Wednesday, August 19, 2009

West folk

Another meeting on Tuesday night for the baby of the Nairn community council bunch but you wouldn’t have realised this to see the way things were running smoothly with a wide range of topics being discussed. The Westerners were getting to grips with the Sandown and the Delnies projects. The proposed developments will obviously have an impact on their area especially if the residents of the new schemes look for rat runs through the West End. The West councillors like their suburban counterparts are supporters of development but not at any price and they decided that they would join the Sandown objectors at the public inquiry as the issue would not be about development per se on Sandown but the Deveron proposal itself. Bill Shand was also at the meeting and he was of the opinion that nothing substantial could go ahead until Nairn had a bypass in situ. Seonaid Armstrong reminded the meeting of the numbers of homes involved, 550 for Sandown and 300 for Delnies and the impact that car ownership of all those potential residents could have on the West of the town and the rest of the community in general.
Another issue connected with development is of course sewage and the meeting had hoped to have a representative from the Petty and Ardersier community council as they would be at the receiving end of all the new sewage produced by the new communities. Unfortunately the Ardersier rep was unable to attend. Councillor Laurie Fraser was in attendance however and added to the conversation with asked, bringing the benefit of his years of experience as a Highland and previously Nairn District councillor to the meeting. Laurie can get a bit of stick at times, just like his three colleagues, but he certainly is good at his game given half a chance and his insights are often very perceptive, helpful and revealing.
The West members had hoped to attract a larger attendance to the meeting but it was pointed out to them that it was par for the course for community councils to have small turn-outs until something happened that affected large members of the community and then rooms and halls could soon fill up with citizens seeking help.
There was more conversation about a single community council for Nairn (one of the raisons d’ĂȘtre of the resurrected West CC). Graham Vine told his colleagues that he had been told that the Highland wide consultation on community councils would begin sooner than expected but would take longer than expected. An extremely complicated process of consultation and re-consultation looks as though it will take 18 months plus. In the meantime there were various suggestions as to how the 3 councils could work together and become (de facto) a single council in all but name and thus be ready for the end of the process. It could be interesting times in the near future Gurnites, should the make-up of the River Council change in the end of year elections and become more supportive of the link-up, then could Nairn’s community councils declare a sort of UDI and form a single council for the town anyway? A move that would surely be endorsed by the town’s four Highland Council members and receive massive public backing and goodwill?
Sadly news too of a renewed threat to the Maclean Court day care facility and the West CC are to write a letter supporting the centre. A call from Jimmy Ferguson for an enforcement of the dog ban on the central beach, tempered with a plea for information to holiday makers, telling them where they can take walk their dogs. There was more, much more and once again a main stream media representative was there. They always make such a better job of recording the whole thing than the Gurn, so if you’re going out on the ran-dan this weekend make sure to save yourself 40p so you don’t miss out on all the details on Monday night or Tuesday morning when the most important paper in the North once again hits the local newsstands.
The west folk – doing their bit you!

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