Sunday, December 26, 2021

Christmas on the riverside - picture from Murd Dunbar


Scene up the Riverside by the Christmas tree that is so familiar with walkers at this time of the year. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr nuair a thig i - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes - Have a great one Gurnshire

Bah humbug factor just about faded totally out and Christmas spirit kicking in. Another mad year nearly in the bag so here's hoping that simple things like group coffee and cake scenes at the alloments can return to something resembling their previous sense of carefree abandon (compared with plague life today). But hope has to be eternal and thoughts out there to everyone out there in Gurnshire and wishing you and our world a better time of it in 2022 when it comes. Have a great one folks


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Happy Solstice Gurnshire!

 Not much light about immediately this morning but hey ho, that's midwinter for you.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Council’s Nairn finance office for sale soon?

Up for discussion at a recent meeting of the Highland Council were a whole host of properties that the Council are having a look at. This kind of thing goes with the name of “Redesign Board – Property Asset Rationalisation.”

One of our regular readers sent us a link to the relevant document and below is a screenshot of the information provided in the report which includes a building that many folk here will instantly recognise.

This observer wonders what will happen to the staff that work there if the building were to be eventually sold when the process eventually concludes? Would their jobs stay in Nairn? Is there room in the Courthouse for them all? Is Highland Council considering to continue with home-working after we get clear of the pandemic? It’s a magnificent building and hopefully it will have a happy future whatever the outcome.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Sandown - second sell-off consultation - Community Councils write joint letter outlining a wide range of concerns around the actions of Highland Council.

A copy of the joint letter from Nairn West and Suburban CC and Nairn River CC has been obtained by the Gurn - if you have been following the controversial issues surrounding the potential sale of the Sandown Lands for development then it is worth getting a cuppa or a dram and taking the following letter into account. If you are unable to enlarge the images then a copy of the letter can be read here. 

 The CCs talk about a "reference group" working with Highland Council. Does anyone know who makes up the membership of that reference group? Given this is the family silver we are talking about shouldn't everything be in the public domain? The Gurn is going to write to Highland Council and ask for details of the reference group and any minutes of their meetings. 

Click on images to enlarge

Friday, December 10, 2021

Christmas trees display, raffle and charity collection in the former Big Bloomers shop on the High Street.

The collection at 47 High Street, old Big Bloomers shop, is in aid of 6 charities, Nairn Rotary, Nairn Museum, Marie Curie, Riding for the Disabled, Erskine and Keeping Nairn Colourful. There is a raffle too, which will be drawn on the 24th. Runs to 28th December, most days 11-4, except Sundays.


Lost Cat Mossside/Tradespark area

Caitlin's cat, Willow, has been missing in the Moss-side/Tradespark area for over a week now.
If you live in or around the Moss-side/Tradespark area, could you please take a moment to check your house, garages, sheds, greenhouses, conservatories, etc, in case she has got shut in. If you see her please pm  Viola Jan MacPhee or Caitlin Roberts on her Nairn Rocks Facebook  post.


Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Elections Modern Apprentice Opportunity - an interesting post with Highland Council

Highland Council say: "We have a Modern Apprentice Post advertised at the moment in our Elections Team are currently looking to hire a motivated individual to work with them in the Inverness area."

Further Details available on the My Job Scotland site.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Nairn Dunbar Golf Course submit application for tree felling.

The felling proposal is out for consultation on the Scottish Forestry website and can be viewed here. 

Below is a screenshot of the total trees they wish to fell over a period of time up to April 2026. On the application you can see comment from Nairn Dunbar and also from Scottish Forestry re restocking. Nairn River Community Council and Highland Council's Forestry officer are statutory consultees. 


Nairnshire Committee Meeting 1st December 2021 - including our four Highland Councillors discussing Draft Development report.

It goes forward now for further consultation and eventually approval or otherwise by the Scottish Government. It includes 20 houses for the Showfield, 30 for Achareidh, 150 for Sandown and 250 for Nairn East. There was also discussion of a letter received by the South Nairn development consortium. 

Auldearn is discussed at 33.38 minutes into the video. Nairn at 35.30 and Cawdor at 43.44. At 45 minutes in the Councillors ask questions of officials before making their decision to approve the current status of the document.

Well worth making a cuppa and having a look at what Nairn's development future might soon look like. 

Council to consider support for households living in fuel poverty: 33% of households in Highland are experiencing fuel poverty compared to the national average of 24% and 22% of all households in Highland are facing extreme fuel poverty, which is nearly double the national average, at 12%."

Highland Council Press Release:

Proposals to provide almost £3m to help households in fuel poverty in Highland this winter will be considered by members at the meeting of full Council on 9 December.

If agreed, a payment of £180 would be made to around 16,440 eligible Highland households where residents are in receipt of means-tested council tax reduction.

33% of households in Highland are experiencing fuel poverty compared to the national average of 24% and 22% of all households in Highland are facing extreme fuel poverty, which is nearly double the national average, at 12%.

The significant recent increases in fuel prices will place even greater pressures on an increased number of Highland residents.

On 29 October 2021, the Scottish Government announced a £41m Winter Support Fund for low-income families which includes £10m nationally to help those struggling to pay their fuel bills. Highland Council is proposing to use an allocation from this fund together with £2m from reserves in order to mitigate the fuel challenges faced by Highland residents this winter.

Leader of Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson, said: “In the light of the clear concerns about extreme fuel poverty in Highland communities, it is imperative that we take immediate action to relieve some of the worst impacts this winter. In the longer term, this dire situation clearly demonstrates the pressing need for a UK wide, strategic review of our energy supply, market and infrastructure.”

Depute Leader Alasdair Christie added: “Living with fuel poverty has far reaching impacts, particularly on health and wellbeing, as well as learning, employment and social networks. I would encourage anyone affected by the stark choices of heating or eating, to seek help and support for a number of providers.”

The Welfare Support Team provides free, impartial and confidential support on fuel insecurity concerns, in addition to offering assistance to check eligibility and submit a claim for all benefits and entitlements. Getting in touch with the Welfare Support Team is the first step to maximising your potential income and managing your money well. They can be contacted by phone on 0800 090 1004 or by e-mail

In addition, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has a specialist team of Energy Advisors who can undertake a range of energy checks which are designed to help with reducing domestic fuel bills. CAB Energy Advisers can be contacted on 01463 237664.

Funding is also available from the Scottish Government, Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Warm Homes Fund for those looking to implement energy efficiency measures within their home such as adding loft, cavity or External Wall Insulation to reduce heat loss and save on annual energy bills. Enquire through (external link)
for more information.

Warm Home Discounts equivalent to £140 per annum off household energy bills are available from some energy suppliers for those on low income. Households are advised to contact their energy supplier to check eligibility.

Monday, December 06, 2021

Christmas isn't a wonderful time for everyone: "More than one in three people in Scotland find energy bills unaffordable"

Recently we published comment from local MSPs on the potential of the Scottish Child Payment to help tackle poverty and we know that the 23% of children live in poverty in the Highlands. The recent research by Citizens Advice Scotland shows just how much deeper money troubles go for many people however and Nairn will be no different from anywhere else - people in our community are struggling and inability to pay bills is no fun at any time of the year but even worse as we head into the pressurised festival of spending that is Christmas these days:

"More than one in three people in Scotland find energy bills unaffordable, according to new polling for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) by YouGov.

The research found 36 per cent of people couldn’t afford their fuel bills. Of these, 80 per cent cited rising energy costs as a reason, with 65 per cent saying the rising cost of living was a problem. Meanwhile, 40 per cent said low incomes was an underlying problem, with 24 per cent stating their home being hard to heat was a factor."

Significant outbreak of COVID-19 linked to event in Nairn

 NHS Highland Press Release:

NHS Highland’s Health Protection Team has identified a significant outbreak of COVID-19 linked to a music event held at the Royal British Legion in Nairn on Saturday 27th November 2021. A small number of those cases have now been identified as cases of the newly identified Omicron variant.

We are keen to provide all those that attended with advice. If you attended this event and have not yet been contacted by NHS Highland’s Health Protection Team or contact tracing team, please self-isolate immediately and contact the team on 01463 704886. 

Enhanced contact tracing has been carried out in keeping with guidance for the management of a new variant. The Omicron variant is a new COVID variant which we are still learning about. Until more is known about it we need to be cautious and do everything we can to prevent spread. As such, the current isolation advice does not apply and close contacts will be asked to isolate for ten days irrespective of their vaccination status and PCR test result. Their households will also be asked to take additional action in order to try to reduce transmission within our communities.

We are working very closely with the staff at the Royal British Legion who have been supporting the outbreak investigation. 

We’d like to remind everyone to follow the guidance in place to keep you and others safe -

Wear a face covering on public transport and in all indoor settings for food and retail; open windows especially if you have people visiting at home; keep washing your hands regularly and thoroughly.

In order to reduce your level of contact with others, please work from home where possible; take regular lateral flow tests – especially before mixing with others outside your household. If you have symptoms, self-isolate and take a PCR test. We would be really grateful for your ongoing support in trying to minimise the risk of spread across Highland

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Today will Nairn's four Highland Councillors approve changes in the Development Plan? "Now the council says in its next 10-year plan that it could allow 290 houses at Nairn East. In total, the recommended development sites in the draft council plan also include Achareidh (30), Farmers’ Showfield East (20), town centre (20) and Sandown (150)."

 More information about the Development Plan meeting of the Nairnshire committee today here on the Courier website and more here on the NRCC site about the position of the Community Councils and the letter they have written to Nairn's Councillors with their concerns about the plan. 

UPDATE: Very interesting debate on this topic on the Nairn our Town Facebook page here.