Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 5 November 2009

Highland Council - rubbish telephone information from Nairn 'service point'

(Please see UPDATES at end.)

I decided to call up Highland Council's 'Nairn Service Point' at the telephone number given in the telephone book (01667 458500) to ask for a couple of pieces of information and spoke to a lady who, it transpired during the conversation, is not actually in Nairn - I assume she was speaking from the Council's HQ in Glenurquhart Road in Inverness, but I'm not absolutely certain.

Nairn Recycling Centre
The first item of business was to find the opening times of the Nairn Recycling Centre, located a few miles from Nairn on the Granton-on-Spey road - from the relatively few occasions I have visited it in the past, I am aware that it is closed on some weekdays and don't want to make a wasted journey. But I think I'm going to have to make an[other] exploratory trip to make sure, before wasting time loading up the car with all the bulky items I want to dispose of. The lady on the telephone line seemed pleasant enough, but I suspect may have been confused by my mention of Nairn, but that it was on the Granton-road. She told me the opening times are 9am-3pm on Saturday and Sunday only; I asked her to check and she went and asked someone, but came back and repeated what she had already told me. I've now gone into the website and eventually found this page, which shows the winter opening times as 10am-4.30pm Wednesday through Sunday, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays; this sounds more believable. (Please see the 'PS/' at the end.)

Time on clock on tower of Nairn Townhouse
Graisg of the 'A Gurn from Nurn' blog pointed out last week that the time on the clock had not yet been adjusted to show GMT instead of BST, now that we have gone back to winter time-keeping. I can see the clock-tower from my home and it still shows the wrong time, one hour ahead of current actual time. I asked the lady on the telephone when it would be changed to show the correct time; she asked me to confirm which town I was in. I asked her if she was in Nairn and she said no, but she would pass the message on. She asked me for my postcode, which I gave her. Then she asked me for my address and name; I asked her why she wanted to know. She simply then repeated her question. I asked her why, again. She then said "You mean you don't want to tell me?" - I said, no I didn't mind, but I wanted to know why she was asking as I am simply a Nairn-resident and a Council Tax payer who was pointing out that their clock is wrong. She then said she would pass on the message to the relevant people in Nairn.

I will probably take a drive out to the recycling centre this afternoon to see whether the information given me on the telephone is accurate, or whether that shown in the website is better. I'll be observing the Nairn clock-tower to see how long it takes Highland Council to 'get with the programme' and adjust the Nairn clock to show the correct time.

I'm left decidedly unimpressed by Highland Council.

PS/ I took a trip out to the Nairn Recycling Centre this afternoon, to prepare for a journey back there in a few days time with items for disposal, and as expected the timings shown in the Highland Council website are the ones to take notice of, not what I was told on the telephone this morning by the so-called 'service point':

UPDATE: (Friday 6NOV09 16.55 GMT) As the clock on Nairn Townhouse still shows the incorrect time (although perhaps my telephone message to the 'Nairn Service Point' yesterday hasn't yet reached the relevant person) I decided to try and make sure that my message would definitely reach the appropriate people by contacting Nairn Provost Liz MacDonald. Accordingly this afternoon I have sent her an email through the Highland Council website and, as her telephone number is also listed in the website, I took the opportunity to telephone her to let her know, in case she had not spotted the deficiency herself; in the event she had not. We had a brief, but very cordial, conversation and she confirmed she would let the relevant people know next week. Obviously nothing will happen this weekend, nor would I expect it to, but I do hope that during next week the clock will finally be brought into line with the current time in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

2nd UPDATE: (Monday 9NOV09 19.30 GMT) I just checked and the clock on Nairn Townhouse remains one hour ahead of the rest of country.

3rd UPDATE: (Monday 9NOV09 23.10 GMT) Graisg has just left a comment about the latest information appearing in this week's Nairnshire. It seems it may, for technical reasons, be some time before the Townhouse clock can be adjusted.

4th UPDATE: (Friday 13NOV09 02.15 GMT) The Nairn Townhouse clock was finally adjusted to the correct time yesterday. I was away from home for most of the day yesterday, so became aware of this development only late-ish in the evening and of course I've been watching the Glasgow North East by-election result for the Westminster seat - Labour won with a pretty healthy majority of 8,000+, so there's no real surprise, except perhaps to some SNP zealots (aka fantasists). If Labour hadn't won here then they really would have been finished, but there's still the hope/expectation that they'll be 'slaughtered' at the next GE. Anyway, well done to Highland Council for getting the clock adjusted, even if it was a mere(irony alert!) 18 days late.


  1. It is inconceivable that the council employees housed beneath the clock and our town councillors do not know that the clock is wrong, isn't it?

  2. One might have thought so, but perhaps it is ostrich syndrome ...

    (I really should be chastised, for I had one of the Councillors here earlier this week so could easily have dropped it into conversation. Doh!)

  3. I'm begging to think that the Highland Council don't have anyone capable of fixing the clock? If a request from the Provost gets no instant action then there is obviously a very profound problem here.

  4. Well, no doubt they're busy people and after all Councillor Liz may be elected, but the council staff are there more or less forever so will probably get around to it in their own good time, say mid-March next year, lol. But seriously, I'll give them 'til the end of the week and see what the situation is then, although I'll try and post an update each evening.

  5. More information Bill.
    This week's Nairnshire reports that the clock refuses to budge and there is also a problem with the chimes. The clock needs specialist attention.
    Lousie Clark is quoted
    'It has been reported to our Clerk of Works and we are hopeful that we can get a clockmaker to visit soon to fix it.'

  6. Thanks Graisg for the update - I'll no doubt be reading the Nairnshire tomorrow ('fraid I'm not one of those who queues up to get it 'hot off the press' ;) )


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