure the turkey is properly defrosted before cooking. If it is still partially frozen, it could be that harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process.

Keep the uncooked turkey away from food that is ready to eat. If raw meat touches these foods, bacteria will spread and may cause food poisoning.

The turkey is cooked when the meat is steaming hot all the way through. The meat should NOT be pink when you cut into the thickest part of the bird and the juices should run clear when you pierce the turkey.

For more information on turkey and avoiding food poisoning, please visit



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

No money for repairs to Nairn harbour following recent road closure due to subsidence

At tonight's meeting of the NRCC in the Community and Arts Centre, the recent subsidence in part of the harbour wall was discussed and Chair Tommy Hogg told the meeting that he had been told by Highland Councillor Tom Heggie that there was no money to repair the damage to the harbour and that it would have to be done in stages. Community Councillors present and members of the public expressed concern and there were calls for a look at the risk assessments etc connected with the recent works. 

Oh dear, the car park overlooking the sea could be closed for some time folks and it is one of those things that folk come to Nairn for too. Bad news indeed. 

7 pm 20th December 2017 and traffic jams in Nairn

There have always been things going wrong with Nairn's traffic lights since their installation. Tonight it wasn't much fun if you were travelling eastward. The video below shows the scene at 7 pm tonight (20th December)


Folk are taking to social media this evening to report taking 25 minutes to travel 300 yards.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

With two large contentious planning applications causing a Christmas stir there should be a good crowd at the Nairn River CC meeting tonight (Weds 20th) 7.30 pm in the Community Centre

No agenda is mentioned but surely ongoing planning issues will feature in the Community Centre tomorrow night.

There's Springfield wanting to build 115 homes on Liz's land out at Lochloy and Deveron Homes wanting to build 32 homes on the Morganti land on the Forres Road. Regulars on the Nairn Rocks and Nairn out Town our views facebook pages will have seen that there are certainly a few issues that people have been raising. 

So folks if you have any views on the two applications why not get along and tell the members of Nairn River Community Council?

Good win for Nairn County through in Lossie on Saturday

There was a bit of a shortage of football in the first half but things came to life in the second session and we came away with a win - Lossie 2 Nairn 3. Below pictures from Donald Matheson and a wee Gurn vid of the final 10 minutes or so.   

Individual images here.

A twilight stroll on a very mild December evening - video

Nairn can be a special place at anytime of the year and a warm December end to the day offers an opportunity to take a stroll. Not an exceptional video in any way at all but hopefully it captures some of the essence of what a special place Nairn is. 

Nairn Academy parent council survey on the state of the school facilities. Open to pupils, parents, staff and the wider community

Monday, December 18, 2017

Springfield application for 115 houses on Liz's land - extension of date for comments

Morton tells the Gurn: "Ken McCorquodale the Planner has agreed to extend the time for comments to 30th January."

In other planning news discussion of aspects of a proposed application by Deveron Homes for 32 houses on the Morganti land at Forres Rd is ongoing both on the Nairn Rocks and Nairn Our Town facebook pages. 

Well worth a read of an MFR article "EXCLUSIVE: Council gag 31 Evanton jobless with secret s£ttlement"

More here on the MFR site. Well done to them for their ongoing coverage of this story.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Springfield submit planning application for 115 houses on Liz's land - just beyond the existing Lochloy housing schemes

The application reads: "Residential Development and Associated Infrastructure at South Kingsteps, Nairn (NA2)" 

The potential for development on this land has caused a few problems for Cllr Liz MacDonald for some time now, and effectively silenced her from commenting on other local large scale planning applications in recent times although she has latterly made contributions to elements of the local planning and housing debates.

Some of her comment on housing development issues was directed  towards River Community Council and what she had to say about them and their response have been detailed in recent editions of the Nairnshire Telegraph. This Inverness Courier article explains the dilemma she faced when it came to the controversial South Nairn planning application: " Lawyers warn ex-provost to stay out of row over Nairn South planning controversy"

Gurnites can browse the application here, there is extensive detailed documentation supporting the application under the "documents" tab on that page.

Part of a planning support document reads:

"The proposed housing is aimed to provide a much-needed new homes for families, first time buyers and older people in a range of detached, semi- detached houses and flats. This would be in a development that would be well laid out and landscaped to ensure that it allows for the long-term sensitive urban extension of the existing settlement through well connected and landscaped housing. In response to neighbours concerns regarding the scale of development in the Northern portion of the site two storey properties have been replaced with single storey properties. 

Our proposals are intended as a sustainable, natural next-phase expansion of Nairn to the immediate east of the existing town on an allocated site. A modern, contemporary form of design will be adopted, along with a layout that reflects current roads standards and Designing Streets approaches. Springfield aims to deliver developments which have a high-quality and distinctive urban realm with an acknowledgment of the six qualities of successful places at its core - distinctive, safe and pleasant, welcoming, adaptable, resource efficient and easy to move around. The houses would be predominantly two-storey semi-detached but with detached houses and a small number of single storey and bungalow properties with established building lines for each row fronting onto principal roads or open spaces. Streetscenes would be broken up by varied house types, landscaping and sensitive boundary treatments."

An extensive Transport Assessment reads:

"The results of this assessment show that the traffic generated by the development proposals will have a negligible impact on the local road network. Background traffic levels are such that the existing junctions all operate well below practical capacity, with no detrimental impact as a result of the proposed development traffic."

One of our regular readers Morton Gillespie told the Gurn:

"Springfield have delivered an early Christmas present to the people of Nairn - a Planning Application to build 115 Houses on McDonald’s field, Kingsteps as part of an extension to the Lochloy Estate. This compares to the 90 houses allowed for in the Local Plan.

The people of Nairn will be pleased to learn that according to the extensive Traffic Impact Study the provision of 115 new houses will have “negligible impact” on the local road network.

This despite the fact that all traffic will be routed through Montgomerie Drive and Lochloy Road to join the A96. Existing users of this busy route may think differently.

Similarly Scottish Water have no objections as they are satisfied that there is sufficient capacity in the Nairn Waste Water Treatment Works.

It’s good to learn that there are currently no infrastructure problems in Nairn and the building of 115 new houses will have no impact.

Best Regards

Morton Gillespie"

Gurn prediction - this application will receive quite a few submissions from members of the public but that may be reduced perhaps by the deadline date of the application being the 15th of January which includes the festive period.

Update: This planning application now being debated on the popular Facebook page Nairn our Town our views. 

Update: A "Badger Survey" on the Council's e-planning file states: "Badgers are active within the development area with a number of active sets and evidence of feeding, trails and older unused sets."

Thursday, December 14, 2017

And the citizens are gritting it for themselves...

Well done the ladies who dealt with the dangerous state of the path down from Boathpark to the riverside. An old lady coped over on the ice yesterday and this motivated a group of women to go out and deal with it for themselves. Images and comment on the popular Nairn Rocks Facebook page.

Here at the Gurn we are hearing tales of quite a few people falling over and some injuries too. Society can't afford the gritting but the hospital bills will probably cost more. Yes the Council boys can't be everywhere but there are a lot less of them these days - the cutbacks have gone to the bone and beyond. 

Mind is blown, game changer, earlier yesterday brought two pints of a decent beer for £3.78

Before this observer left town for Elgin on the train with a friend we had a couple of pints of a fairly decent lager that cost over £9. Sort of what you expect really

Then Wetherspoons in Elgin where two pints of this very nice ale came in at £3.78. It was an awesome moment in a pub that was packed out on a Wednesday night.   It really made this observer think. Wetherspoons what about the Royal Bank site in Nairn - would it make a lovely pub?

Then it was off to the comedy gig at the Drouthy Cobbler, a good gig but not a patch on some of that Wildnight Comedy stuff we used to see around the place in recent times.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cromarty Rising instructs legal advisor to commence a formal complaint to the European Commission about a breach of European law.

Cromarty Rising are again raising the subject of what they see as Scottish Government reluctance to get involved in the proposed Ship to Ship oil transfers. In a press release they state:

"Cromarty Rising, a Highland community group opposed to ship-to-ship transfers of crude oil inside the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation (SAC), has instructed its legal advisor to commence a formal complaint to the European Commission about a breach of European law. Cromarty Rising has written to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on a number of occasions since April 2017. 

Despite promises to respond, key questions remain unanswered. Namely why the Scottish Government refuses to mention its responsibility for European Protected Species licensing. Cromarty Rising wants to know: Who is protecting the protected species? The Scottish Government remains silent on the subject." 

A new application for ship to ship oil transfers is anticipated from the Cromarty Firth Port Authority in 2018. The statement goes on to say:

“This is an absurd situation. The protection of protected species is falling between Government agencies. Here we are two years down the line with no answers and nobody taking responsibility. The primary objective of European and UK Habitats Regulations is to protect identified species and the habitats which support them, importantly offering protection to the species in rearing their young. It is a criminal offence to cause harm. We are looking to the European Commission to call upon the Scottish Government to accept its responsibilities and be accountable for the protection of European Protected Species in this situation.

Ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth are highly contested. More than 103,000 people have signed a 38 Degrees Scotland petition against the CFPA proposal. Every major wildlife NGO in Scotland has objected. 27 local community councils object or have expressed concern. 

Last week Cromarty Rising and Nairnshire Rising, together with Marine Connection of Cawdor, held discussions with representatives from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which has already issued a statement expressing concern."

Anti S2S campaigners demonstrating on Nairn East Beach this time last year
Click image to enlarge and more images here

Monday, December 11, 2017

"Advice to motorists who use the Whitebridge near Nairn"

Issued by Police Scotland

Police in Nairn are offering advice to motorists who use the Whitebridge on the B9090 between Clephanton and Cawdor.

The bridge, which crosses the River Nairn, has an 18 tonne weight limit, which has been in place since April 2016.

Officers have received a number of complaints from the local community about large lorries and goods vehicles suspected of breaching the weight limit.

In effect, vehicles designed to transport loads where the maximum permissible weight of a tractor and trailer combination exceeds the 18 tonne restriction are not lawfully permitted to cross the Whitebridge, irrespective whether they are laden or not. 

Local officers and officers from the Road Policing Unit are being deployed to enforce the weight restriction.

The minimum penalty is a fixed penalty notice for disobeying traffic signage - while any offence could also be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration of court proceedings or referral of vehicle operators to the Traffic Commissioner's office.

Nairn-based Sergeant Graeme Erskine said: "Vehicle operators and drivers of HGVs are asked to give due consideration to the weight restriction on the Whitebridge and help to maintain the structural integrity of the bridge and the safety of other road users.

"The Highland Council has identified a preferred diversion route for vehicles with a maximum gross weight exceeding the 18 tonne restriction, avoiding the Whitebridge via the A96, A939 and B9101 roads and we urge all drivers to stick to that route.

"We will take action against anyone found to be exceeding the weight limit. The few minutes potentially saved in journey time are not worth the risk of the potential penalties which could be imposed.

"Anyone with information or concerns about use of the bridge can contact us on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you prefer to remain anonymous."

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Phallic Snow Art appears beside A96 in Nairn

Yes for once the phrase is spot on - "It's bollocks in Nairn"  The art installation is also directly across the road from the controversial housing scheme proposed by a north company - surely no connection?

Thanks to our regular reader who, although shocked by what they saw, managed to forward an image to us despite their anger and outrage.

Jordan MacRae to stay at Station Park: "“The setup is fantastic at Nairn and there is a great team spirit within the dressing room and across the whole club."

Friday, December 08, 2017

Meanwhile down at the Harbour in the "road closed to subsidence" zone daylight reveals the extent of the problem.

Click to enlarge

Clunas Christmas Conundrum Continues - another mystery gift appears on gates

 Clunas resident David Clem tells the Gurn:

Dear Gurn,

You may remember that last year we sent you details of an intriguing Christmas mystery in Clunas. All the cottages and houses in the area were delighted to find beautifully and lovingly constructed wooden Snowmen deposited at the end of their tracks or at the garden gate. Despite lots of local speculation, enquiries and publicising the event with The Gurn and in the Nairnshire we never found out who the benefactor was.

This year we all decided to put the Snowmen out at our front gates and imagine our surprise that, at the same moment, another Christmas gift appeared in the form of a fantastically and lovingly crafted, wooden, Christmas Robin which was placed at everyone's house.

The photo shows last year's Snowman with this year's Robin plus a close-up of the Robin. One has to admit it is a work of art and to construct about 16 or so would require not only a great deal of time and effort but quite an outlay of cash in paint, buttons, scarves and hats!

Yet again, we have not the faintest idea who is responsible for the work of art!
Does anyone out there have any idea as to the identity of the Christmas Robin creator? There are a lot of Clunas folk who would like to say "Thank you".

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Nairn Harbour Access closed due to subsidence! Video from the scene.

The road down to the car park next to the west pier was closed this afternoon at around 15.00 at the time of the high tide and in the eye of Storm Caroline. The dredger was busy at the part of the harbour where the problem seemed to be though - were the dredger crew pumping material up against the harbour wall to shore it up?

Update Press Release from Highland Council:

"For public safety, The Highland Council has closed Nairn Harbour access road from the point just beyond the Nairn Sailing Club’s yard fence. 

There is currently no access to the large car park at the end of the pier, and there is no access to the slipway into the harbour.

Access to the Sailing Club Yard is still in place at present and pedestrian access for boat owners to the pontoons is being maintained.

The closure is due to subsidence in the harbour wall. 

Access to local businesses is unaffected.

Signs have been erected and motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are urged to heed the signs.

Assessments into the condition of the harbour wall and repairs required are ongoing."

New logo for Partnership

The Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partership now has it's own logo, designed by two S3 Nairn Academy Pupils - Angus Baker and David Fleming.

The launch of the logo coincides with the release of the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partnership plan.

Storm Caroline no match for material dredged from Nairn Harbour

Accidentals Christmas Concert St Ninian's Church 7.30 pm Saturday 9th December

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Team Hamish Ceilidh 15th December

NRCC fight back against Councillor Liz MacDonald

A letter from Nairn River Community Council appears in today's edition of the Nairnshire Telegraph and it sets out their defence against a recent statement critical of the CC from Liz MacDonald.

One of the initial paragraphs reads:

"We wish to clarify our consistent support as a body for provision of appropriate housing in Nairn to meet local need. At no point have we ever as an organisation taken a position against provision of social housing for Nairn. We are thus disappointed to see this suggested on your front page."

It's a very good, well-structured letter which analysis Liz's present planning position in depth and it pulls no punches there. This observer would recommend that you invest 50p in this week's edition of the Leopold Street Thunderer for this masterpiece fightback alone. Keep up to date, read this letter!

There is actually criticism of our Highland Councillors in two other letters this week and support for the Community Councillors. GS Guthrie thinks Community Councillors have backbone and writes:

"Recent reports in your paper of attacks on the Community Councils by town councillors have caused me great concern. I have lost my confidence in them completely, as I feel this sort of criticism is totally unjustified."

A cracker of a letters page with Ritchie Cunningham also asking questions of Fergus Ewing and the Scottish government on the proposed ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth. 

A very good edition this week fellow Gurnites, break open the piggy bank and get down the paper shop asp. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Massive hike in cost of renting a garage from Highland Council?

We had a tweet from one of our readers tonight, he suggests that the rent for his Highland Council garage could rise an incredible 2500%

He went on to tell us that in cash terms that would be a rise from £39 to £936. This observer suspects that that would be a fair whack out of most household budgets in Nairnshire. We have forwarded Tams information to Oor Liz (via Twitter) to see if she can tell us whether Tam is merely unlucky or whether this will affect a lot of folk if it goes through.

To get a better idea of what is going on we had a look at the minutes of the Community Services Committee mentioned in the image that Tam posted with his tweet and with regard to garages. The minutes for the meeting on the 15th of February state:

"The continued difficulty in letting garages was acknowledged and alternative ways to address this were explored. It was suggested that they could be sold on the open market or, taking into account any potential parking issues, that they be used as house sites. Many were in a dilapidated state and attracted anti-social behaviour and ideally therefore they should be phased out. In addition, given that most were rented by non Council house tenants for storage and/or commercial/business use, there was a commercial opportunity open to the Council to increase the rent in these cases for garages and garages sites by more than the proposed 1%;"

The committee agreed: " a review of the use of garages and garage sites be undertaken."

More background here from the webcast of that meeting which indicates some of the dilemmas facing the Council with garages and some of the thinking going on. The video starts with Donnie Kerr it is also worth going to 2.22 in the video where an official responds to some of the points made. 

NCFC Chairnman's report -

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba ag radh gum bi am bamca aca ann an Inbhir Narann a' dùnadh

Chan e a-mhàin gu bheil e cudromach don choimhearsnachd mar bhanca, seall ciamar a tha e aig teas meadhan pàirt den Phrìomh Sraid agus ceàrnag le Sraid Leopold far a bheil cuisean air a bhith a dol gu h-ìre math, agus a dh'aindeoin a h-uile bacadh a tha bailtean a leithid Inbhir Narann air a bhith fulaing.

Ann an seadh ailtireach tha e cudromach cuideachd. Chithear sin anns an dealbh. Cha mhòr nach eil iad a' dèanamh sgrios air pàirt den eaconamaidh den bhaile agus a bharrachd air sin an sealladh laitheil againn. An gabh dad a dhèanamh? Gu mì-fhortanach tha sin den bheachd nach gabh agus gum bi riaghaltas Lunnainn coma mu a dhèanamh.

"Port of Cromarty Firth says ship-to-ship plans will be resubmitted"

"CONTROVERSIAL proposals for ship-to-ship oil transfer in the Cromarty Firth will be resubmitted despite a 100,000-strong public petition voicing concerns about the potentially disastrous impact on the environment and a world-renowned colony of dolphins."

It is really disappointing, Fergus Ewing and the Scottish Government cannot fail to be aware of the level of anger against this S2S proposal - you would have thought they would have found a way to sort the Port Authority over this by now wouldn't you? An imaginative bit of speedy legislation perhaps?

More Gurn comment on this over the next few days. Enjoy Christmas and Hogmany folks and then  prepare once again to fight the Port Authority and to put pressure on our local Scottish Government MSPs again too.

Meanwhile two wee snippets worth a read on the Cromarty Rising web site: "What’s the difference between Fergus Ewing, Rossana Cunningham and Douglas Ross?" and "Port of Cromarty Firth ignore their stakeholders"

A reminder of what we all got up too around this time last year below. Individual images here. 

Friday, December 01, 2017

All looking lovely and Christmasy in Auldearn

A Magical Christmas Fayre fundraiser for Nairn Play - Community and Arts Centre tomorrow Saturday 2nd December 10 am - 4 pm

Women's Charities and foodbank stall on Nairn High Street Saturday 9th December 10.30 am to 1.30 pm

Labour wifie speaks out against RBS closures

Drew got the ball rolling this morning and he has his finger on the wave of outrage sweeping across the Highlands today. Don't believe us? Go and have a look at the pages of the Nairn Rocks Facebook groups and the Royal Bank thread. 

Hopefully we will see cross-party support against the RBS Banksters and maybe even public demonstrations? Maybe, just maybe, this can be stopped? Now here's what Scottish Labour have to say.:

"Highlands and Islands Regional MSP, Rhoda Grant has hit out at the decision by RBS to close a further 62 branches in Scotland.

Rhoda Grant said “I understand that banks are coming under pressure due to reduced customer footfall with the onset of online banking and telephone banking becoming more popular. However, off the 62 RBS closures,13 are in the Highlands and Islands where access to online banking is limited and the distance to an alternative bank is prohibitive.

“It is the elderly and the disadvantaged who are the main users of on street branches and they are the very people who will find it hardest to either access these other forms of banking or be able to travel to the next available bank. We have to also think about the staff who at this time of year are more than likely to hear they are losing their jobs.

“Village banks especially those in the remote areas are integral to the community. In many cases they are the magnet that pulls people into our villages and towns. If they close we are likely to see what’s left of our business and trading community diminish as the villages and town centres become more like ghost towns.

“Banks always talk about their social responsibility, well in most of these cases the closures seem more about costs and savings than any form of responsibility to the community.

“ I will be writing to the CEO of the RBS, Ross McEwan, seeking answers to the questions many constituents of mine have been asking. These will include what plans have they to reduce any staff compulsory redundancies, how are they going to provide a service to the loyal customers in the towns and villages across the Highlands and Islands and what action do they propose to take to sustain and support the local communities they are abandoning. A further key question that I will be asking is have RBS taken into account the poor broadband connection in many rural places across the Highlands & Islands which will prevent many from utilising this particular service."

Royal Bank no more and ATM goes too! Latest from Drew.

Housing, Banksters - Social media comment on issues affecting the town today on the ever-popular Nairn Rocks Facebook pages

Interesting comments today folks, especially local thoughts on the Bankster decision to close the Royal Bank branch in Nairn, plus a load of stuff about events and businesses in the town.  More here. 

Royal Bank branch in Nairn to go according to shocked MP

News emerged this morning of RBS branches to close. This will be a devasting blow to Nairn High Street.