Monday, May 30, 2011

Centralisation in the Highland Council area – Could the SNP roll it back next May?

It’s not only folk in Nairn that are concerned with the centralisation of power in Inverness. Here’s a tweet by the LibDem Robbie Rowantree.

The former Holyrood candidate, was tweeting his impressions from a recent ward forum in Lairg. The irony of course is that the Highland Council is led by a LibDem/Indy/Lab coalition and it is under LibDem rule that all power has been steadily dripping away to Inverness from places like Nairn. If the SNP were to work out practical ways to give more say back to communities in the Highland Council area then they could be onto a big winner in next year’s May elections.. What would be wrong with giving total control of the Common Good Fund back to the citizens of Nairn for example? It could still be run under the guidance of our elected councillors but with real input from the Community Councils and other members of the community too. When it comes to planning applications in Nairn for the like of Lodgehill Clinic why should anyone from Inverness have a say? Surely communities can decide for themselves on this level of planning?

Anyway a week is a long time in politics and a lot can happen before May. Recently Cllr Glynis Sinclair defected to the SNP after a short spell in the wilderness as an Independent. She was quoted in the Hearald recently:

Sinclair, who was a LibDem before turning independent, said: “It is never easy to change to another political party but it became clear long before the Westminster election that the Liberal Democrats were losing touch and I have long seen that the SNP reflected the values of both myself and my constituents more directly.” More here.

One wonders how many more will follow here before next year’s elections?

In the meantime if the likes of Robbie Rowantree want to stop centralisation in the Highlands then they should be offering practical steps on how to roll back the Glenurquhart Road administration’s policies.

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