Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rathad a’ Mhagha – Maggot Road, the citizens take over the meeting (just for a moment)

More than a little peeved perhaps that three of the Highland Councillors present weren’t really responding to their representations the non-council members of the forum and those on the public benches (oh yes, plus Liz) just did their own thing and called for a show of hands. ‘All those in favour of Maggot Road!.’

Those in favour easily carried it and Sandy and the other two members agreed to take the ‘consultation’ into account but at present the decision they have made stands as ‘Riverside flats leading to Maggot Road’, a name which sounds more like lengthy directions rather than that of a road. It will be interesting to see if the councillors go the whole way and give up on their desire to supplant a local name with something more politically correct. If they do they may regret the day very much because the strong feeling that was represented in the chamber is echoed very much on the streets and although they may pass some unpopular motions in what remains of their term of office it may be that the Maggot Road decision will come back to haunt them more than anything else should they wish to ignore the will of the community. To be fair the three councillors did listen intently and Sandy made reference to the possible Gaelic origins of the word Maggot.

We seem to be in a slightly different era in Nairn now, people are getting more involved as witnessed by the Sandown Campaign, the MacLean Court fight etc, etc. There seems to be a new militancy in the population, dating perhaps from the explosive scenes at the Sainsbury’s hearing last June and topped up very much by the ‘Can we have our town back please’ letter from Iain Fairweather in October. People want to make their point of view known and the desire to retain the name Maggot Road has become in itself another powerful local campaign. ‘We need to get Joanna Lumley up here’ said someone from the public benches, in jest yes but with a very serious side to the comment. ‘People power’ is alive and well in Nairn. Get involved Gurnites, let’s make our town what we want it to be not what the Highland Council sees fit for us. Our elected councillors will have to do our bidding if they want to get back in at the next elections.

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