Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gritting and other issues: River Community Council meeting 12/01/10

Just a video snapshot for now, more later from last night's meeting.

Some notes from the meeting:

NRCC heard from Norther Constabulary how there had been a significant reduction of crime in the Nairn and Strathspey force area. Where crime has fallen by 12% in the Northern Constabulary generally it has fallen by 22% in this area in the last twelve months. Crime detection rate is now 68% compared to 63% in the force command generally. The constables explained how they were making inroads into youth disorder problems with an educational approach that was making significant dividends. A resident from Church Street, an area that has has experienced disorder problems in the past told the meeting that there had been a great improvement recently. The meeting passed a vote of thanks to traffic warden Sandy Ford and there was some trepidation that his local knowledge and good relationship with the public would be sorely missed. The police intend to attend all community council meetings and will answer questions from the public but would prefer advance notice of the questions sent to the Inspector at the new station.

Jean thanked Margaret Mackintosh, who stood down from the council at the election, for her years of hard work as treasurer. Margaret had hoped to be at the first meeting of the new council but the state of the streets probably kept her at home perhaps?

Liz reported that the vacant post of Harbour master would be filled, contrary to initial fears that the late Alex Taylor's post would be left vacant due to cuts. The post will be an agency position and will shortly be advertised.

There was a long and animated debate about the state of the roads in the town. It was very lively at times and passionate views were heard. You will have read similar views if you are a regular reader of the Gurn. The meeting heard of elderly people that had not left their houses for almost a month for fear of slipping on the paths. You can see the gist of Liz's position in the video. It was reported that mechanical diggers are now scrapping snow and ice from the roads in Queenspark. There were fears that the category system 1,2,3 &4 wasn't being adhered too and even where it was this was leaving large areas with no gritting assistance at all. A dark joke was heard about 'Category 5' areas.

Another lively debate for the Firhall Bridge and support for Riverside campaigner Murd Dunbar who won the backing of the Community Council for his initiative to enable disabled access via ramps over the Firhall bridge, thus opening up both sides of the riverside walks to more members of the community. Good on you Murd, keep going there's a lot of folk out there behind you too!

Graham Marsden promised to further look into issues concerning the Nightclub application for Church Street and promised to report the result of a meeting with the Council's solicitor back to Carol Clark. Graham told the council that he remained vehemently opposed to the application.

Murd once again repeated his gurn about the beech hedge that needs cutting on the brae up to Queen's Park from the railway bridge. The Highland Council really does need to pay more attention to this hedge, especially given the narrow pavement and the speed and numbers of cars moving on the Cawdor Road here. Numbers of cars that will only increase as more facilities move into the new hospital building.

There was a discussion on planning matters and the extent to which the community council should involve itself on applications in housing schemes etc. Tommy Hogg was of the opinion that they should pay a little more attention citing the occasions when people complain to the council after the event. Others were more reticent - a debate that will no doubt continue.

That's about it as remembered by this correspondent. No doubt more will appear in the local press but why not make a belated New Year resolution to attend at least one community council meeting yourself in 2010?

UPDATE Snow clearing in Queen's Park:

Two pictures of the contractors at work here and here.


Iain said...

Well done The Gurn. Got to be a first.
PS. I'd remove the first comment as it's a spoof comment linked to a dubious web site.

Graisg said...

Thanks Iain, removed that comment.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Neil guy that Liz refers to on the video? Is he employed by the Council? His advice regarding grit bins seems a bit high handed, surely they are a cheaper option than waiting on gritting squads (council or private contractors) to turn up? There are a few Grit bins about the town and I've never seen them vandalised.

Graisg said...

This could be the Neil guy, half way down this page.

Surely it shouldn't be about what Mr Gillies or any other official wants but what communities and their elected representatives want?
Yes indeed anon the bins could well turn out the cheapest option.

Jingle said...

If they can source funding of over £200,000 for the Firhall Bridge.
Surely some new Grit Bins and a top up of salt,would be a doddle,or would

Graisg said...

Come on Jingle, the Firhall Bridge is all yours, fixed for access and ready to roll for less than £20,000.
The report tells the story, and the funding wouldn't be from the Council either :-)

Jingle said...

Yes,for Twenty Thousand it could well be rolling down the river.