Friday, December 16, 2011

Worst case scenario - what could we do in Nairn to mitigate circumstances?

The media is not full of Christmas cheer at the moment:
"IMF head Christine Lagarde has said the world economic outlook is "gloomy" and no country is immune from rising risks.She said all nations, starting with Europe, needed to head off a crisis with risks of a global depression.
"There is no economy in the world immune from the crisis that we not only see unfolding but escalating," she said.
"It is going to be hopefully resolved by all countries, all regions actually taking action." More from the French wifie on the BBC site.

If the proverbial has to hit the fan, then hopefully it can be postponed until at least after Christmas. The Highlands and Nairn will not escape it if it happens but what steps could we take to look out for each other if the worst case scenario came to be? How could we maximise what would be left of Nairn's economic potential? Are there ways we could ensure that money spent in Nairn continues to revolve around the local economy?

This observer thinks a weekly street market might help with stalls only for residents of Nairnshire that make or grow things within the County boundaries. Obviously the more you could support local businesses the better. Maybe local supermarkets could be persuaded to take more local produce or even tell us what they would like to see grown locally? Would a local currency be of some use in promoting trade amongst ourselves? Here's the Stroud Pound site, an example of a succesful local currency. Is it time we had a Credit Union in Nairn to finance people with the small scale loans that banks are not interested in? They have one in Forres. Could we create some community businesses to employ people? Even if that work were only on a voluntary basis at least it would have a constructive effect.

Events of recent years have demonstrated that we cannot rely on an "Invercentric" local authority to take the lead for us. The interests of Highland Council do not always dovetail with the interests of our community. If we are to mitigate the effects of the gathering economic storm then we have to rely on each other. We are lucky that we have many active groups in the town that have a history of working together for the benefit of the community. We have three active community councils in Nairn and more in the County that could, perhaps, initiate projects that might harness the expertise in our community for the benefit of all. Perhaps they could do it individually or together through the Royal Burgh Community Council Forum. Then there's NICE, could that group now really rise to the occasion and become a force for the "Common Good", that could utilise assets the town owns to create wealth and employment for the community? We really are all in this together. Can we be daring enough to swim against the current and make Nairn an even stronger community? Do any Gurnites have thoughts on how we might endure what possibly/probably is before us?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree but..

Market stalls are fine providing they are not full of useless tat!

I would love to see a farmers market with produce that they grow seasonally.

Thats what I call local produce and would luv to see some farmers with the incentive to give it a try

Fishertoonloon

Green Dad said...

Great ideas, Gurn. Yes, we need to get back to communities taking decisions for themselves. And authorities need to work harder at making local communities stronger.

Local markets, food production, etc are exactly the way we should be heading.

I'd be wary of encouraging supermarkets though. Something grown in Nairn probably has to travel hundreds of miles to be processed and packed before the supermarket will stock it.

Cheaper, more frequent and more accessable public transport must also be called for. Our representatives seem fixated on a bypass but what are they doing meantime to help those who can't afford to run a car/don't drive/prefer not to drive? Zilch.

Inverness will always be a bit of black hole that sucks everything in so let's at least make it affordable and sustainable to get there when want.

Oh, and someone needs to restore the chime on the courthouse clock.

local shopper said...

A weekly market is a nice idea, but I fear for the majority of shoppers it's too late. They have grown used to 24/7 shopping and would probably reject the idea of a weekly shop for their fruit and veg.
I'm afraid many people are money driven and unless the market producers could provide cheap food they would be onto a loser as local and fresh are not what many people want or consider when doing their food shop. Price is the name of the game

The saving grace for local producers might be the increasingly high transport costs with much of our food being shipped from the south and some of it sourced from the far corners of the earth

It would be good if a Nairn initiative for a local market could be started though. There just might be one or two farmers who could get together to grow food if there is a demand. I suspect however that the local box schemes cater for the local food market, much easier to manage than a market stall as well

According to this report organic sales are down but local food interest is growing

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/dec/15/organic-food-drink-sales-slump

Anonymous said...

What utter nonsense ! Support your local Co-op. Have you ever met a poor farmer ? I think not