Picture will enlarge - it is an image of a half-page advert appearing in the Nairnshire today.
There is a broad consensus against the Plan B ‘Berlin Wall’ of flats proposed by Highland Council along the A96 in the town centre. The trick for NICE is to coherently harness that willing constituency into positive action to take things forward. There is agreement about what isn’t wanted but what does everyone want instead? Will NICE appear an attractive, credible outfit capable of gathering a public mandate to go further?
Much will depend on their presentation of the consultation data they have gathered thus far and any alternatives they present, including funding. And it is here they might fall into the massive trap that Iain Bain and many others think has been set for them in the form of the local authority telling NICE to go away and come up with money. Will the wider constituency against the Council’s Plan B want to sign up for the long haul and take things in that direction? Perhaps they will be content just to send more warning shots in the direction of Highland Council in the hope that something decent will emerge when the Council return at the end of January with their new plan?
Whatever happens a large turnout is necessary on Monday night – even if NICE goes no further a large crowd will focus the minds of Messrs Sandy, Laurie and Graham (our local government administration rulers) as time moves on towards the elections in May 2012. A really good scheme for the town centre might be one way they could win back a bit of good karma?