Tuesday, May 31, 2011

John Mackie attacks secrecy at joint Community Council meetings

Recently we reported the fact that the meeting held in the Courthouse on the 11th of May for the three Community Councils excluded the public. There was a press release later however but a lot of what was said at that meeting will never be reported and it is a pity because the public have a right to know (and if they wish, witness) what their Community Councillors are saying on their behalf and how they back up their decisions - especially when it comes to deabte into how this tier of local government is organised in the town. In November the three councils will be up for election, if there are enough candidates then there will be elections. Isn't it only right and proper then that all the actions of all existing community councillors should be open to press and public scrutiny to help the electorate when it comes to making their mind up as to who to vote for?

At the Suburban meeting in the Academy this evening (Tues 31st May) it was reported that the West, River and Suburban Councils would meet four times a year to discuss matters of importance to Nairn (the next best thing to a single council for the town or simply a powerless talking shop - you decide!). Anyway it emerged that there would be another meeting in private first to set up the agenda and the ground rules. Now, you wouldn't exactly have had to buy a ticket on the black market for such an event but it would have attracted a few of the usual suspects and maybe some others that might have seen it advertised. It was agreed at the last (secret) meeting that this next one will not be open to the public too. Why not for goodness sake? The public have every right to be there. One person that will not be there unless there is a last minute change of heart is Cllr John Mackie of Suburban. He said:

"I wasn't at that meeting, and I'm not going to that closed one either. I make that quite plain now, unless it is an open meeting I won't be there. I'm totally against it. "

Well said John Mackie, there is no more need for any secrecy, let the people of Nairn witness the debate if they wish. If there is to be a joint Forum of the three Community Councils then it has to be built on a credible foundation.


Anonymous said...

do community councillors get paid . if they do lets not bother!

Graisg said...

No there is no salary and most of them probably end up out of pocket with the cost of phone calls etc.
When you look at the calibre of the like of Dick Youngson on suburban for example you will see that you are getting very good value for money compared with the 16k+? for Highland Councillors.
Like them or loathe them they are providing their services for free. If anyone else is interested there will be elections for all three Community Councils in Nairn in November. If more people stand and there are actually proper elections instead of candidates being returned unopposed then these organisations would have more legitmacy and thus so would any forum or joint statements they could make.
This observer still feels that a single CC for Nairn is the only way forward for the town however in the face of the Invercentric Highland Council and all the other problems we face or will face in the cash-strapped future.
If you agree stand as a candidate backing a single council in the area you live in (West, Suburban, River)in November).
Become a NIMBI
NIMBI = Now I must become involved

J Assange said...

Sounds like we need Wikileaks in Nairn, anyone got a bit of space on their Lady Gaga CD-R?