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?