Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Meanwhile protests against parking charges in Angus towns - should Nairn businesses and community councils pay attention and organise similar?

In Angus parking charges were introduced into the Council area's towns at the start of this month. Businesses and residents there haven't taken it lying down though and there has been massive protest including a mass drive to the Council Headquarters last Thursday. 

As a result of that protest the demonstrators have secured a meeting with the Council. They state on their page:

"We are happy to inform you we have secured a meeting with Angus Council on Monday 12th November 2018. We will be meeting to discuss the parking restrictions and requesting Angus Council to take the views of the community seriously and start a dialogue so we can move forward on this issue. There will be representatives from other Angus towns and also local media present at the meeting at our request. We will not stop until this policy is changed.

It would help if you could feed any information or comments you have that you wish us to put forward through this forum or on the Angus Parking Potest page before 1pm on Monday. We will endeavour to collate this information before the meeting. It would also be good if town centre businesses can log footfall and takings from 1st November and let us know if the parking restrictions have impacted on daily business. We don't need financial business information just general percentage of any losses or reduced income from the start of the charges."

Real immediate evidence of a downturn in takings and footfall is being posted on the group's pages such as the following:

"I manage a charity shop in forfar and since the start of the charges been implemented footfall has fallen by 50%. Sales are down by 40% donations from customers are down by 30% this is having a huge impact."  More information here. 

We're told it is a done deal and the parking meters are coming. Well they are not here yet and there is a window of opportunity to get Highland Council to see sense. Here at the Gurn we would urge the Nairn Businesses and their representatives to watch the developing situation in Angus and to demand that Highland Council doesn't make Nairn suffer in the same way. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Local Politician and road safety campaigner seeks answers to length of time car has been abandoned on A96

Many of our readers may have seen the damaged and abandoned car that David Stewart mentions in the press release below. There is actually another one, upturned in the ditch 50 or so yards further along in the Inverness direction. If you are not a regular traveller on this section of road you may be forgiven for thinking that an accident of some kind had just happened, especially when travelling at night. Anyway the press release from the Labour mannie is below:

Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and road safety campaigner, David Stewart has contacted the trunk road operator, Bear Scotland, to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the abandoned collision damaged silver Vauxhall Corsa lying on the South verge of the A96 Inverness Road near Gollanfield.

David said " I am told that this silver Vauxhall Corsa which has been involved in a collision, has been abandoned on the verge of the A96 Inverness - Nairn Road near Gollanfield for in excess of 10 weeks. All road users travelling this route are well aware of the vehicle. My understanding is that such vehicles could be moved at the time of the collision or shortly thereafter by the emergency services at the owners request. In these circumstances the Police for example would initiate the vehicle recovery scheme and the owner/driver would pay for the recovery. However, at the end of the day it is the owners responsibility to arrange removal of the damaged vehicle and not that of the Police.

" I am aware that this vehicle has been in situ for in excess of 10 weeks and I would have thought that in that time it would be classed as abandoned and it would have been removed by the Operating Company as per guidelines.

"I have today made contact with Bear Scotland to ascertain the reason that this vehicle is being left in situ and at the end of the day I would like them to expedite it's removal from the verge of the A96, as clearly it is unsightly, succumbing to vandalism and giving those resident or visiting the area a bad impression. I understood that bear Scotland could remove the vehicle and claim expenses back from the owner.

Lossie v Nairn 10.11.18 a few bits from the game on video

Nairn certainly came back into scoring form on Saturday. Match report here.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

6 am Nairn 11.11.2018 and the pipers play

This morning at 6 am pipers played " The Battle's o'er "at four Nairn Churches as the Armistice 100th year day of remembrance began (St Ninian's, URC, Parish Church and St Columba's)


Picture Donald Matheson

Friday, November 09, 2018

A tale of parking charges recently introduced to small towns elsewhere in Scotland

People react to avoid parking charges and behaviour changes. This social media post from an Angus store explains the situation, parking charges were introduced in Angus towns on the 1st of November.

  

Here you can see further details of empty car parks and claims of business takings being 50% down. The folk in Angus are not taking it lying down though, they have started regular weekly protests at the local Council HQ.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

How Nairn's Highland Councillors could stop parking charges on the Links, the Maggot and the Harbour


Cllr Peter Saggers has said recently that we have to accept that parking charges are coming to Nairn. Parking charges are coming to Nairn because Peter, Laurie and Tom voted for them when it came to the the minutiae of the last Highland Council Budget.

It would seem that parking charges will come to the Highland Council owned spaces behind the High Street but what about the Library car park which they lease and also the spaces owned by the Co-op? Then there is the land in Nairn presently used for parking which is owned by the Common Good Fund such as the Links, Maggot and Harbour areas.

We believe that Highland Council have a tradition of accepting the will of the four Nairn Councillors when it comes to Nairn Common Good issues: even though the entire 80 Highland Councillors are trustees of the fund.

So we believe that Nairn Councillors should simply say that it is not the will of the people of Nairn for parking charges to be levied on Common Good Lands and as representitives of the community they cannot support the introduction of these charges. Then it is up to Highland Council to accept that or decide if they wish to act like a colonial government and seize complete control of Nairn's Common Good assets. 

Here at the Gurn we consider free parking to be one ot the town's greatest assets, is it soon to be simply cast aside? Will Nairn's Highland Councillors find the courage to resist or will they simply implement the wishes of the Inverness based Highland Council?

Nairn Library Car Park, not the propterty of Highland Council but could they still  install meters?


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

TONIGHT - Brexit Public Meeting - with Drew Hendry MP, Tuesday 6th November in the British Legion at 6.30 pm.

Do you have concerns about Brexit? Drew Hendry MP is holding a public meeting tonight in the British Legion at 6.30, go along to find out more.



Man assaulted after being asked for directions on A96 in Nairn

Monday, November 05, 2018

Nairn BID Board appointments announced

Chair - Michael Boylan, Co-op
Vice Chair - Peter Gibson, West End Concepts Finance Director - Mike Mitchell, Nairn Community and Arts Centre
Secretary - Peter Saggers, Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau

Board Directors:

John Bochel, Sunny Brae Bed and Breakfast 
Bob Ferenth, Nairn Bowling Club 
Michael Green, Seaview Lodge 
Iain Bruce, Nairn Drama Club (The Little Theatre) 
Anika Schulz, Cawdor House Bed and Breakfast 
Gordon Mair, Sainsburys

Friday, November 02, 2018

“What you have to appreciate is that car parking charges are coming” and then what? Gurn opinion


At the meeting of the Nairn West and Suburban Community Council in the Community Centre on Monday night there was an update on the situation on parking charges. There was mention of a meeting between councillors and officials and BID members and Cllrs are waiting for clarification on points from officials. The implementation of parking charges was delayed until after the BID vote but now it seems things are getting back on track.

Interestingly Tom Heggie mentioned that there was: “a clear differentiation between what belongs to Highland Council and what is Common Good land, so there is a clear distinction and there will have to be different considerations given to each.”

Tom certainly seems to be picking up Council-speak quite well, this observer was left wondering if that meant meters would go on Common Good land too with a cut going to Nairn somehow or would our four Highland Councillors find the courage to say no to that and leave as much of the town free of meters as possible?

In response to details concerning recent correspondence on parking Peter Saggers said: “I'm sorry my request for suggestions was misunderstood, I was looking for what charging structure would meet with approval. What you have to appreciate is that car parking charges are coming. I was looking for suggestions as to what might be acceptable and what might not.”

That's it folks, parking charges are coming. Here at the Gurn we think it is a way of playing Russian Roulette with the town centre economy but with perhaps four or five bullets in the chamber rather than one. We hope we are wrong but we believe parking charges will have a very bad impact. The three councillors who voted for parking charges to come to Nairn in the Highland Council budget earlier this year can dress it up any way they like but these charges are being imposed against the will of the community by an Inverness based Council.

There was mention too that it is all meant to raise £30k in the first year. Well that will be a figure that we doubt will ever decrease but come on – all that risk for just £30k? All that displacement of vehicles looking for free parking in presently trouble free side streets and other areas in the town centre? More yellow lines, more restrictions and residents permits will undoubtedly have to follow as we reach a truly false dawn of localism with the Highland Council's lowest common denominator, parking charges ideology imposed upon us.

A cash-strapped Council will do it's best to milk Nairn for every penny in an effort to make ends meet. Another £69 million in cuts are predicted and no doubt we will get our fair share of that pain. We find the suggestion that there should be discussion on what scale of parking charges should be implemented quite remarkable, the Cllrs who voted for this should have the courage of their convictions and implement it without all this waffle. It's probably all on a piece of paper in Glenurquhart Road anyway.

Happy days! It is tragic, no matter who you vote for, they always seem to let you down.