Monday, November 18, 2019

Election fever hits Nairn - no not the General, the Community Council election!

Local democracy is having a fabulous time in Nairn at the moment, there are 20 candidates for 12 places on Nairn River Community Council and the ballot papers are hitting the doormats all over town. 

Some of the candidates have given statements to the Gurn and quite interesting they are too, more may come in yet so keep an eye on that page if you are a voter in this election. There is a discussion on the highly popular Facebook pages "Nairn our Town" and "Nairn Rocks". 

And in a first (we think), for a community council election in Nairn, a group of candidates have put a collective leaflet out. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Information from the candidates for the election to Nairn River Community Council to help your choice - Ballot papers to be returned by 12 noon on Wednesday, 4 December 2019

"Ballot papers will be issued by post to all registered electors in their community council area and must be returned in the pre-paid envelope provided by 12 noon on Wednesday, 4 December 2019."

Here at the Gurn we have offered the candidates the opportunity to say a little bit about themselves and the reasons they have for standing. We will add the statements to the list below as we receive them so please bookmark this page for future reference if you are a voter in the NRCC election.

It'd be cool if there was a massive turnout for this election – good for Nairn, good for democracy and good for telling the world what this community thinks and desires.

Hamish Donald Bain


I grew up in Shanghai or as others might know it Queenspark. I was educated at Millbank & the Old Academy (now Rosebank Primary). I howked tatties; picked rasps & berries delivered papers and delivered groceries by bike, from the local shoppies, traditional money earners in this part of the World, those of us that did it will know it to be hard work too. Leaving school I worked as a print machine operator at 'The Nairnshire Telegraph' producing the paper with all the gossip, general information and local News. I am well versed in the opinions of the Town then and now.

I joined NRCC at the 2015 election. Since then there has been many upheavals, mostly caused by the
Planning department ignoring local needs; one example being approval of large houses where local needs are for small one or two bedroom properties.

I do object to the seemingly continuous creep of housing along Lochloy Road creating issues at the A96 junction, issues with the Town infrastructure and lack of superior building control, without the anticipated School or shop being provided. I object to housing being imposed on Nairn that will result in creating more issues than are solved. Nairn needs housing of the right type, in the right healthy, safe places - that I do support. Why build houses in Nairn when it then empties, like a drain, along both sides of the A96 to Inverness, Forres or Elgin for work only to fill back up again at night? Thats part of the 18000 vehicles passing along Marine Road every day. Nairn needs jobs and then housing. NRCC declared a ‘climate emergency’ before Highland Council did so.

I challenged the Highland Council and our Councillors, on their more unsavoury plans for Nairn, imposing Parking Charges; Common Good Issues - apparent disappearing assets; lack of proper consultation; Links Development processes, resulting in some heated discussions. I am open to working with them for the Towns benefit with the new Community Empowerment Act, the NRCC, must be consulted on all planning or licensing applications and on any new policy proposals.

The High Street needs rejuvenated and that must be pushed on. We need more Tourism that local businesses are able to capitalise on. I will continue to fight to get the High Street cleaned and up-kept. I will fight for improved facilities in the Town: mobile home facility away from the Harbour; maintenance to the Harbour; new well maintained Public toilets; supporting attractions like the historic guided walks; nature walks; beach entertainments.

NRCC has a reputation as an Environmental group supporting local green and wild areas, this I want to pursue and promote, there are funds available to do so, through the Rural Development Fund, only the Highland Council can apply for these on the Towns behalf. The NRCC in recent years has never been a politically divisive forum as can be witnessed by the good relationship that was built up across the different Communities represented and I will work to keep it democratic without fear or favour for the membership.

Steven James Bain


I have been a member of Nairn River Community Council for the last 4 years and very much hope to become elected again.

I have lived in Nairn all my life firstly staying in Boathpark before moving to Queenspark both areas are in the Nairn River boundary.

I attended Millbank primary school and the present Nairn Academy before starting my training in Accountancy and Auditing at a firm in Inverness before moving back to Nairn after 12 years, to take up the position of Tax Manager at Ritson Young, Chartered Accountants on Nairn High Street.

I have been involved in many clubs in Nairn including over 30 years on the committee of Nairn County Football Club where my position is in the area of fundraising, during this period I was also very instrumental in two rescue packages to safeguard the club’s future, I also enjoy kayaking and have served on the committee of Nairn Kayak Club for the last 7 years, I also played cricket for Nairn County in my younger days.

Living and working in Nairn has made me very aware of the people of Nairn views, problems and aspirations for our beautiful town, I am very much aware of their concerns and really want to try and make Nairn a better place. For this to happen both Nairn River and Nairn West & Surburban Community Councils need to work closely together. Although both community councils in Nairn have different areas of the town we must at all times work together for the benefit of Nairn

During my previous 4 year term Nairn has faced many problems such as the decline of the High Street, housing and at present potential car parking charges. We must all work together and listen to the voice of our community. The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 will allow communities to have a greater say and we really need to grasp this.

The Nairn Common Good Fund is also an area that interest’s me and it is important the residents of Nairn are aware of this fund as it was set up for the benefit of the people of Nairn. If elected I would continue to ensure these assets are available to the people of Nairn for future years to come.

I am personally delighted that 20 names have come forward to contest the Nairn River Community Council election and I find it heart-warming that so many people care about our town. 

Good luck to everyone involved.


Paul Cutress

Originally born in Forres and “dragged up” on Findhorn Bay, after a sojourn south of the border I returned as one of the senior management team at Sainsburys before moving on from there to Inverness BMW a couple of years ago. 

Previously residing in Fishertown and now on the Lochloy development, I am keen to ensure Nairn retains its local identity and status as one of the best places to live in and visit in the Highlands

We live in arguably the most beautiful part of the highlands and we are blessed with superb beaches, a diverse and thriving wildlife, a key salmon/dolphin habitat and most of all a fantastic community.

All of these must not just be protected, but be at the heart of our future policies and action plans.

With increasing financial pressures on county councils placed on them by government departments, it is vital we ensure Nairn does not fall prey to non-sensical ideas such as parking charges or any other revenue generators just to top up Highland council coffers. 

We must collaborate to encourage more tourists and therefore external revenue sources; support and encourage the re-livening of our high street, our “shop window”, whilst at the same time leading the drive to a sustainable and environmentally sound neighbourhood.

It’s easy to say I will do this or I will do that – it’s not so easy to actually get it done given the constraints and challenges the bureaucracy places on the community councillors. So rather than make empty promises, what I will say is that given my experience of dealing with figures in senior positions and ability to see through the smoke and mirrors I will ensure that at the very heart of my actions will be the common good of the Nairn community and environment.

And I don’t just mean the community and environment of today – our children are currently set to inherit a whole host of issues, none of which they are responsible for – They deserve our – MY- best efforts to improve the situation going forward so all policies should look to the future and not just be short term fixes.

Just like you this town is my home. I plan to retire here and spend the rest of my life here and therefore it is in my interest to do the best for our community that I can.

Ann Fuller

See joint candidates' statement at bottom of page

Stephen Kenneth Fuller


See joint candidates' statement at bottom of page

Peter Gibson


My mother Betty owned Dallas the Jeweller’s and she worked and lived in Nairn since the 60s. I was born and educated in Nairn. I grew up and worked here. My memories of the good old days are vivid, but I also remember how hard I had to work to survive. I moved away from Nairn in 1992 to follow my career and worked abroad for over 20 years and returned to Nairn in May of last year, along with my wife Raelene.

Having returned to Nairn, I undertook the project of redeveloping the Windsor Hotel into residential properties, which is now at the construction phase. One of my primary objectives is to utilise local businesses and tradespeople as much as possible and to date, we have been successful on this point.

While overseas in Qatar, my spare time was spent playing bass and singing in a band, as well as promoting live music in the region. Prior to leaving I created and organised a live music festival called Rockaway Beach, and I continue to run the festival from Nairn. An avid musician since my Nairn Academy days, I joined my friend and former bandmate in reforming our band No Label when I returned to Nairn. We have been performing in Nairn and Highlands at venues and events ever since with our “3-hours of non-stop power pop” that many of you will be aware of.

Having been away it is easier to see change, and I have seen some real positive changes to Nairn; new shops, lots of ideas and initiatives being proposed, local business getting awards, etc. but best of all is the energy of our residents and the pride that we all have in our wee town. I see a number of organisations getting great work done, promoting Nairn, running events and lots of great suggestions being made. To be honest, I’m still learning what they all are and to help me in this I decided I wanted to roll up my sleeves and get involved. The Nairn BID had already had the YES vote when I arrived home, so I threw my hat into the ring to join the Nairn BID team and have served as vice-chairman since the board’s inception in October 2018.

With a leadership role in the Oil and Gas sector for over 25 years, my skills include: understanding project needs; setting realistic targets; working with and leading a team; and delivering a quality product to the customers’ requirements within cost and time constraints. I believe that these skills transfer to any business including community ventures. I have not served on a community council before but believe these transferable skills can help me add value to the Nairn River Community Council.

Because it is a task for everyone living here to shape the future of Nairn, I’d also like to see a more united Nairn with Nairn River Community Council, Nairn West & Suburban Community Council and Nairn BID getting together to work towards common goals.

I am a hard-worker, able communicator, persistent problem solver and extremely passionate about helping Nairn reach its potential. With both of my children away at university and a community-minded wife by my side, I am able and willing to dedicate the time needed to serve on the Nairn River Community Council. Thanks to Laura Morton (and the Nairn Facebook Community) we all know that Nairn ROCKS! We just need to be rockin’ out together.

Ian Ramsay Gordon

I was born in Edinburgh and educated at two schools there including Boroughmuir, I attended the College of Commerce (now Edinburgh Napier University). I became a member of the Association of the Institute of Work Study Practitioners) and started work as a work study engineer with George Waterson and Sons – they printed stationery and among other things banknotes. It was a fascinating place to work and I took a stationery apprenticeship simultaneously to gain more knowledge of the shop floor.

My father was in printing too and a Father of the Chapel for his workplace, he always told me “always watch the spine of the book, you break the spine of the book, you break the book.”

I went to Scottish and Newcastle Breweries to continue in the work study field and later became a manager of a large Edinburgh city centre establishment. It was a learning process and very hard work, one day a week off. I met my ex-wife in June 1977 just after I changed direction and started work at the Inland Revenue and we were married in 1979.

I had a tremendously interesting working life but the best was still to come when I became a hotelier in Nairn and I cherish the friendships and many, many happy memories that this community has given me. Our family move to Nairn was a very fortunate and rewarding one.

I'm not a Boris, if you ask me a question I will give you an answer.

Nairn has been sidelined – just look at what Dingwall has had out of Highland Council. It's always been thus. I get despondent when I look around and see the beauty of what we can give, not take give, but everything is dealt with from other places – Nairn needs its' autonomy back.

I'd give Murd his bridge, I've got a lot of time for Murd, if there were more people of Murd's type then there would be far more scrutiny of how proposals affect individuals and communities – this watchdog element is an important task for community councils and vigilance must be ever-present.

I remember the old Provost of Nairn Nigel Graham: I was a million miles away from his party political politics but remember how he didn't take fools gladly, he had gravitas, he would simply have said no to the ridiculous folly that is parking charges and the idea would have vanished. The present day autocratic moves that are inimical to Nairn would not have been tolerated by him. Fast forward to the present day and is hard for our elected representatives at Highland Council level to achieve much in the current institutional climate of the 80 member chamber at Glenurquhart Road, but we have to assist them in being as assertive and as inventive as possible in achieving the maximum for Nairn, be it through the confines of their institution or through a multi-agency approach or with “out of the box thinking” to find new solutions for Nairn.

I admire the current chair of River Community Council, Tommy Hogg, I don't always agree with him but his heart is in the right place – it is all about Nairn and there's no self interest with Tommy. If elected I would look forward to working with Tommy to do everything I can for the Common Good of all in our community.  

Helena Harcourt
I came to this beautiful and friendly place in 1991, initially staying in Piperhill and am now settled with Stevie the bullterrier in Fishertown. I worked for UHI, Doctors without Borders (MSF) and Ashers amongst others but always did voluntary work for such organisations as Association of Probation workers, The Red Cross, Reach out Highland, Rape and Abuse Line, Victim Support, Citizens Advice Bureau, Nairn 101, WEA, the Scottish Regional Advisory Group for the Northern Periphery, Highland Domestic Abuse Forum and SSPCA. I left Greenhive with Corinne Ferguson to start Nairn Eco( to be found on Facebook) where we are working towards a cleaner environment with Surfers Against Sewage on the Plastic-free Coastline project to reduce single-use plastics in and around Nairn. In collaboration with BID and Nairn businesses, we try to assist in finding alternatives to single-use plastics. 

Reducing single-use plastics is important to me and I want to work on a strategic level, changing
daily habits while making this easy to achieve. Highland Council took the motion in 2018 to promote environmental awareness and encourage people to pick up 3 pieces of rubbish which is a good starting point. I also wish to look after the town of Nairn, building on Alan Barron’s work in capturing the rich heritage. It would also be good to find a way of reviving the High street and make the town as appealing to tourists as possible for the short season.

My background is a law degree from Sweden and I proceeded to take diplomas and exams in Languages and Communication, French, as well as in Remote Learning. I did several Harvard courses on Humanitarian Aid and Action.

I have a lot of experience of collaborative projects and partnerships to further social justice, community cohesion, and development. Along the way I acquired good communication and networking skills, being able to bring the human dimension to problem-solving and can think out of the box. I consider myself as having a keen social conscience and wish to work towards social equality and integration.


Ian Michael Henderson

Tommy Hogg


I live in Fishertown and am a Nairnite born and bred.
I am a retired builder, who followed my father into the trade, so I understand the importance of infrastructure such as roads, water supplies and sewerage to a growing town.

I enjoy getting around Nairn Fishertown and the Riverside on my bike, keeping in touch with local residents and new developments.

I am a keen fisherman and golfer and passionate about protecting Nairn's green spaces and wildlife.

I have a strong interest in local history and have seen many changes in Nairn in my lifetime, not all of them for the better.
I have been a serving member of Nairn River Community Council for almost 20 years, most of those in the Chair. 

I remember the good old days of Nairn District Council so I know how important it is that we make decisions for Nairn here, not in Inverness.

If re-elected, I will bring my years of local knowledge of this community, its people and its history, to the table and will continue to help local residents of Nairn River communities to raise their concerns and provide a voice for them in local decision making. 

I oppose Highland Council's plans to introduce local parking charges, and will also fight to protect and maintain Nairn's Common Good Assets for future generations.

Mandy Lawson


I have been a member of Nairn River Community Council for the last 2 years. I am a Nairnite, who left in the 1980’s and returned in 2016 to live in Fishertown. I love this town.

I have worked in local government, adult training, and community partnerships. If elected I will be an accessible and vocal representative for Nairn River communities and will work hard to help local residents have a proper say in Highland policy and planning decisions which affect our town. I believe that the people who know best what Nairn needs are those who live here and use local services.

Many problems Nairn faces today are a consequence of 20 years of ‘remote’ management by Highland HQ in Inverness, since Nairn District Council was disbanded in 1996.

Highland Council Planning decisions have frequently ignored local concerns, in favour of Inverness HQ’s corporate interests.

The last thing Nairn needs is more Highland Council resources wasted on ill informed plans or damaging policies like parking charges which chase shoppers out of town, or traffic lights that no one asked for.

Building 850 new homes at Lochloy, with no school, shop or community facilities has stretched Nairn’s infrastructure to the limit and failed to address local demand for social housing.

By law Community Councils must be consulted on all planning and licensing applications and new policy proposals, especially those which affect use of Nairn Common Good lands at the Links, Maggot, Riverside, Viewfield and Sandown which were gifted to the former Royal Burgh for sole benefit of its citizens.

I will push for a new community led Locality Plan, to be designed in Nairn to reflect local needs and priorities, and ensure that we don’t become just another suburb of Inverness.

I will fight for free local parking, clean and accessible public toilets, parks, paths and streets, housing to match local needs,and more local jobs to keep Nairn nice for locals as well as visitors.

I welcome the commitment of Highland Council’s new management to greater local control over local services. This means full community consultation on everything.

It also means Highland Councillors and officers must work more openly and collaboratively with communities as they are accountable for how local taxes and developer contributions are spent. No more decisions behind closed doors. Last year the 5 Nairnshire Community Councils secured one seat on our local Community Planning Partnership. As the Nairnshire Local Area Committee will have more decision making powers for the area, including on Nairn Common Good matters, I will campaign for a community voice there too. Proper local oversight of Nairn’s Common Good Assets is vital to maintain these amenities for future generations

The last two years have been a tough apprenticeship with Nairn River CC.  The next four years will present further challenges for sure but I am well prepared and ready to continue to serve my community as a proactive Community Councillor.

Veronica Mackinnon

I have lived in Nairn all my life, born in Nairn Town and County Hospital. I grew up in Fishertown and attended the Links School, moving on to Millbank and Nairn Academy. I support the Natural World in my daily life and have contributed to the preservation of several wildlife and forested areas in and around Nairn. I have a wildlife garden to encourage birds and small mammals, hedgehogs love it. This summer we had quite a few hoglets, so they appear not to be in decline in our area.

My home is in Boathpark, close to the Riverside. Most days I meet folk while walking my dog, Bear, and often as not have a chat with old and new acquaintances along the way.

Joining Nairn River Community Council, I soon became aware of how important it was that we locals should have a say in what happens in our town. 

We, NRCC, have been given the nomenclature "Watchdogs" as a result of ensuring the correct processes have been followed by The Highland Council, the elected representatives and the HC Officials. This sometimes puts us at odds with these people but that is only for the good of Nairn. NRCC have a reputation of being an Environmental Group and earned this well before the Highland Council declared the current Climate Emergency. Hopefully this will continue with the next Council.

Louis Anderson McIntosh


Please also see joint candidate statement at bottom of page

I've been a Nairn resident for 5 1/2 years. I work for a Parking Enforcement company in Dingwall, where I'm also a trade union representative. I also stood as a candidate in the local council elections in 2017 and I'm a former board member of Green Hive.

I believe that community councils should be inclusive and progressive, to ensure that they represent the views and expectations of the whole community. My concern at the moment is that those in the 16-30 age group are under represented, which is why I will give my full support to any initiative that encourages the involvement of those members of the community in the decisions NRCC will make.

Encouragement of younger members and groups to become associate members of the community council, in a consultative capacity, will expand the scope of the council and could lead to a broader vision for the future of the community as a whole. In turn, we may see an increase in the number of candidates in four years time, putting an end to the stagnation of the same faces year in, year out. Personally, if elected, I don't intend to serve more than one term and would consider relinquishing my seat should any one of the associate members show a real interest in taking a formal place on the council.

Paul Carlo McIvor

Linda Morton

Simon Noble


See joint candidates' statement at bottom of page

Jim Ross

My wife and I have lived in Nairn for 14 years, though my connections to the area go back a lot further. My mother’s maiden name was Nairn and my great-great-grandfather was married in Cawdor in 1816! My wife, Pauline, is already involved with the local community as secretary of the local U3A group.I am now retired, having spent over 40 years in the oil & gas business in both technical and managerial roles. My background is strongly science-based with a PhD in geophysics, though I also have a Master’s degree in petroleum law and policy.

I have not served as a Community Councillor previously, but have attended a couple of NRCC meetings. That experience, together with encouragement from one of the Community Councillors from the previous NRCC, has led me to apply for such a role. I was surprised at those meetings to witness evidence of significant discord between some of the Community Councillors and our representatives on the Highland Council. Meaningful communications and even trust appeared to be lacking. Hence, I see it as an absolute priority to ensure a closer and more collaborative relationship between NRCC and our four Highland Councillors in the future. Of course there will be differences of opinion, but there must be a recognition that ultimately we should all be working for the benefit of those who live within our community. Compromises will always be necessary, especially with limited funds available. This means the NRCC should be focussed on identifying practical solutions to addressing the local needs (as expressed by the locals!) and avoiding at all costs politically-driven agendas.

Where interests overlap, which is surely much of the time, close coordination with Nairn West and Suburban CC (and potentially other adjacent community councils) is essential. My understanding is that this has been the case in recent times and it should continue to be strongly supported.

NRCC should be developing proposals on behalf of the community that it represents, which can then be progressed by our Highland Councillors. At the same time, however, NRCC must also be prepared to call out the Highland Councillors if they are making decisions that directly affect our community without first consulting with NRCC. Good communications, pragmatism and respect are essential from both sides.

Stewart Hunter Stansfield

See joint candidates' statement at bottom of page

David Fraser Thomson


My name is David Thomson, I'm a retired Shipping/Logistics Manager who worked with the Scotch Whisky industry for over 40 years. I choose to live in Nairn because I love it here and want Nairn to flourish.

To do that we need an attractive Town Centre and sensible and appropriate development planning which is coupled with essential infrastructure provision. Hidden, and not often known about by a lot of the public, is Nairn's common good. These assets, i.e. Links, Maggot, Viewfield, Sandown, etc together with those common good areas which have been leased e.g. Parkdean, Nairn Dunbar Golf Club, Sailing Club etc. are invaluable to the community; there is no doubt that the Nairn Common Good needs to be managed considerably better than it has been so that maximum benefits are delivered to help make Nairn an attractive and healthy place to live and visit.

I believe in Community/Locality led governance, accountability, and fair share budgeting and as many decisions as possible being taken locally. For too long decisions affecting our Town/locality have been made by people who don't live here, albeit our local Highland Council members are elected to represent the views and concerns of the residents of Nairn and to ensure Nairn's interests are protected. Openness, transparency, and positive two-way collaboration and engagement are essential to move Nairn forward.

After many years of supporting productive participative working between the Nairn Residents Concern Group (via my wife, Loreine) and our local Community Councils on

  • development issues associated with Lochloy, Kingsteps, Nairn South and Sandown Lands to name but a few;
  • critical infrastructure such as sewage, water, schools, roads, health care, Nairn bathing water quality etc;
  • Common good issues and local governance
  • Knowledge of Community Empowerment Act 2015 and Planning (Scotland) Act 2019

I believe I am sufficiently knowledgeable and pragmatic to contribute to our Community Councils making well informed decisions which will benefit the people of Nairn now and for the future. Thank you taking the time to read this statement.

Katrina Ann Woods

Please see joint candidates' statement below



Our candidacy for NRCC

 Ann Fuller, Katrina Woods, Louis Mcintosh, Simon Noble, Stephen Fuller, Stewart Stansfield

 We are all longstanding members of our community and want to see everyone in the area properly represented and genuinely benefitting from developments in and around the town. We pledge to do the following: 

  •  Do everything we can to make sure we understand what the people of our community want 
  •  
  • We will re-instate NRCC’s facebook page
  •  We will set up occasional pop-up stalls on the High Street to get your views
  •  We will do quick polls on the latest issues – on facebook, at our pop-up stalls and at our meetings 

  •  By doing this we will be in a stronger position to argue for change in the town 
  • We will re-organise the structure of NRCC meetings to encourage people’s involvement

  • We will limit the amount of time allocated to administrative matters
  • We will invite members of the community to speak on issues of concern to them – e.g. climate concern or housing 
  •  We will hold regular community meetings where people can drop in and have a cup of tea 

  •  We will take practical steps to encourage the involvement of young people (16-30) 
  •  We will prioritise collaboration and partnership with others in the town 
  •  We will declare our personal interests, including membership of other organisations
 We are: Ann Fuller: Originally from Clydebank, moved to Nairn in 1975. The town has grown and evolved in many ways since that time. Works part-time and seeking election to the community council hoping to have a positive influence in our local area.

 Katrina Woods: Has lived in Nairn all her life, over the years involved with numerous local committees, passionate about the town’s environment. The community's views and needs are very important to her.

 Louis Mcintosh: a Nairn resident for 5 1/2 years. He works for a Parking Enforcement company in Dingwall, where he’s also a trade union representative. Louis also stood as a candidate in the local council elections in 2017 and is former board member of Green Hive.

 Simon Noble: Born Aberdeen, visited family every year throughout his life and moved to the area more than 12 years ago. A former member of NRCC, he’s very keen to see it make a positive impact on the town’s future. Currently chair of two local charities, including Green Hive.

 Stephen Fuller: Former Councillor on the Highland Council, born and raised in Nairn. Continues to be involved with local groups and organisations within our town and if elected intends to engage with other like-minded individuals in working constructively for the betterment of our community.

 Stewart Stansfield: long-time resident of Nairn, former Highland Council community services officer and passionate about getting practical improvements for Nairn. Founder member of Nairn Play, working to improve play grounds in Nairn

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Nairn CAB Employment Rights Campaign


Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau recently launched ‘Do the Rights Thing’, a new campaign to help raise awareness among young people in Nairnshire of their employment rights.

The campaign, which is taking place across Scotland through the Citizens Advice network, aims to:

Raise awareness among young people of their employment rights and where they can seek advice online 
Empower young people to take action when their rights are not being upheld 

Encourage young people to share their experiences of poor employment practices via an online interactive form 

CAS’s Advice for Scotland website has detailed information on rights in the workplace and can be found by visiting https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/dotherightsthing/

Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau Manager, Gill MacLean, said: “Knowing your rights at work is very important at any age but particularly for young people who are often trapped in a cycle of insecure work, low pay and limited opportunities. 

“That’s why as part of our ‘Do the Rights Thing’ campaign we are hosting an employment advice drop in session on Thursday 14th November in the bureau from 17.30 to19.30.

“This will give young people in Nairnshire the confidence around knowing their employment rights and empower them to take action when they are not being upheld.

“Our Advice for Scotland website is also a fantastic resource with easy to understand information about your rights at work and we’re also asking young people to submit their bad experiences at work online.

“You don’t have to give your name or personal details if you don’t want to and by taking part you’ll be able to inform our future work as we continue to stand up for young people in Nairnshire




Monday, November 11, 2019

Are you a candidate in the election to Nairn River Community Council?

Are you a candidate in the election to Nairn River Community Council?

In the hope of encouraging public interest in the election www.gurnnurn.com would like to offer each candidate the opportunity to say a bit about themselves and why they are standing for election.

It'll be a maximum of 500 words (as little or as much as you like) and please include a picture of yourself if you wish.

It'd be cool if there was a massive turnout for this election – good for Nairn, good for democracy and good for telling the world what this community thinks and desires.
Please send details to info@gurnnurn.com

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Police looking for Wheelie Bin fire-raisers - 3 fires evening Friday 8 Nov in Nairn - can you help?

Friday, November 08, 2019

Affordable Housing and CAB for former Social Work buildings on King Street. Regeneration - demolition or renovation? Cash from Scottish Government Town Centre capital grant fund

From a Highland Council press release:

"Over £2.3 million pounds of investment is set to benefit town centres across the Highlands with 30 transformational projects about to get underway to stimulate economic investment and to help towns diversify and flourish.

The Town Centre capital grant fund from the Scottish Government is targeted to encourage town and city centres to diversify and flourish, giving new purpose and creating footfall.

To reflect the Council’s commitment to localism over the last few months Area Committees* have been actively engaging with communities and involved in helping to identifying and recommend ranked projects that fit in with the criteria. A Cross Party Working Group have then approved the successful projects.

They include:"

And they include Nairn:

"Nairnshire:

King Street, Nairn – Regeneration of vacant town centre property into a mixed use (Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau and affordable housing) development."

Here at the Gurn we had heard a rumour that this was on the way and that perhaps there would be a demolition of the existing building involved before work got underway on the accommodation and CAB office. No doubt more details will eventually be revealed. 

Murd Dunbar will be delighted he has been calling for the former social work buildings to be turned into accommodation for many years. Perhaps they've finally taken the hint Murd?

Friday, November 01, 2019

Nairn Healthcare News Autumn 2019

Here's the Latest Nairn Healthcare newsletter. A Word document converted to image files for easier posting. Click on each image to enlarge if you are having trouble reading. The links in the images will not work but you can see the document on a web page where they will here. 




Thursday, October 31, 2019

Kennel Cough in the Nairn area.

Moray Coast Vets are reporting a high number of cases of Kennel Cough in the area at the moment.

They said, 

"Kennel cough is an umbrella term given to a number of different viruses and bacteria that cause an infectious cough in dogs. They attack the lining of a dog's respiratory tract causing inflammation resulting in irritation and a dry cough. In the majority of cases this is self limiting and is much like us having a cold.

It is highly contagious however. Dogs can be infected via airborne spread, direct contact with infected dogs or indirect contact with things infected dogs have slobbered on eg toys and bowls. An infected dog tends to be contagious for 2 weeks and may still cough in this time or may not. 

If your dog has kennel cough it is not an emergency. Like the human cold it very rarely needs treatment. In majority of cases they will recover uneventfully with TLC and wetting dry food so as to limit discomfort on the throat.

There is no need to seek veterinary attention unless this cough is ongoing for over a week or if your dog is off food or listless.

If your dog is infected it would be good idea to isolate them from other dogs as much as possible for 2 weeks-eg avoiding groomers, vets, and popular walking areas.

There is a kennel cough vaccine available, It doesn't provide a 100% protection but will reduce the severity and duration of signs should your dog get infected. We'd recommend the vaccine for dogs most at risk ie those mixing with a lot of dogs for example attending classes, dog walkers, groomers etc."

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Plans for Albyn supported housing development off Cawdor Road thrown out by councillors

Watch the video of the debate at the Highland Council planning meeting below:

The P&J reported:

"Members of the south planning committee went to the site of the proposed 10-unit Albyn Housing development in Cawdor Road before making their decision.

They witnessed considerable noise from the neighbouring sawmill, and agreed that a 16ft high fence proposed to mitigate noise from the sawmill would be inadequate to reduce noise in the development."

Never mind the General Election - who's going to get on River Community Council? 21 nominations for 12 seats - postal ballot to be held and pre-paid envelope must be back by 12 noon Weds 4th December

Fissures of electoral excitement spreading through the town as the hopefuls for the new Nairn River Community Council term of office are revealed.

Unless there are withdrawals then there will be quite a long ballot paper for voters in the River CC area (Comhairle Coimhearsnachd Abhainn Narann - Representing Lochloy, Merryton, Boath Park, River Park, Broadhill, Fishertown, The High Street area, Mill Rd/Church Street, Cawdor Rd, Queenspark and Firhall). 

According to the Highland Council website the names of candidates nominated are:

Hamish Donald Bain
Steven James Bain
Paul Cutress
Ann Fuller
Stephen Kenneth Fuller
Peter Gibson
Ian Ramsay Gordon
Helena Harcourt
Ian Michael Henderson
Tommy Hogg
Mandy Lawson
Veronica Mackinnon
Louis Anderson McIntosh
Paul Carlo McIvor
Linda Morton
Simon Noble
Paul Oldham
Jim Ross
Stewart Hunter Stansfield
David Fraser Thomson
Katrina Ann Woods

The Council also state: "At the close of the Nomination period for the above election, the number of candidates validly exceeded the total maximum permitted membership as specified for the Community Council area. An election will now take place and each elector will be entitled to vote for a number of candidates up to 12. Ballot papers will be issued by post to all registered electors in their community council area and must be returned in the pre-paid envelope provided by 12 noon on Wednesday, 4 December 2019."

There will be no contest on Nairn West and Suburban as the number of candidates was equal to or below the number of councillors to be returned.

The successful candidates are:

Sheena Baker
Jimmy Ferguson
John Alan Hampson
Ally MacDonald
Lorraine Mallinson
Alastair Luckington Noble
Brian Edward Stewart
Bill Young
Richard Youngson

Update, after close of nominations and withdrawal period there will now be 20 candidates for the River CC election. Paul Oldham must have withdraw his nomination. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Highland Council's new car-parking policy "It's going to be a hard sell to our local communities"

We've quoted Cllr Peter Sagers in the headline above. More details, in a moment, on where to find what Nairn Councillors had to say at a Highland Council committee meeting yesterday.

Here's what the Press and Journal had to say in advance of the meeting:

" A new policy is being proposed to resolve the bitterly-contested issue of car parking charges.

Decisions about parking charges in Highland Council’s area would be decided by local communities, who will choose where the fees will be implemented and how much to charge.

They would also be able to choose how much of the revenue raised would stay locally and even have the right to refuse to implement charges if they choose.

The council’s area committees would assume responsibility for the decisions made and for implementing them." More here. 

After fast-forwarding the web-cast to see what Nairn Councillors had to say and dipping in and out of other parts of an almost 3 hour long video, this observer (making an unscientific guess) would perhaps imagine that at some time in the not too distant future we might see parking charges in some areas of the town but not the town centre with proceeds being split between the Council and the local community. 

You can try to a certain extent to read the runes from what people have to say but, over and above that, surely it would be total madness to implement car parking charges in the town centre when Balmakeith is about to expand into almost an alternative High Street with free parking?

So here's the webcast readers. Liz speaks at 37.12 into the vid and also at 2.28.55 and Cllr Peter Saggers at 1.24.16. Maybe others from Nairn spoke but didn't see them as I moved forward looking to see who was making contributions. Warning - there is a lot of Council-speak in the webcast and sometimes life can be too short to listen to too much of that!


Monday, October 21, 2019

Nairn BID looking for applications for two important projects - but, as a community, are we simply giving Highland Council the chance to abdicate more responsibilities?

You can read the Nairn BID imformation on two projects they are inviting applications for here. 

The Gurn wishes to comment on this section of the page though:

"At the moment we are looking to deep clean 3 main areas of Nairn:

Castle Square
The corner where the high street meets Leopold street and
The vennels leading to the high street"

Sorry folks but Highland Council should be pressured into looking after these areas properly, it is what they receive our council tax for. This just shifts responsibility to members of the BID to pay for what they and other citizens are already contributing to in their Council Tax. Highland Council should be keeping all our streets and public spaces clean - especially the town centre - it should be spotless!

Could we be forgiven for thinking Highland Council has given up looking after areas of the town?

The BID should surely do new things for Nairn, not let the Council off the hook - those areas should never have been allowed to get into a state where they need a deep clean! Councillors should have ensured everything was up to date. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

XR Nairn Extincion of Species protest conga on the High Street

Nairn Extinction rebellion were on the High Street this morning with a conga protest highlighting mass extinction of species. The rebels set off from the Community Centre and did a circuit of the High Street via a "die-in" at the Leopold Street corner.

Pictures below in flickr sideshow, individual images here. 

XR Inbhir Narann 12 Damhair 2019

And a video of today's protest

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Slow response to call for nominations for Community Councils across Highland Council area - election date put back

The text from an e-mail from Highland Council concerning the forthcoming community council elections has been surfacing in Nairn social media circles. We reproduce it here for the attention of all serious students of Community Council matters. 

"Due to a slow response to the call for nominations across the Highland Council area, the deadline for nominations has now been extended to 12 noon on Tuesday 29th October.

The Election date has therefore been changed to Wednesday 4 December 2019 and not 20 November 2019 as was previously advised.

Existing Community Councils will continue in place until 11.59 on Tuesday 3rd December."

Here at the Gurn we believe that a large measure of this slow input maybe because many Community Councillors may feel that they and their communities have been ignored by Highland Council and recent moves towards "localism" have had little or no effect. Thus, quite a few might be packing it in and other citizens feel less than motivated to get involved as an effective way of getting things done for their community. 

In Nairn too of course we had this ( Nairn River Community Council told it has to shut down by Highland Council ) and whatever the rights and wrongs of it it left a bad taste in its wake. Perhaps people feel too that if they want to achieve anything then perhaps single issue campaigns are the best way forward such as the ship to ship oil transfers campaign of getting behind Nairn BID in its stop the car parking charges. 

Efforts are being made on social media to encourage citizens to stand for Nairn's Community Council but it remains to be seen if enough candidates will come forward to fill all 23 vacancies. 

Nominations open for first Nairn Civic Recognition Awards

Highland Council Press Release:

"A new award to highlight the large amount of voluntary work that is carried out in Nairnshire has been launched this week.

People are being invited to nominate individuals or groups who have previously gone unrecognised for doing charitable work within their communities in the Nairnshire area.

Nominations can be made across 6 categories including: sports, arts/music, environment, community, enterprise and young people.

Nominees must be resident in Nairnshire; or their actions or activities have resulted in a significant benefit to the population of Nairnshire; and they must be nominated for their voluntary efforts. Paid employees are not eligible.

These new civic awards have been created in partnership by The Lord-Lieutenant of Nairnshire and Nairn Highland Councillors; and a decision-making panel comprising a group of local people including the Lord- Lieutenant’s office, Highland Council representation and other local groups.

An awards ceremony will take place in late January 2020 in Nairn.

Lord-Lieutenant of Nairnshire, George Asher said:

“We understand there are many unsung heroes among us in our communities who give a massive amount of their time and effort voluntarily to groups or individuals in their neighborhoods. We want to thank those people who put others before themselves and acknowledge the huge contributions that they make to the wellbeing of Nairnshire. You know who they are, so please nominate them!”

Councillor Tom Heggie, Chair of The Highland Council’s Nairnshire Committee added:

“Highland Council is very grateful to the voluntary efforts of people who make a difference in their communities. Nairnshire Councillors are pleased to support this new Civic Award scheme and we look forward to celebrating the achievements of those who give selflessly to their community.”

Nomination application forms are available from The Highland Council Service Point, in the Courthouse, High Street, Nairn or can be downloaded at this link.

The awards are being funded by The Highland Council’s Nairn Ward Discretionary Budget."

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Post Office moving to McColls: “A marriage of two ugly ducklings to make a swan”?


This observer went over to the consultation meeting in the Community Centre this evening. There were two high heid yins from McColls and another two folk from the Post Office, also present were three members of the public (myself included) and a reporter from the Leopold Street Gazette. The quote in the title of this article comes from one of the Post Office folk.

The low attendance prompted a few questions from the two ladies who had turned up and they suggested that there had been inadequate publicity for the event. Here at the Gurn we weren't sure when this meeting was coming up and it was this post in the popular Nairn Rocks Facebook pages that alerted us to the exact time and date but there may have been other information out there that we didn't see. We would anticipate that quite a few folk saw the mention on Facebook but perhaps 5.30 was a very inconvenient time for many. 

Nairn folk are used to consultation, it usually means that someone comes along, listens to what you have to say and then goes away and decides to give you what they intended anyway – or to be fair that is the historical perception, it may have mellowed more recently perhaps with outcomes being altered here and there in the community's favour. This consultation was about the Post Office moving to McColls and obviously people had other ideas about where the Post Office could go – they weren't aware though that there are no other options, it is McColls or nowhere – no one else has expressed an interest.

The present Postmaster that runs the agency in Nairn has been trying to get rid of his commitment for some time and according to the PO officials present it is now coming to the point where he will be unable to continue. It is obvious that running a Post Office is not as financially rewarding as it used to be. It is a changing world according to the officials, with the Post Office only owning one of the services they provide (postal orders) and they have to bid against rival providers for the other services. With McColls too cigarettes and newspapers are not the major earners they used to be with with less users and readers and competing businesses nearby – having a Post Office in their shop would help make their business outlet in Nairn be more profitable. A marriage of convenience beckons for the two in Nairn?

Nothing is settled yet, there are access issues to be sorted and both McColls and the Post Office will go away and consider what has been raised in Nairn before coming to a decision. The worst case scenario is that we could lose both the Post Office and McColls but all the high heid yins there tonight are hopeful the move will happen.

We live in changing times Gurnites, the consultation was, in fact, about a fait accompli but perhaps it could be a benign fait accompli and maybe things will work out fine with a Post Office in McColls even with the issue of the size of the shop. It seems to be working elsewhere, according to the officials there tonight, both in other branches of McColls and in other businesses. It's a changing world, changing so fast really in terms of cash and where we can get it and what we do with it so that perhaps in the future, a post office might be the last place we can get some?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Nairn Community Councils - will 23 candidates step forward?

Information posted today on Nairn social media pages:

"Nairn West and Suburban Community Council public meeting next Monday 30 Sept at Community and Arts Centre 7 30

All Welcome to the last public meeting before Community Council elections.( see info below)

Associate members from Nairn River CC area will also be in attendance.

(sorry no advert in Nairnshire this week due to illness)

Nominations now open till 8th October for Community Councillor elections in November.

11 vacancies for West and Suburban CC ( includes Tradespark, Achareidh, Lodgehill , West of town north of railway ) and

12 vacancies for Nairn River CC ( includes Fishertown, Queenspark, High St part of Lochloy, Balmakeith, Boath Park)

Other parts of the county/ Nairn Ward are covered by Auldearn CC ( includes Kingsteps and west part of Lochloy), Cawdor and West Nairnshire CC and East Nairnshire CC (includes Glenferness)

Nomination Forms and information including boundary maps can be downloaded here for all Nairn and Nairnshire Community councils -to nominate yourself you must provide your voter number

(telephone 0800 393 783 for this ) to prove you are on the electoral roll in the relevant Community Council area."

"Filmed and edited by young people during the summer of 2019, An-Dràsta! examines how the climate emergency is affecting the Western Isles. It is a plea from our young people to protect our shared futures."

AN-DRÀSTA! - Full Film from Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn on Vimeo.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Another Nairn Climate Protest - at the Hospital

While Nairn Academy pupils and other citizens gathered to protest in the High Street today as part of the Global Climate Strike there was also a demo at the Hospital.

World Climate Strike 20th September 2019 - Nairn High Street

Stailc gnàth-shìde na cruinne. Inbhir Narann 20/9/19

Individual images here. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dèan sabaid airson do àm ri teachd. Stailc gnàth-shìde na cruinne. Dihaoine 20mh Sultain. Taigh-cùirte Inbhir Narann ​​9-10m


The slow retreat of cash from our lives continues

One of our readers informs us that Graham's Dairy will no longer accept cash on the doorstep from the end of the month. The options are now payment by Direct Debit or cheque. Our correspondent is most disappointed by this and just doesn't like the bother of setting up direct debits or writing out cheques. 

Perhaps it is marvellous that doorstep deliveries of milk continue, it almost seems like part of a different age but obviously there are those that find this service important and are of a mindset that is not happy doing too much with setting things up with the bank for payment etc. 

The move away from what we have known for generations continues - we still have two banks and a post office but soon will there be anywhere in our town where you can deposit your cash? That unpleasant scenario has already been reached in other Highland communities. Things are changing fast, many younger folk are quite happy to pay for things on their phones these days and lots of us sit at home buying things from the comfort of our armchairs with our credit cards by our sides. Soon will we have more choices too about what currencies we pay with, such as a Facebook form of money perhaps? As artificial intelligence increases exponentially money won't be the only thing that changes, how long before the driver-less lorries are coming up the A9 to supply the supermarkets?  

Perhaps governments would indeed love cash to disappear as far as taxation and crime are concerned.  Still a lot of cash around though but is a tipping point not far ahead in the future where we all have to adapt to electronic transactions or starve? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Confused at Gurnnurn.com asks: "Do the LibDems think Nairnshire is part of Ross-shire?"

Here at Gurn HQ the postie brought us a LibDem leaflet today and we didn't think much of it (didn't read it at all, it was destined for the blue bin) but then one of our regular readers in the West End contacted us and asked why something called "Craig Harrow's Ross-shire Summer Survey" would be delivered through his door in Nairn.  Looks suspiciously like it's been delivered all over town then. 


Perhaps we woke up today in a parallel universe and Nairn is now part of Greater Ross-shire? So, intrigued, we did something we don't usually do and paid attention to LidDem material:

"Time to do politics differently - compassionate, respectful, green and locally focused", the leaflet says. Well different perhaps but locally focused? 

What good is a survey for Ross-shire if it is going to include stats from Nairnshire?  Are Ross-shire folk getting the survey for Nairnshire?