Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Sheena Baker Inquisition

Tonight Sheena didn’t mess about. She got straight down to business, asking the status of the Council’s loan to the Community centre in regard to the refusal of the Sandown planning application.
Sandy Park replied that there was no change in the status of the loan, a sum in excess of £2,000,000 pounds. At the time the Sandown Lands were the only asset that could be offset against the loan.
Sheena was worried that the debt was being run up even more but according to Sandy the debt was in fact static. Sheena then expanding to take in comments reported in the Nairnshire on the behalf of Mark Cummings of the PR company Invicta that had been employed by the developer. William Gilfinnan told the meeting that there was nothing in the background that wasn’t know about and reiterated that the developer had three options. Earlier he had stated that the developer could appeal, resubmit the application or walk away.
Sheen persisted with her questions, she wanted to know if given the new circumstances if the Highland Council could write off the the loan. Sandy replied that he thought that the Council would expect the money back and if the council were to consider what she had suggested then he believed that they would be very reluctant to do that.
William Gilfinnan on the behalf of the council stated that the asset was still there and it was a marketable commodity.

It was good to see Sheena in action again, she quite often is prepared to ask difficult questions of the local powers that be.


Nairn said...

A small matter of our debt

Both councils and governments are forever borrowing money to fund new projects so it should come as no surprise that Nairn’s community centre arrived with a debt around it’s neck.

It’s a fine building, one, which will be heavily used by the community, but the revelation that it was built with the promise of Sandown monies puts a small but significant dark cloud over the building now that the debt cannot be met.

Nairn would have survived without a new community centre; we would still be here as a town without it, the main use of the building is for Nairn residents rather than tourists. 

But we find ourselves amid the credit crunch with the equivalent of a maxed out credit card, and a redundancy notice.

The only way of paying off the debt has gone for now, what next, declaring Nairn bankrupt? 

True the Sandown sale may come back, but when and for how much? The sale not only has to pay off the community centre but also line the coffers of the common good fund. This is family silver stuff, Nairn hasn’t got much else to hawk.

Much of the populace of Nairn is angered by the Sandown sale, or more precisely the much altered planning proposals that Deveron Homes put forward. 
We are now resigned to the land being sold, but what if Deveron were correct and we do need to plan for a much larger scale development to make the project viable than was originally planned?

Perhaps we need some large glossy photos of the empty Sandown fields placed in the foyer of the community centre to remind us all of the real cost of this building?

Meanwhile I hope that redundant Nairn finds a new job soon!

Jane Harkiss said...

Hear hear! sure I'm beginning to feel the pinch, what with all my ill-gotten gains nearly gone and gotten themselves well & truly gone. I need to go and get myself out there and go 'n get me some more! But, sadly, not too many 'openings' for a artiste of my calibre in Nairn. Will have to re-train. Porn star to...? Community Psychiatric Nurse? Obvious choice. Too obvious, really. Hmmmm...Any ideas?
PS Nothing 2 nasty, please. It's Sunday eve and I am still a tad fragile.