Sunday, December 04, 2011

Local Press Review

This weeks Nairnshire (Nov 29th) makes use of the debates at the recent meeting of the new Nairn West Community Council. This observer was wondering what might be a good snappy quick nickname to use for them? Westifarians? Westenders? Westlifers? Westies? Rosemary’s People? Do Gurnites have any other suggestions?

So the front page of the Nairnshire contains comments from Graham Kerr and this new community council is straight into some of the major issues that affect motorists and pedestrians in the town centre and particularly along the A96. Nice work Graham, keep going and let’s get a few issues resolved here. This observer looks forward to more campaigns à la Regal. Thanks expressed too to Graham Vine, who is widely credited with restarting the moribund council but when it came to the crunch he was rejected at the ballot box in his bid for a second term of office. Will the West’s Churchillian figure resign himself to the wilderness or will he still play a role in local politics? It seems he may still linger around as he had strong words for River CC on their objection to the extension of a covered area at the Braeval. The Nairnshire reports that West are also, unlike River, still opposed to the bus station plan. Is it time for a United Nations peace keeping team to mediate between the two councils before these border incidents get out of hand? The last thing we need in Nairn would be a planning Class War on the traditional them and us demarcation lines.

Good too to see the Westifarians demanding action on doggie jobbies. Brian Stewart is subscribing to the school of thought, also supported by the Gurn, that the canine turds become more evident as the dark nights draw in. The cover of darkness hiding some individuals' lack of social responsibility.

Yes lots of good stuff in this week’s Nairnshire and the special pre-Christmas treat of a biting editorial attacking the Nairnshire Partnership “reinvention”. Iain Bain puts the boot in one more time. “We need something in Nairn to replace the structures of local government lost in “reform” but it isn’t the present Nairn Partnership.” What could we have instead Gurnites? How about a single Royal Burgh of Nairn Community Council? That would be NICE for Christmas wouldn’t it?


APTSec said...

Can community councils not still co opt members?

Graisg said...

Yes up to a certain number and then they can have non-voting associate members I believe. It's all in the new constitution that the Highland Council drew up for all the Councils to abide by after the November elections.

Marjory said...

Lose the 'royal' - antithesis of democracy.

Threedom said...

The call for one Nairn Community Council is a plea that is often made on the pages of the Gurn, yet the development at the bus station shows that the community can be divided over some if not all issues, and therefore three CC's in Nairn allow for everyone's voice to be both heard and represented.

One council would see a filter of opinion and surely a decrease in the democracy that we all currently enjoy with our three CC's

One Nairn CC might be seen as a force to measure up to the likes of HC in Inverness, but I would suggest that it would be a diluted voice in terms of truly representing the feelings of all communities in Nairn

Anonymous said...

Lose the 'Burgh' - not a Burgh

Anonymous said...

How about 'Westarebesters' ? 'Weknowbesters' ? or even Westlife, after that popular group who have now split up !

Graisg said...

"A royal burgh was a type of Scottish burgh which had been founded by, or subsequently granted, a royal charter. Although abolished in 1975, the term is still used in many of the former burghs"

And that's what wikipedia says :-)
Use it or lose it or use what you like? No seriously, other places use Royal Burgh or Burgh and if Nairn wants to use that why not?

salt tyre said...

As we head towards an independent Scotland 'Royal' would seem to warrant a nod to a bygone age of which it would be nice to be free (including the Crown Estate)
The queen would be very welcome to visit the new borough of Nairn to look at her former kingdom and all her now happy ex subjects

Graisg said...

I would be surprised if a newly independent Scotland did not maintain its link to the monarchy and would also imagine that Nairn would be one of the places where members of the Royal family would be most welcome. The Gurn doesn't claim to have its finger totally on the pulse but will bet QE2 still has her job in Scotland after the champagne corks pop and the fireworks go off as the referendum goes the way the First Minister wants it.
We are not Panda-ring to any agenda here by the way.

Toon Loon said...

Threedom's observations are right:

"the development at the bus station shows that the community can be divided over some if not all issues"

but I'd suggest that his conclusions are wrong:

"therefore three CC's in Nairn allow for everyone's voice to be both heard and represented...."

The problem with three separate CCs is that such an arrangement discourages, and even prevents, a collective effort to reach consensus. At worst, it leads to paralysis. Even where there is common ground (for example, all the CCs want to see the town centre improved and the bus station redeveloped), the existence of three separate CCs often leads to each one taking a different position (even when the differences are only slight, or about points of detail).

Of course this then gives scope for commentators (not excluding the Gurn!) to highlight the differences. Might make for more controversial headlines, but it's bad for the town.

Worse than that, because there is no consensus and divided voices, either nothing happens.... or the Council, getting no clear message, simply ends up ignoring the CCs and imposing their own proposals. Then of course everyone moans!

Surely we can do better than that? A single CC would at least provide a town-wide forum where the variety of views on any issue can be discussed. We could get away from the "not-in-my-patch" attitude, and with luck and goodwill, a joint meeting, or a single CC, would be able to come up with compromise solutions or agreed positions that everyone can live with.

The point about this whole process is to reach conclusions and deliver improvements which are good for the whole town, rather than engage in factional rivalry. If other (and sometimes bigger) towns - like Dingwall, Forres, Fort William, Elgin - can manage this, why can't Nairn?

Anonymous said...

Threedom said "in terms of truly representing the feelings of all communities in Nairn"

Do any of the organisations or individuals actually do that? Or do most of them just represent their own opinions?