Monday, January 31, 2011

Analysing the Editorial – Licensing Control

As we wait with growing excitement for the next issue of the Nairnshire. (just after 8 p.m. in the Co-op for the hardcore), let’s look back at last week’s editorial.

Iain Bain doesn’t hold back when it comes to criticising Inverncentric policies and once again he was alerting readers to this process and the problems it brings us here in Nairn. Gurnites will of course know that Liz was recently refused permission to speak to the Licensing Board. There is now no Nairn representative on the Board. Further information on Liz being refused permission to speak available in analogue: “Councillor MacDonald hits out at being ‘humiliated by Licensing chairman.” Nairnshire 18/01/11.

Ian Bain begins his editorial: “The control of licensed premises is an important aspect of local authority and it is one which is slipping from view below the Nairnshire horizon.”

It is quite incredible really that this important function has disappeared from the second biggest town in the Highlands. Why didn’t our three administration councillors (Sandy, Laurie, and Graham) stop it. Are they content to see important parts of Nairn’s identity as a civic unit slip away?

Further into his editorial Iain states:

Cllr Park has suggested that the local licensing court meetings of yore were short but even if they were apparently perfunctory in their brevity there is potential for local implication. These are matters which deserve to be overviewed at the local level, at the moment for instance there are arguments over curfews in Nairn which appear to have been misunderstood by those who administer the Inverness based board. This is the nightmare of civic ignorance that Nairn people fear from over-zealous council centralisation.”

An editorial well worth a read if you haven’t done so already. This observer believes the majority will agree with Iain Bain's analysis. The question is what can we do to get some power back in Nairn? One major move forward would be to get a Town Council (possible in a flash by combining the three community councils), to counter the centralising pull of Inverness. The only trouble is it is our Highland Councillors that will decide on Community Council review, will they let Nairn have that or will they prefer Nairn's potential strong civic voice and identity divided into three separate parts?

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3 comments:

Duncan said...

At local government reorganisation in the mid 1990s, it was the view of the Nairn District Council Chief Executive, Alan Kerr, that Nairn would be better off being adjoined to the Moray Council rather than the Highland Council. I often think he was right.

Brian @ MyNairn.com said...

The three councils should just join together and declare themselves as the new town council and open for elections in the new body. Where's the point in claims of "local democracy" when you have to fight walls of bureaucracy just to get your voices heard? I doubt they're fighting for *that* in Egypt, yet we seem to consider it acceptable. It is only acceptable so long as it is tolerated. :)

Graisg said...

An article in the Nairnshire tonight on this subject Brian.
This observer believes that the people of Nairn want a single council for the reasons you suggest.
It would be a tragedy if this opportunity were missed.
Divide and rule will only favour the Invercentrics and not Nairn. Nairn will face many challenges as the cuts bite and we will need to do more for ourselves. A single town council - Burgh of Nairn CC - would be the perfect organisation to organise that.
Nairn needs a single united voice!