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

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

Or check out the following videos on YouTube: 

1 Overview (video):

2 What are ticks? (video):

3 Avoiding ticks (video):

4 Checking for ticks (video):

5 Tick removal (video):

6 Lyme disease signs and symptoms (video):

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. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Big turn-out for planting of first Community Orchard in Forres

A huge turn-out in Forres yesterday as the first community orchard was planted at a site on the Grantown Road. More images here. 

Here in Nairn we have the Green Hive Community Orchard in Viewfield and there's a lot of trees planted by Nairn Allotments Orchard Group now too over the past few years. With hundreds grafted and grown on and planted and more on the way. 

The two groups in Nairn and other enthusiasts would like to see more orchards established in Nairnshire in the future and if you and your neighbours would like to see something like this happen near you then please contact NAS Orchard group or the Green Hive.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Sequoia threatened by Albyn Housing planning application - Highland Council Forestry Officer says " I am not in a position to support the layout as it stands"

The tree under threat from Albyn Housing plans

The Highland Council's South Highland Forestry Officer is one of the consultees on the Albyn Housing planning application that include the felling of a 27m Sequoia on land (as stated in the planning application)  "50M North Of The Hermitage St Olaf Manor Cawdor Road Nairn."  

He quotes the following in his report:

"Policy 51 (Trees and Development) of the Highland wide Local Development Plan states that ‘The Council will support development which promotes significant protection to existing hedges, trees and woodlands on and around development sites. The acceptable developable area of a site is influenced by tree impact, and adequate separation distances will be required between established trees and any new development."  

He then goes on to outline a number of concerns in 12 numbered paragraphs.  On the Sequoia itself he states: "I am very concerned by the proposal to remove this significant tree without sufficient rationale."  

He concludes: "I am concerned by the overall impact of the proposals on this site and the low level of replacement planting.  I am not in a position to support the layout as it stands."

You can read the Forestery Officer's report in full here on the Highland Council e-planning site and also browse all the other submissions and documents related to this application. 

Nairn River Community Council are calling for Albyn housing to alter the plans so the Sequoia stays to be enjoyed byfuture generations. See a previous Gurn article about their comments and what other objectors have to say here. 

Liz proposes Nuclear Free Highlands motion for SNP group but it is defeated as Tom Heggie and other Highland Cllrs vote for Tory pro nuclear amendment

Here at the Gurn we are inclined to believe that the majority of people in our community would have grave doubts about more nuclear power stations in the Highlands, thus this observer was quite shocked to see on social media this afternoon the following comment by SNP Highland Councillor Emma Knox:

"Absolutely gutted. The Highland Council just voted 46 votes to 15 to explore the development of new nuclear power sources in the Highlands rather than join the group of Nuclear Free Local Authorities."

The amendment proposed by the Conservative group on the Council won the day. Emma Knox published a list of how members voted. This observer found it hard to read and asked her how Nairn members voted. Here is her reply: 
Emma Knox later told us that Tom didn't participate in the debate (which you can now see added to this article in the Highland Council embedded video below). : 

There was quick reaction from the Green side of Scottish politics:

Speaking after Highland Council voted today to explore the development of new nuclear power sources in the Highlands, Highland and Islands Green MSP John Finnie said:

“Only this highly dysfunctional administration would consider a return to nuclear power.

“The Highlands and Islands is rich in wind, wave, tidal, solar power potential yet the unenlightened turn their back on that renewable wealth and seek a return to nuclear power, adding to the disastrous legacy we’ve already bequeathed on future generations."

The nuclear debate that took place in the Glenurquhart Road chamber earlier today. 

Snowdrop planting 2019 - along the Riverside Sat March 16th from 10 am and Sunday March 17th from 10.30 - Can you help - families welcome

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Planning: developer contributions going to help finance High Life Dance Studio and cafe at Swimming Pool

Here at the Gurn we have been browsing through the details of a planning application on the Highland Council e-planning pages.  "We came across the following on a document entitled Development Plans Response":

"High Life Highland have committed to providing a new dance studio and sea facing cafĂ© area in Nairn. All new housing developments within the Nairn Academy School catchment area are required to provide contributions towards this facility." 

And sure enough it says on that document "Community Facilities Nairn Leisure Centre. Expansion to provide dance studio and sea facing cafĂ© area. £1,022". And as it is for ten houses the total is £10,220.

Now a dance studio fair enough but surely this will compete with other cafes in Nairn? Time to give developer contribution cash to all the cafes in Nairn to help out all round?  Here at the Gurn we think that the Highlife cafe venture should stand or fall on its own ability to generate revenue. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Overwhelming support for a Single Community Council in Nairn according to Social Media poll.

The poll was posted in the popular Nairn Facebook pages Nairn our town our views and Nairn Rocks. The results speak for themselves. 

Friday, March 01, 2019

Living better with a long term condition - Illustrated talk on Old Nairn - Weds 6th of March 2-4 pm Nairn Dunbar Golf Club

Green MSP offers solidarity and support to HIAL air traffic controllers

Responding to reports that HIAL air traffic controllers have voted for strike action, Scottish Greens Transport spokesperson and Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie said:

“The Scottish Ministers own HIAL and have a responsibility to ensure this situation is resolved urgently, with a fair settlement for staff. It’s perhaps no surprise that the Transport Secretary refused to say he had confidence in HIAL’s management the last time I asked him. I continue to offer solidarity and support to Prospect and its members.”