West Community Council met last night (Wednesday) for their first meeting of the year. One of the items on the agenda was their submission to the forthcoming “Charette” planned by Highland Council to lay out a masterplan for Sandown. You can’t talk about Sandown without talking about Common Good issues. Gurnites it looks like Common Good matters will be biting the local Highland Councillors who are part of the
New West Councillor Bill Young was forthright in his condemnation of the way the Common Good Fund is being run by Highland Council he said:
“I think there’s a huge conflict of interest between the Highland Council’s duties as Highland Councillors and their trusteeship of the Common Good Fund and the two are getting hopelessly intermixed and hopelessly conflicted.”
Bill wants to see no development at Sandown until the Fund is back under local control when asked by Rosemary what he would like to see happen at Sandown he said: “I would suggest absolutely nothing until we get the Common Good Fund back under local control.”
Bill's views on the Common Good were warmly welcomed by his fellow councillors and members of the public present. This observer suspects that the majority of Gurnites would support Bill’s stance too. He believes the Sandown Lands should not be sold and that there is no reason to sell them. Gurnites will know that Highland Council of course need to get some cash in to pay off the Community Centre debt. But it was Highland Council that run up these debts not the people of Nairn – why should we (through our Common Good Fund) be responsible for the debts left behind when Highland Council’s “preffered bidder” development for Sandown blew up in their faces and not a penny came in to pay off the Community Centre? Were we as a community ever asked if we wanted to sell the land (all of it) for development?
West are to seek the thoughts and support of River and Suburban Councils on getting the Common Good Fund back into community control. Dick Youngson was also at the meeting on the behalf of Suburban Community Council and River CC member Mike Henderson was also there in a personal capacity.
Maybe 2012 will be the year the Common Good Trusteeship comes back to Nairn for good?
UPDATE: links to 4 previous Gurn articles concerning the Common Good Fund and the debts incurred have now been posted in the comments below.