Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Last ever ‘Run for Hamish’ event - Sunday 9th of June

Run for Hamish 
Sunday 9th of June. 

Last ever ‘Run for Hamish’ event.

You can pick up entry forms from the library, community & arts centre, swimming pool and sports club.
Fun Run is 5k, you can walk, jog, run. We welcome ALL! Buggies/prams, dogs on leads.

For the more serious runners, sign up for the 10 mile road race. You can enter online via our website.

If Hamish could do it, so can you! Let’s make it the best one yet.
Team Hamish told the Gurn:

"3 weeks yesterday is ‘Run for Hamish’ This is the last time we plan to hold this event. Six months before he died Hamish stood proudly for a photo, he was delightedly wearing pants on his head. Affectionately then referred to as Captain Underpants 👌🏻😂🦸🏼‍♂️

We would like 🌈EVERYONE 🌈on the day to wear a pair of pants on their head! As plain or as fancy as you wish! We are demonstrating below how it can be done! No excuses 😂 everyone owns pants!! That and as bright colours as you can find to wear!! Even Indie joined in, Bella was not so keen.
Thank you SO much to everyone for your continued support!

See you on the 9th of June wearing your pants on your head! 😂👌🏻💙🌈👌🏻🌈"

Living better with a long term condition - Nairn Group - next event Wednesday 5th of June 2 pm Nairn Dunbar Golf Club

Friday, May 17, 2019

Planet before Profit - Fridays for the Future - Nairn Academy Climate strikers continue their weekly action

Nairn Academy Climate Emergency demonstrators continue their weekly action. They were joined again this morning by mothers with pre-school age children. They told the Gurn that on Saturday the 25th the Nairn campaigners will be heading for Inverness and meeting up with others in Falcon Square at 12 noon.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Quite a lot going on in the Nairn twittersphere these days folks, we'll post anything interesting we see here via the Gurn twitter page

If there's not much being posted here it's worth having a look at the Gurn twitter account. Quite a lot happens in the Nairn twittersphere these days and you can scroll down the wee twitter boxie on the right hand side as far as you like to see what the latest craic is. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Yes Politics for parents - interesting concept for parents who find it hard to get to meetings in the evenings etc - tomorrow 10.30 am Nairn Community and Arts Centre

The launch of a new political group in Nairn tomorrow. The idea is to give a chance to those parents who find it too difficult to get to meetings in the evenings etc. This is for Yes minded parents but  the concept could equally apply to those the other way inclined who find their political life curtailed somewhat by parenthood. This initiative was reported in the National. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Highland Council declaration of Climate and Ecological Emgergency - watch the debate

Here at the Gurn we believe Margaret Davidson showed remarkable leadership qualities yesterday at the regular monthly meeting of Highland Council at Glenurquhart Road in Invernessin changing her motion on climate change to include the words "Climate and Ecological Emergency". We would urge our readers to watch the section of the Highland Council webcast below where the motion was debated - it it a good insight into what has to be done and what we can do in the Highlands to help avoid the worst effects of accelerating climate change. 

Nairn Academy Climate strikers - Week 10 of their regular protest - further action planned for Saturday 25th of May in Inverness

The young people today were delighted with yesterday's decision of Highland Council to declare a Climate and Ecological emergency. They were joined by mothers with pre-school children who support their action. 
The Gurn understands that the Nairn youngsters are, with other young people in the Highlands, organising a march and rally in Inverness on Saturday the 25th of May. More details when we have them. 

More pictures here.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Significant objection to development of 3 houses at top end of Mill Road from Highland Council Forestry Officer "contrary to Policy 51 of the Highland wide Local Development Plan"

Regular readers may recall a Gurn article from the 13th of March entitled "Trees and planning applications - another potential felling?  It's an article that looks at how perhaps we can ensure that as much of the fine environment we enjoy in and around Nairn can be preserved as future development of the town continues. We linked to the planning application and today we repost a picture of the site location below.

Anyway the Highland Council Forestry Officer has submitted his thoughts and they are against the development. Here's some of the content of his letter to the Planning Department:

"The applicant proposes separate accesses off Mill Road for each property with an almost fully paved frontage to each dwelling. The houses are proposed on the same build line as ‘Essbee’ and there are Side Elevations on drawing 18058.P02C which propose minimal cut and fill, but this is quite unrealistic when compared with the actual topography of the site which drops quite quickly down from Mill Road to the south-east.

Drawing 18058.P02C contains a Site Plan which shows trees with tag numbers and what appears to be root protection areas, but there is no tree schedule to accompany the application. In any case, it would appear that the majority of trees on site are proposed to be removed and some of those trees closest to Essbee appear to have already been removed. Drawing 18058.P02C identifies trees for removal and there is a suggestion that new trees would be planted, but there is no planting detail and no indication of where they would be planted. The drawing also identifies trees which are to be retained and a green line which appears to represent the line of a tree protection barrier, but it does not protect the roots of adjacent trees proposed for retention (904, 983 and 987). The Site Plan does not show any services nor indication of how surface water would be dealt with. I would be concerned that any requirement for surface water soakaway would need to be pushed into the woodland with additional adverse impact.

The Site Plan shows the houses in plot 1 and 2 around 8m away from retained trees 904 and 906 while in plot 3 there is less than 3m between retained trees 983 and 987 and the proposed house. This is inadequate separation which places the house in plot 3 in the root protection area of trees proposed for retention. This also leaves the properties with no amenity garden ground.


I am concerned that the level of tree felling proposed and the additional adverse impact on tree roots as a consequence of the significant infill that would be required to accommodate the access, car parking, three houses, amenity garden ground and site servicing would have a significant adverse impact on the existing woodland. The application does not promote significant protection to existing trees and woodlands on this site and does not provide adequate separation between established trees and any new development, so is contrary to Policy 51 of the Highland wide Local Development Plan."

Any readers wishing to see the full letter from the Forestry Officer and other documentation can head over to application file on the Highland Council e-planning site here. "

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Nairn Common Good Fund - easier community input and improved transparency coming it seems but lots of questions on Asset Register Content - anyone with info to add to debate?

The discussion at the NWSCC meeting on Monday night in the Community Centre on the issue of the Nairn Common Good and the issue of the register recently published by Highland Council was striking in the display of apparent willingness of the three local Highland Council members present to forge a new way forward that includes transparency and more input from the community. The bad old days of Nairn's relationship with Highland Council might indeed be slipping away into the past. 

There are questions being asked of the register however and here's some that emerged from the meeting: "how long has Sandown been a CG asset?", "who remembers the MacLaren Gardens?", "how many people were aware that the parking behind the Courthouse is CG land?", "should Viewfield be regarded as a Common Good asset because it was originally purchased for the benefit of the local community as a public park?" And a few other issues.

What do you think readers, have you got any historical info on Common Good property or issues that might help the debate. The register of interests is linked in this Gurn article. We'd like to add a paper below that was discussed at the meeting. It comes from Joan Noble and makes several comments, I'm sure that many Gurnites will find it interesting:

Common Good Draft RegisterAreas included but require clarification/correction

  1. Harbour area:
All part of Burgh lands, and used as common ground/ work premises from earliest records.
Boatyard, Sailing Clubhouse, Sundancer, all on CG register and leased.
Coastguard office pays rent to CG but not on the register. Shelter, Fisher girl Statue, Harbour Car park, Carwash site , toilets, flats on site of old Sea Scout Hut and Shore Street flats overlooking harbour
not mentioned.
All these areas should have been checked and added as appropriate.
Should some be paying rent to CG fund.

Action points: i. All areas and buildings must be specified in the register and mapped to ensure clarity.
ii. All leases need checked and ensure payments are being made to CGF.

  1. Nairn Dunbar Golf Course.
CG land extends significantly further north than the golf course boundary at the Eastern end.
Kingsteps car park is also part of this CG land although the road belongs to Brodie.

Action Points: i. Map drawn up in 1980 available and HC one needs revised.
ii. Kingsteps car park needs added to register.

  1. Marine Road Property. Which property is this? Old Toilets ?

4 Riverside Park
The extent of the park is inadequately described. It does not include the car park, playpark and Jubilee Bridge.
The extent of CG land previously owned by Whinnieknowe estate is not adequately delineated. 1 acre of this was purchased from the Church of Scotland in October 1974. (ROS SS 65)

Action Points: The former Whinnieknowe land must be accurately mapped. Does it extend to Firhall Bridge?
Description of park must be much more accurate and inclusive.

  1. Sandown Lands:
Part of the original Burgh lands of Nairn – there is proof of lease for agricultural use for over 150 years.
Very inaccurately described. North Field 1 is bordered by A96, Rear of properties on W side of Tradespark Road, South Boundary of Fort Reay, and Sandown Farm Lane. North field 2 is bounded by A96, the Old Burgh Boundary (Right of way from Moss-side road to the beach.), Altonburn Road and Sandown Farm Lane.
South Field is bounded by A96, Sandown Road, Wyvis Drive, Moss-side Drive and Old Burgh Boundary.

Action points: Needs accurate description and mapping.
Need clarity about whether the land is inalienable.

Sites not on register but queries have been raised.
Tradespark. Triangular wood.
Title registered by Tyrell Hastings Clarke 1903 as described in ROS (SS 358)
Present Owner: Highland Council
Purchased: 16 May 1988 from Cyril Wilson Clarke for £19,460. HC minutes (HRC 1/1/23 p 627) and ROS (SS 358)
Site of old Community Centre. Needs Clarification and full history. Free Church built 1843.
Site of Demolished Petrol Station in town centre. Still belongs to Co-op.

Common Good Draft Register Omissions:


  1. Parkland area south of Bridge street on east of river below Riverside Terrace.
  • John Wood map 1828 showing it as part of Burgh lands. No evidence of sale.
  • Continuous use as common/parkland.
  1. Prince of Wales Walk up east side of river from A96 Bridge to Howford Bridge and presumably the surrounding land outwith farm or property fencing.
OS name books Volume 07, Nairnshire. 1869
What is the status of the banks of the river as part of the fishings bought in 1923?

  1. Calfward Garden. Beside Mill Road Allotments. What is the extent of this area?
Evidence: In 1996 CG register
Who owns Old Church and Graveyard?

Town Centre:

Courthouse/ Falconer’s lane car park.
NDC minutes 1/1/2 pps. 55, 107,112, 183. Purchased 1975 with CG fund monies from SCWS and minuted as such.
21 year lease to Highland Regional Council at nominal rate.
This car park was included in 1996 CG Register.

Viewfield estate (minus the bus station section) was bought from Inverness Investment Trust Ltd. by the Burgh in Jan 1949 after it had been requisitioned in the war. It was in poorish condition after this and being used as a workshop.
The sale went through it appears using £4000 from the E. M. Fraser bequest for the poor of Nairn. The Estate was used as a security bond for the E M Fraser bequest. (ROS SS 526.)
Viewfield House was to be used as the library and Burgh Engineer’s Dept. The rest of the house was used as a caretakers flat, and rooms which the community could rent – Red Cross, guides, pipe band, room for Nairn Lit. Institute Archives. 44 Allotments were prepared at the A96 end and the adjoining land was cultivated by Grigor Davidson, tenant of Sandown. The lodge was leased to the cinema manager.
At a meeting of 23 Oct 1950 (BN 1/1/30) the Viewfield Committee of the Burgh came up with suggestion of uses for ‘Viewfield Public Park’ (para 2) and a landscape architect was in attendance to take the ideas forward. Suggestions of bowling green, hockey pitch, tennis courts and a public stage for entertainments were mooted.
It is abundantly clear that the Viewfield open space had been purchased with a bequest and was to be used for the behoof of the community. The house was also available for community use although primarily library/offices.
In August 1952 the remaining section (currently the bus station) which was leased as a Burgh car park and bus halt, was purchased and continued in use as a car park, with the bus company then leasing their stances and shed.
1968 Burgh sold 1 acre including Viewfield lodge to North Eastern Counties Police Board (ROS SS 526).
Trustees of EM Fraser bequest agreed to disburdening of the £4000 bond.

For all these reasons there is a very clear claim for Viewfield Park to be part of the CG assets of Nairn, and further evidence is that the Sports Club and Bowling Green pay annual rent to the Common Good Fund.
The MacLaren Gardens behind the bus station were also bequeathed to the Common Good.

Promenade. Purchased 1948
Clerk’s Acre
Pays rental to CG.

ATC/TA huts – were sited at the rear of Viewfield during war and were part of the sale. Previously in CG register.

Shaw’s Close Car Park
1975 NDC minutes 1/1/2 p 107. Parking bays in Shaw’s Close / Simpson St car park paid lease to Common Good.
This suggests that this car park is at least partly owned by CG.

Art and Artefacts
Previous registers included paintings and other burgh property such as the War Memorial, Straith’s Monument, Toorie Monument, Victoria Fountain and the Mercat Cross.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Nairn Provost declares his "splitter" credentials to the delight of the Nairn West and Suburban Community Council meeting.

At the end of a very interesting Nairn West and Suburban CC discussion on the Common Good Fund this evening in the Community and Arts Centre, Provost Laurie Fraser made a late intervention, he said:

"I just want to say I don't think any of you are really going to get what you want until Nairn opts out of the Highland Council and sets up its own Council." 

Applause followed and Laurie continued: "We want a referendum to take back control."

 There was also a cry of "Freedom!" from elsewhere on the table. 

More from a very interesting discussion on the Common Good Fund when time permits. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Highlands Extinction Rebellion activists calling for Highland Council to declare a climate emergency

An article published earlier today shows pupils from Nairn Academy calling for more action from the authorities on Climate Change at their regular Friday protest. At midday in Inverness Extinction Rebellion were protesting too - also a weekly action calling on Highland Council to declare a Climate Emergency. 

The Gurn understands that members of Highlands Extinction Rebellion have been lobbying some members of Highland Council and are hopeful that there will be discussion of climate change at the meeting of the Council on May 9th. The group are calling for the Council to declare a climate emergency. Details on other councils in the UK that have done so already in this i article "Councils in England and Wales declare ‘climate emergency’ following UN warnings of future ‘catastrophe."

After their weekly demonstration at the Town House the activists marched to Falcon Square where they engaged with members of the public for around half an hour. 

Climate Strike Action by Nairn Academy pupils - Regular Friday morning protest

The young demonstraters positioned themselves so the early morning queues of traffic in Leopold Street could see them. More pictures here. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Smoke from fires in Moray Countryside blanket the Firth

As firefighters continue to tackle a series of fires in the Moray Countryside the smoke was clearly visible from Nairn again today. More details of the fires in a Press and Journal article here. 

A few images here. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Nairn TSB to reduce hours to two days a week from July

Below is the information concerning the hew hours contained in a letter sent to a local customer of the TSB. It'll be Tuesdays and Fridays only from July.  The retreat of banking services from Nairn High Street continues! 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Charity Cricket Match Sunday 21st April 1pm the Links Nairn

Brian told the Gurn: "the story behind all this is of course the tragic loss of a long-time Nairn resident, NCCC member and regular cricket player Neil Gibson who sadly lost his life a year ago in a snowstorm while climbing in Wester Ross. The bodies of Neil and his brother Alan and their dog were found after many days of searching, by the Torridon Mountain Rescue Team.

So in memory of Neil, and to benefit the Torridon Mountain Rescue Team, the cricket club decided to organise this cricket match as a fund-raising event. We're playing against a visiting team from "The Forty Club", a group of cricket enthusiasts and veterans drawn from clubs around the country. We've got an assortment of sporting memorabilia to auction after the game including a bat signed by Ricky Ponting (Aussie test cricket captain and star batsman), a signed photo of the England T20 team, and also signed footy shirts from NCFC and Caley.... and various other items and raffle prizes."

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

As seen on twitter - a wedding on Nairn Beach

Nairn Coastguard busy on the beach with along with Navy Bomb Disposal Experts

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sandown Allotments phase 2 - seven years on from the first preparatory work onsite.

Nairn is still the envy of many other communities when it comes to allotment provision. At one time in the not too distant past two-thirds of all allotments in the Highlands were in Nairn. The waiting list for a plot in Nairn is not too long either compared with elsewhere with some applicants obtaining a plot within a year. A lot of folk have visited Nairn to get ideas for plots in their communities. The lower picture was taken this weekend. 

The first picture above is from about this time in 2012 and before any work was done on site an incredible amount of effort had gone into the funding application for European LEADER money by a dedicated team from the allotments committee. What has been achieved by plotters since then is remarkable 

As Nairn grows hopefully there will be more spaces like Sandown for people to grow their own fruit and vegetables. It is remarkable what individuals can achieve when they have access to land. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Team Hamish/NICE AGM Thurs 11th April 2019 - presentation including designs for Paddling Pool area and amphitheatre by Jame's Cafe

Here is a copy of the presentation as a Google document online.  You can also download the power point presentation from the NICE website here. 

Addition Support Needs cuts - information for parents and a draft e-mail to send to local councillors and Highland Council

This in from one of our regular readers who is a Highland Council employee:

"We are aware that many parents in Highland are concerned about the proposed cuts to Additional Support Needs and the loss of PSA posts. This will have an impact not only on the pupils supported by the ASN team, but on all pupils in a class.

Nairn Academy Parent Council have met with the local councillors and they are taking our concerns forward to Highland Council.

If you would also like to take action please see the Highland Parent Council Partnership website here where there is lots more information and a draft email to send to local councillors and Highland Council."

Whatever happened to the idea of a LIDL store for Nairn?

Recent conversations on social media about development at Balmakeith next to Sainsbury's got this observer thinking of way back when in 2014 when there was a consultation event in Nairn where we were shown pictures and plans of how a proposed Lidl store would look. Here's a Gurn article from the time.   And here are images we took at the consultation event that showed us what we might have been getting.

And it seems the consultation process was well received by Nairn residents. 

It's 2019 now though and nothing more has been heard from Lidl since. We decided to ask them on twitter if they were still interested. Here's what we said:

And a response came the next day
That's that then folks, doesn't look like we will see a Lidl in Nairn in the near future anyway. It is a pity because it is a cheaper shop and some families in Nairn do not have the ability to travel for bargains and so have less choice.

World Tattie Scone Championships and market - Taste of Nairn - 13th April 2019 - pictures

Individual images here. 

Random Saturday Picture - Tom Heggie speaking to some of Nairn's Green Hive environmental activists in Viewfield prior to the picnic in the park

Positive Team Hamish/NICE meeting on Thurs night

Very good too to see Donna Manson, Chief Executive of Highland Council, at the meeting. From what she had to say it looks like the new dawn has finally arrived with a team at Glenurquhart Road looking at ways to speed up Team Hamish initiatives. She obviously wishes to rebuild the relationship between this community and the Council. It might not be too long before the proposal for the paddling pool area goes forward for planning permission and that will be followed by the amphitheatre idea for the bank close to Jame's Cafe. Interesting times indeed for our community. 

Below is a link to a report of the evening from Andrew Randerson of the ever-popular Nairn - Our Town - Our Views Facebook page.  The Team Hamish designs should soon appear online too. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Interesting Pictures of the Courthouse work by Stuart Black

The Director of Development & Infrastructure, Highland Council, Stuart Black, has posted some interesting pictures of the ongoing work at the Courthouse on his twitter account.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

"Battle lines drawn as Angus parking charges row continues" The latest from a parallel parking universe

 Here at the Gurn we have been following closely the impact of parking charges that were imposed on the Angus towns last November.  It's real time evidence of how similar charges could damage Nairn if they were to go ahead here.  Anyway here's the latest instalment:

"Battle lines have again been drawn over parking charges in Angus, as moves to remove the fees in some towns are set to go before elected members next week.

The opposition SNP group are demanding free parking in Kirriemuir, Brechin and Carnoustie, where they say the charges have brought “devastating effects on the fragile town centres”.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Nairn Academy Pupils Week 4 of Climate Change Action protests - video interview

Week four of the regular protest and we went up for a wee blether with the young activists at the railings on the Leopold Street/High Street corner.

A few images here. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Bhòt an t-sluaigh agus a h-uile cail eile - beachd a th' againn an seo

Bhòt an t-sluaigh. Nach e daoine a bhòt an turas mu dheireadh no an robh e bhòt na Gerbils a bh'ann? Cò aig a bheil fios dè an daineamaigs eile a thig às a ’bhogsa a dh'aithghearr leis an t-suidheachadh cunnartach a tha againn an-dràsta. A bheil am PNA a ’cluich cus de gheama Westminster? Taigh-cluiche Westminster agus bhòtaichean gun chiall le luchd-poilitigs is luchd-aithris a ’snàmh timcheall anns a' mhùn fantasachd aca-fhein gun stad air na sianalan 24/7. 

Tha e mar mheasgachadh de Yes Ministear agus Beatha Brian. Mas e dìreach taisbeanadh comadaidh a bh ’ann!

1068 Nairn Air Cadets Coffee Morning - The Legion Saturday 6th April 10-12

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Galileo's Fan rock the Legion with launch of their debut album "I won't be found"

A huge turn-out in the Legion last night as Fi and Martin launched their debut album "I won't be found." For details on how to buy the album and more about the band head over to the Galileo's Fan Facebook page. 

A slideshow of images below, Individual images here

Friday, March 29, 2019

NICE AGM Thursday 11th of April - reports on BID, Team Hamish and Links, path restoration at East Beach and future projects to be presented

The Agenda for the NICE AGM reads

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the sixth ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held at 7.00 pm on Thursday 11 April 2019 at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre for the purpose of the following business:

Welcome & Introduction.
Apologies for Absence.
Chairman’s Report.
Report on establishment of Business Improvement District.
Report on East Beach Path Restoration.
Report on #TeamHamish and Plans for the Links.
Presentation of Possible Future Projects

More information here

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

BID to take on Salty the Seagull and his town centre pals

This time of the year seagulls are moving back to their regular spots in the town centre and there will also soon  be competition for every ledge-like nook and cranny from last years young seagulls that survived the many dangers or being raised in the town centre. Will the gulls get a bit of a knock-back this year though? The BID are going to have a removal program for nests and eggs on the roofs of businesses in their patch. 

The BID's recent leaflet details the specifics of their anti-Salty campaign. The campaign starts in May and will entail three visits for egg and nest removals, the visits will take place once every twenty-one days to businesses in the BID area.  More details here. 

Good luck to this initiative it will certainly be labour intensive and how successful it will be will depend on the numbers on neighbouring properties that are not businesses. This observer remembers moving a nest every day for a fortnight and finally thinking that Salty had been defeated when he finally gave up the daily rebuild - one week later he was back and his lady friend was sitting on her eggs. 

Highland councillors agreed to spend up to £15,000 with a recruitment agency to help them find a depute chief executive with a salary of £119,000.

We hear that there is no money but....

The Press and Journal reported yesterday: "Highland councillors agreed to spend up to £15,000 with a recruitment agency to help them find a depute chief executive with a salary of £119,000.

Councillors agreed to look for a depute chief executive with responsibility for corporate resources, at a special meeting held yesterday.

Some councillors expressed concerns about the recruitment process and the job description, as it did not include the remit for finance, that the previous director had responsibility for."

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

McDonalds reconsidering opening a restaurant and drive-thru in Nairn due to trading hours restrictions?

An application has appeared on the Highland Council e-planning pages listing a request for  amended opening hours for the proposed McDonalds restaurant and drive-thru. The application is from Sainsbury's but the documents available to the public include a letter from McDonalds (curiously dated 14th September 2018 but received by the Council on the 12th March). 

Screenshot of letter below - click to enlarge. Further details of application here. 

Pedestrian crossing - a fait accompli? Critical editorial in this week's Nairnshire Telegraph

"The announcement was accompanied by a statement from the Area Chairman that this new crossing was the result of consultation with the Nairn Access Panel. Everybody happy? We beg to differ."

More on the editorial page of this week's Leopold Street Thunderer.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Highland Council budget cuts – the impact on Additional Support Needs teachers and Pupil Support Assistants across Highland?

We would urge our readers to consider the articles and comments posted on the Facebook page “Highland Action Group for ASN & Education” Recent press coverage of the Highland Council's intentions has caused a degree of alarm among parents (BBC article here). 

A PSA who works in a Highland School told the Gurn: 

Highland Council hope to avoid redundancies as they ‘re-allocate’ resourcing of Pupil Support Assistants, these reductions are to be phased over the next three years. As a Pupil Support Assistant this is an extremely worrying time for our positions, the children and the parents who need these services. Hitting the most vulnerable group undermines civil society. The implications of these cuts are huge, these are the things that hold communities together. The Unions seem to be managing the process rather than fighting it. 

I don’t know what the Chief Executive’s vision is for the end of these three years, nor what schools in the Highlands and a new Nairn Academy will look like that do not address the needs of every child. 

The more I read the information we were given the more ‘doublespeak’ I find. Even the timing of the council's press release has given us little time to challenge or resist.” 

The Gurn understands that a meeting between our four local councillors and the Rector of Nairn Academy plus the primary heads from those schools in the Academy catchment area may take place this week to consider these issues. 

As we said in the first paragraph we would urge our readers to inform themselves on this topic, look at the worries and statement of the parents, the information provided by Highland Council, as reported by the BBC, and decide if something fundamentally unjust is about to be set in motion.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Keeping Nairnshire Colourful plant more snowdrops along the river

This weekend a hardy band of volunteers helped members of KNC to plant more snowdrops along the riverside and among the trees in the Cemetery field.

Friday, March 22, 2019

5.33% of voters in Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey sign the petition to revoke Article 50 within 48 hours of it appearing online.

A remarkable level of engagement being shown in the Brexit debate as over 5% of constituents in MP Drew Hendry's patch sign a petiton that has been online for about 48 hrs.

For further details click on image below. 

Works under way for new Nairn High Street crossing - Highland Council Press Release - crossing will be commissioned after Courthouse scaffolding removed

Interesting press release but is it outside the Courthouse? A 48 week wait then?

A new pedestrian crossing aims to provide a safer High Street for Nairn town centre as works progress on Nairn Courthouse renovations.

The Highland Council has commenced works to install a pedestrian crossing with lighting outside the Courthouse on Nairn High Street. Bollards will be installed and crossing lighting commissioned after scaffolding has been dismantled and removed from renovation works at the Courthouse building.

Councillor Tom Heggie, Chair of the Council’s Nairnshire Committee said: “Pedestrians will be given priority with the introduction of this new crossing. Nairnshire Councillors agreed to proceed with the crossing after consultation with the Nairn Access Panel. The members were delighted to work with the access panel to provide an additional safe crossing for people in the High Street. The crossing will be of benefit all year round for locals and visitors to Nairn.”

Cable ducting and poles for the crossing lights have already been installed, as have dropped kerbs. White lining and bollards will be completed as soon as the Courthouse scaffolding is removed.

Members were recently given an update at the Nairnshire Committee on the Courthouse renovation works including an overview focusing on the need to address structural integrity matters of the property; the acceleration of the project start to enable scaffolding to be erected early to address the structural works; and the 48 week programme including the removal of the spire which take place during July - August.

Members were advised that presentation boards about the renovations works would be made available for the public to view either in the Courthouse lobby or in the external entrance way formed by the scaffold.

A decision has yet to be made on whether the former flagpole will be reinstated, as the existing parapet stonework had been weakened by movement of the pole. The operation of raising and lowering flags via the narrow tower access ladder is also under review.

The Council is aware that the steeple clock has stopped and it will be removed by specialist contractors for protection, stored, serviced and restored at the end of the project. On completion of the Courthouse works, Members will review the best use of the building for future events.

£1 billion of benefits are unclaimed each year - why not get a Financial Health Check with Nairn CAB?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Railway Station Access Issues - George Street access point knocked back

Murd has for some time been campaigning for an access point into the railway station on George Street to improve prospects for those disabled and other folk that might have problems crossing to the Inverness bound platform via the station railway bridge. 

He has learnt from Fergus Ewing that the George Street idea has been knocked back however. In an e-mail from Fergus's office he was told that the decision had been made after Both Network Rail and Scotrail reached this decision after consulting with BT Police and Police Scotland on this matter. The official decision was based thus:

"When the option to create an access point from George Street was assessed against rail safety standards, it became obvious that it would import unnecessary risk impacting on the safety of customers. It was felt by all parties that creating an uncontrolled direct access in the middle of a housing scheme populace with children and youth would inevitably become an easy crossing point into town therefore encouraging trespass and causing disruption to the operation of rail."

Nairn Healthcare - Spring 2019 Newsletter


Nairn Healthcare is delighted to announce that Dr Amy Carter has joined the partnership. Dr Carter has been with the Practice since 2012. We have also welcomed our new ST3 doctor, Dr John Kilbride to the Practice. Dr Kilbride is now available for bookable appointments. We will also be welcoming new FY2 doctor, Dr Daniel Carolan, to the Practice at the start of April along with new Practice Nurse, Sue Littlemore. Sue has previously worked with NHS England and specialises in asthma and diabetes. 

We will be saying goodbye to Practice Nurse, Joan Fraser, at the end of March. Joan has been with Nairn Healthcare for over 2 years and will be leaving us for a post in Culloden. Dr Nada Reza has also finished her placement with us and will be departing at the start of April. We wish both Joan and Dr Reza all the best for the future. 

Bowel Screening

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Scotland but it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early. It could save your life! 
If you are aged between 50-74, the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme will invite you for screening every 2 years. A kit will be sent to your home address where it is to be completed and returned to the screening centre based in Dundee. 1 in 20 over 50s will get bowel cancer at some point in their lives, screening aims to find bowel cancer at an early stage and if the cancer is detected early enough, there is a 90% chance of treating the disease successfully. 

Screening saves lives but at the moment, in some areas of the UK, only a third of those who receive a test in the post complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the best way to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat and there is a greater chance of survival. 

For more information call the helpline on 0800 0121 833 or visit www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/screening

Annual recalls

Nairn Healthcare would like to encourage all patients with a mobile phone to provide us with their number. Nairn Healthcare now provides 2-way texting for appointments. If you have booked an appointment 2 working days in advance, we will text you and remind you of said appointment and if you wish to cancel, you just have to reply to the text. 

We have also started recalling patients for their annual reviews (asthma, diabetic etc) by text message. It is really beneficial to both the Practice and the patient to have the up-to-date mobile number on record. If you don’t own a mobile phone, please don’t worry as a letter will be sent out to you as previous. 

Tick information

Winter is now officially over and we are all looking forward to summer and getting out in the countryside and gardens. 

However, the country undergrowth from spring until autumn is covered in tiny ticks which may carry bacteria and can transfer to people when the tick attaches itself. If the tick is removed properly and correctly, there is no risk to health but there is a risk of developing Lyme disease if this is not done correctly. 

A symptom of Lyme disease is a red skin rash which can be cured with a simple antibiotic. If the rash
goes unnoticed, it can result in joint pain or nerve problems which may require stronger antibiotics. 

If you find a tick on yourself or your child, wait until you get home and calmly remove the tick with a tick removal tool which is designed to get underneath the tick and lift it off safely. Don’t attempt to remove it with your fingers. Using fingers or tweezers risk squeezing the tick and actually injecting the Lyme disease bacteria into your blood. 


For more information, please pick up the Tick Information Guide from reception or read online at http://www.nairnhealthcaregroup.co.uk/website/S55041/files/tick%20information%20sheet.pdf

Or check out the following videos on YouTube: 

1 Overview (video): https://youtu.be/Quoh5YFVsX0

2 What are ticks? (video): https://youtu.be/iHXW7B6XT7E

3 Avoiding ticks (video): https://youtu.be/AlCr8KuVJrY

4 Checking for ticks (video): https://youtu.be/L3SxuRYDPcI

5 Tick removal (video): https://youtu.be/7SngcVIJ9eo

6 Lyme disease signs and symptoms (video): https://youtu.be/wuP5G7WCHbA

Prevent Suicide Highland App

On average, two people die by suicide every day in Scotland and is the main cause of death among young people. Suicide affects all ages, genders and cultures. If you feel suicidal, please don’t hide it. Talk to someone you trust or phone a helpline. 

There is an app available called Prevent Suicide Highland. This is available from App Stores free of charge and gives information about suicide, on how to help others and help lines available. 

The app also has information for those struggling with drugs and alcohol, mental health issues, victims of sexual or domestic abuse and those who wish for help with bereavement. There is also information for the LGBT community who feel they need some added support. 

This app has also been recommended by our local Community Mental Health Team. 

Some helpful numbers: 

SAMH: 0141 530 1000 Samaritans: 116 113 

Breathing Space: 0800 83 85 87

Over 2% of voters in Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey sign the petition to revoke Article 50 within 24 hours of it appearing online.

A remarkable level of engagement being shown in the Brexit debate as over 2% of constituents in MP Drew Hendry's patch sign a petiton that has been online for about 24 hrs. 

Click image below to enlarge screenshot for more details. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Cinema Nairn The Hound of the Baskervilles (PG) Monday March 25th 2.00pm Nairn Community and Arts Centre Tickets at the door.

Next up in Cinema Nairn’s popular matinee series is Sherlock Holmes thriller ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, which screens on Monday 25th March at 2pm. In the 1959 film Peter Cushing stars as the great detective, with Andre Morell and Christopher Lee making up the top investigative team, trying to capture the mystery beast of the title. A scary classic, but recover afterwards with the usual tea and bakes all included in the price.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Statement from one of the Nairn Academy Climate Strike Activists; "We need the government to declare a state of climate emergency and aim to get people talking about this crisis."

Dayne told the Gurn:

"Others and myself decided that not enough action was being taken by global and UK politicians on climate change, so we decided to strike to address the issue that will impact all of us, for the 15th, the future and our future.

Not enough action has been taken, Myself and many students of Nairn Academy are sick of people with high authority not addressing this as an emergency.

We need the government to declare a state of climate emergency and aim to get people talking about this crisis.

I will continue to take action on making this public and helping in any way that I can.

If we do not take this seriously we will cause unnecessary suffering to people around the world from the effects of climate change including ourselves. 

People around me always tell me to stand up for something that I believe in, so I did that.
My name is Dayne Inglis, 16, 5th year Nairn Academy."

Gurn Comment: Here at the Gurn we support the youth who want nothing more than a decent future on a planet that supports life. We are well on our way to making our home uninhabitable. There is no Planet B we have to do everything we can to make sure that the youth of today have a future.

Get involved folks. There are things we can do as individuals, groups, communities etc but we also have to insist on massive, systematic, structural changes - good on the youth of Nairn for leading the way. Let's do it before it is too late.  "NIMBI - Now I must become Involved"

Friday, March 15, 2019

Nairn Academy pupils Climate Strike Action protest

(click on image for full size)

On a miserable, wet, and windy morning there was an excellent turn out of Nairn Academy pupils adding their voices to the Global Climate Strike Action's demonstration which took place opposite the Courthouse.
 Support too from local MP

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Trees and planning applications - another potential felling?

Regular readers will have been following the Sequoia matter with an application from Albyn housing for an area next to the hospital. Meanwhile just the other side of QueensPark on Mill Road another application has entered the pages of the Highland Council e-planning site and this one would mean the felling of some other mature trees if it is approved by planners. The application for three houses can be seen here. 

Here at the Gurn we had an interesting conversation with one of the regular river walkers about the wildlife in this area and the potential impact of any felling. There's no doubt there are a few creatures about along the riverside that find their way into neighbouring areas. One would imagine as in the Albyn application mentioned above the Highland Council forestry officer will be asked for his views so the impact of any felling  be considered as part of the process.  

There's no doubt that Nairn's natural environment is one of the pleasures of living here and trees, especially mature ones, make us feel good as we move around the town and we can sort of develop a relationship with them. Alongside this of course are the liberties of a free society such as the right to apply for planning permission, fell trees and build houses if successful with an application and thus debate can ensue on the e-planning pages for officials and eventually councillors to consider. 

We can't help wondering at the Gurn if it is time to decide what wooded areas we wish to protect for the future and where we should be creating a lot more wooded areas. Time for an holistic approach across the town? For example, as far as we can remember there was a concept that the Sandown Lands would be landscaped in advance  and as the houses got built in five year increments residents would be moving into areas where trees and shrubs had been growing for several years. Good ideas seem to end up on the shelf though until the wheel gets reinvented a few years later. Time for a few tablets of stone? 

Site for three houses at Mill Road? 

Moving forward on Nairn Links, Highland Council Press Release

Issued on behalf of Team Hamish, NICE, Highland Council, Nairn BID

Positive discussions were held on Friday (8 March) between Team Hamish, the Council, NICE and Nairn BID, on progressing delivery of projects for the Nairn Links. Extensive engagement has taken place in the town over the last 18 months run by both Team Hamish and the Links Development Plan Consultation by the Council. This has given a clear vision of what people in Nairn would like to see improved within the Links. 

Based on the feedback from the community, work is now ongoing in order to identify the scope of key projects that can be progressed together in the short term. A project team is being formed of key stakeholders, including Team Hamish and Council representatives. It is planned to come back to the community to seek views on the detailed options in the coming months and will be considered at a future meeting of the Nairnshire committee. 

The Nairn Links are an important and well-loved place within Nairn. These are exciting times to be able to take forward a new vision for the Nairn Links. 

Team Hamish, NICE, Highland Council, Nairn BID

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Group of pupils planning Climate Strike Action at Nairn Academy on Friday

Many Gurnites will perhaps have seen media coverage of "Climate Rebellion" strikes at schools across the UK as young people demand stronger action to basically stop us all making this planet uninhabitable. On Friday depending on the interest among pupils there may be a similar action at Nairn Academy

One of the organisers told the Gurn: " I have been coordinating the school strike for Nairn Academy pupils on the Friday, march 15th. 

The strike is in effort for our voices to be heard about climate change as politicians have been avoiding this crisis for too long!

Hopefully by striking along with hundreds of thousands of other school pupils across the UK we will bring awareness to this issue."

Below is a poster that the campaigners have created to advertise the event and a meeting at the Academy. 

Cinema Nairn Film this Friday. Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri (15) (Friday March 15th 7.30pm)

2018 Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA multi award winning film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (15) continues Cinema Nairn’s regular film season after their very successful film festival. In this story of anger, revenge, violence and kindness, film writer/director Martin McDonagh treads a fine line between pathos and dark comedy. One of her best ever performances sees Frances McDormand star as a grieving mother who starts a campaign to challenge the local police chiefs to make more effort to find her daughter’s killer, while Sam Rockwell also won an Oscar for his portrayal of Officer Dixon.
An intense but darkly humorous powerhouse of a film with more questions than answers.

Highland Council to consult on Nairn Common Good Asset List (copy now published).

The Highland Council is today (12 March 2019) launching a 12 week consultation giving the community until 5 June 2019 to comment on the proposed contents of the Common Good Fund Asset Register.

Section 102 Community Empowerment (Scotland) 2015 states that before establishing a Common Good Asset Register the Council must first conduct a public consultation on a list of property (buildings, land, artwork, regalia and funds) it is proposing to include.

The Council is keen to involve the community in this process to ensure that all Highland Common Good property is identified and included. Community Councils and community bodies will be notified and invited to make representations. However, the list will be widely publicised and available for public representations to be made. The Council must investigate and respond to any representations received. Local authorities must also have in place a process for regular review of the Asset Register once published.

The property lists for the Common Good Funds of Cromarty, Dingwall, Dornoch, Fortrose and Rosemarkie, Invergordon, Inverness, Nairn and Tain; and guidance are available at:

Please submit written responses either by email to:

...or by post to:
Sara Murdoch, The Highland Council HQ, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX.

All consultation representations, responses and any final decision will be published on the Council website.

Gurn note: you can download the asset list for Nairn from the Link above but there is a PDF document you can view here online if you simply wish to browse.