Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Gurn backs calls for a single community council for the Royal Burgh of Nairn

At last night's River Community Council meeting in the Laing Hall (again a very lively affair - more reports this week if time allows) there was a suggestion put forward from the public that like Forres and Tain, Nairn should have one community council that would run the Royal Burgh and take control of functions like appointing the Provost.

There was a brief discussion there and then and a further longer discussion when another member of the public raised the issue again in AOCB. The proposal was well received by members of the public and some community councillors though there was an opinion expressed by the chair that the experience of the existing councils would be lost in such a shake up.

The Gurn can only see benefits coming from such an organisation that would be able to breathe new life into the 'Royal Burgh' and carve out an identity for our town in the face of the ever-increasing domination of Inverness. Why should it be Highland Councillors that appoint our Provost, control our Common Good fund etc? More members of the Community should be involved. Many people have no respect for Highland Council and want an organisation that will react to their needs, an organisation that will take forward the aspirations of our community, that will do what the community wants and not what Highland Council want. People want the democratic deficit sorted - the deficit that is the chasm that opened up between us and local government when Nairn District Council was put to death. A community council for the Royal Burgh of Nairn would do that. It would invigorate our community and would be a fantastic marketing tool for Nairn's image in the world - an image that already has received a fantastic boost thanks to Tilda Swinton and the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams.
Nairn has resourceful people and Nairn is a caring community. Nairnites are very worried about the future and what is happening to their town and many feel that the Highland Council no longer represents them. The Gurn believes that in the eyes of the majority the Highland Council has blown it. We're not talking here about the basic services they provide like the bins and education but even there you will find criticism, the Gurn believes that generally a lot of jobs are done very well and there are some sterling local characters on the workforce. No, we are talking here of the ability of the Highland Council to represent the will and spirit of the people of Nairn and the hinterland beyond. We don't think that the Highland Council can ever do that 100% simply because, unfortunately, our councillors have to go to Glenurquhart Road and make deals that are not always in our best interests - it is just the nature of the local government beast that is the Highland Council.

Please Nairn community councillors, Suburban and River, step forward and take the opportunity to give Nairn a collective voice in the world, a voice that we can all respect and put our collective will and skills behind. Let's take Nairn forward. We don't have to be subservient to the will of Highland Council. Let's take things into our own hands and keep Nairn the wonderful place that it is.

1 comment:

Gairnite said...

I profess shamefully that I have rarely attended either community council but whilst I can see the benefits of one united body would be afeared for what might be lost, time for discussion might be one? The weight of two bodies?
The community of Nairn having more say is indeed a very appealing thought though, and if there is less time for debate maybe more actions would occur?
Real local input to our councillors would be excellent, mind you would anyone want the job to argue on our behalf rather than just capitulate to other members of the council? We have already seen several allegiances both formed and broken within our Highland council, maybe Nairn could declare independence?
I hope more comes of this idea of more local involvement and just for once would start attending meeting of a local council.
Folk voted with their feet to let their feelings be known about the Sainsbury's application, let us keep that momentum rolling