There were around 40 people present yesterday evening in the Community Centre for what was effectively the re-launch of NICE. A lot of stuff was said, (some of it would have been familiar to the previous intake last year) and there seems to be a desire to move forward towards establishing a Community Interest Group to move the aims of the organisation forward. There was a mannie there from The Development Trust Association who made a lot of comments that seemed to please the NICE directors and the troops. It seems Scottish Government policy that is heading towards becoming legislation will be favourable to the aims of groups like NICE. The DTA mannie said that the Scottish Goverment had promised a bill called the Community empowerment and renewable bill, he continued: “that is all about empowering communities to achieve things for their own community. And what this bill is all about will be giving new rights and new responsibilities to try and overcome some of the obstacles...Basically what I’m saying is what your are trying to achieve , the Scottish Government Policy at the highest level, the ministers and the civil servants are also wanting to go in that direction.”
As said previously there was a lot of points of view but here’s two that stuck out to this observer:
One wifie said:
“I don’t think it’s good enough to say that people have the opportunity to be members of NICE. I think you have to be quite proactive in reaching out to different sections of the community. There are some people that will never come to a meeting like this, this meeting is quite exclusive. So I think you need to be pro-active in involving different aspects of the Nairn Community and you might never get a consensus but you need to be seen to have reached out to people and meet them on their own terms rather than expecting them to come here to you.”
Iain Fairweather said a little later: “It’s good if we can bring as many people with us but I don’t think we need their permission if they don’t want to come with us...Certainly if we can get the Community Councils to come with us great, but there’s an opportunity here to set something up that will do something different but has the potential to do something different, government mechanisms are in place to help us to do something different so there’s an opportunity to try and that’s maybe as far as we can go tonight and I think we should grasp it.”
There will be another meeting next month and the new working groups will report back, including one for Bus Station issues, notably the supermarket and flats proposal and there will be an attempt to contact the developer. At the meeting it emerged that the Sports Club had been trying to acquire the site for an indoor tennis court - a facility that is badly needed in the North it seems.
UPDATE: due to the nature of comments being received on this post that are not suitable for publication that facility has now been closed. Debate is perhaps needed now but a digital stushie will get nowhere.