Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Sandown Inquiry - Dr Alastair Noble's statement

As previously mentioned it was a good day for the amateurs yesterday, Gurnites might like to read the statement made by Dr Alastair Noble at the Inquiry yesterday:

I think it is essential that we try to understand the concept of the common good as we work to restore some credibility and honesty in the planning and development process.
Pandering to the narrow wishes of “spivs and speculators” has brought us to a massive economic recession and a crisis in public sector financing potentially damaging the provision of essential front line services.
Everybody has to trust and believe that decisions are being made in the common good and not in the vested self interest of speculators or developers. The relationship between individuals, their communities and their political systems are core to that process. Communities depend on long term relationships based on confidence and trust.
Nairn and Ardersier are seen throughout Scotland as a role model for integrated care involving health, local authority/social care, voluntary and private sector working together and meeting the needs of their population. The new multi – user premises are seen as an essential building block in the further development of these services in line with government policy.
Nairn and Ardersier are already at the optimal size for community care to work at its most efficient and value for money. The editorial in the International Journal of Integrated Care says experience has taught us that a scale of approximately 10000 inhabitants is the optimal number. (Appendix 1)
The Tipping Point (appendix 2) and current MBA thinking is that 150 is the maximum number of people who can work in a team .This equates to the number of people working in the integrated team in Nairn and Ardersier.
The importance of this evidence cannot be underestimated. It explains why so many people distrust the planning process as by definition if the proposals go ahead and Nairn doubles in size it will have to reach 20-30000 to have 2 care teams, 2 secondary schools etc and in the long time lag the common good suffers. The true cost of all these developments must be met by some form of double funding. Developer contributions must then be found to double fund the recurrent revenue costs until the population meets its next optimum target.
The recurrent cost in health and local authority care are an essential component of locality planning and the common good. In WHY THE COST CUBE (appendix3) I present some of the true costs of care. Nairn as well as being a tourist town has long been seen as a good place to retire, partly because of its high quality care and has attracted a large elderly population. Based on past population trends extra housing in the absence of jobs will be filled by largely elderly buyers and again under the concept of the common good all the population will find a drop in the quality of their care. Again I would argue most strongly that we should be planning for the common good and being very careful and pragmatic as we plan the future.
The local plan is for 90 houses on a high quality development at Sandown. This phased in with other Nairn housing supply can be coped with. This gross overdevelopment would open the stable door to another “carbuncle award” and that is the last thing that can be seen to be in Nairn’s COMMON GOOD'

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