Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Jimmy Ferguson's criticism of Jeanne Tolmie

Part of the contents of an e-mail circulated to NICE members and local Highland Councillors have now found their way into the local mainstream media, that is to say the Nairnshire Telegraph (this week's 16 pager is a belter by the way). At last week's ward forum Jeanne indicated that she was not particularly enamoured with NICE. Now those comments are a bit hard to fathom, especially since she is the chair of a Community Council that is officially supporting NICE. Anyway this is what Jimmy Ferguson (NICE's high heid yin) had to say:

"I was very surprised that Jean Tolmie did not agree with NICE's submission, maybe it was forgotten that the River CC has three active participants in the NICE team who have all made significant and welcome suggestions and afforded a lot of their personal time. It will be very interesting to review Jean's issues and alternative suggestions, I feel it is a shame she has not participated in the any workshops and presentations or fed in to the NICE effort or THC her opinions, they are all equally important."

Now it is worth pointing out that, regardless of her eventual views, Jeanne would not have been able to attend many of the weekly NICE meetings/workshops before Christmas. The great majority of them were held in the Sailing Club and unfortunately Jeanne was effectively excluded by the fact that she is unfortunately no longer able to climb stairs unaided. Jeanne and other disabled individuals, should they have wished to attend those meetings, would have been unable to do so.


Anonymous said...

Surely one of the roles of any Community Council chair is to gather a consensus of opinion from both the public and other Community Councillors. If there were three members from River CC on NICE then surely the Chair should consider their Community Council, and therefore themselves, very well represented.

Perhaps Mrs Tolmie does not value the feedback given to her by her fellow Councillors.

From what I’ve seen and heard, Jim Ferguson has gone out of his way to ensure that everyone was welcome to let NICE know how they felt about their proposals, through meetings, adverts in the Nairnshire , the web site etc….
It would seem that the proposals from the Highland Council and NICE are gradually converging onto sensible common ground I would echo Jim Ferguson’s concerns about Mrs Tolmie’s comments.

Everyone has the right to express an opinion but to have the Chair of a Community Council directly criticise the efforts of a group that have worked hard to move the Town Centre issue forward in a positive manner does very little other than to highlight the underlying negative attitude that often lies just beneath the surface in small town politics.

Graisg said...

I think you are making too much of Jeanne’s ability to be an individual Anon. I myself do not agree with one or two of her positions of local affairs but it is worth remembering that at the end of the day she was elected by the public and came second behind Tommy Hogg in the polls with a large amount of votes.

Furthermore for over thirty years she has been a servant of this community, yes sometimes pissing one or two people off – but sometimes they needed it! She has never claimed a penny in expenses, remember expenses don’t exist for Community Councillors so she comes quite cheap even if her latest decision is perhaps out of tune.
Jeanne isn’t perfect but then neither is NICE – and I say that as a supporter of the group’s aims for the town centre.