At the Suburban Community Council meeting last night the latest goings on in the long running Common Good Fund stushie were made public. John Hart told the meeting:
“The original start point was a the Charrette opening, Jim MacKinnon the Chief Planner (Scottish Government), did point up with William Gilfillan that we would have a meeting between the Community Councils, ward Councillors and himself(WG) to discuss the Common Good and he asked us for an agenda which we submitted and agreed amongst ourselves, which suggested that the Common Good should be run by the community councils so there is a separation between the decision making and the managing. That agenda was rejected with the suggestion that the meeting would be a waste of time.”
John that said that an attempt was made to hold a meeting anyway with the four councillors. He continued: “On Monday I still hadn’t heard anything so I sent an e-mail to Mr MacKinnon saying we still hadn’t got a meeting and that matters relating to the Common Good as they are managed and as it’s been seen by people to be poorly managed we hadn’t moved further forward, having had the 1st March meeting effectively cancelled and out of the blue a few hours later after my e-mail an e-mail came from Louise Clark saying there was a meeting on the 5th of March of all the community councillors – that’s all 30 of us in the Courthouse at 7.p.m on the 5th at which they are going to do a presentation on what they have or haven’t done with the common good and we’ll see what that brings."
Brian Stewart expressed that the forthcoming meeting might be a “Death by Powerpoint” event and it should not be the Highland Council lecturing the community but rather them listening to the community.
There was then some considerable discussion on matters which serious gurnite students of common good affairs will be au fait with. It did emerge that there had been some confusion between the three CCs over the formation of the agenda but Tommy Hogg indicated that he was generally happy with the final result. There was talk of whether a meeting should go ahead before the new Highland Council is formed after the 3rd of May elections given that faces and policy may well change. Alistair Noble was forthright in the view that all 3 CCs should be present in the best interests in Nairn given the dangers of what he perceives as divide and rule mechanisms and people playing games. He was adamant that there was a need to “focus on looking forward.” Tommy Hogg agreed and he more or less summed up the feeling of the meeting when he stated: “I think we should go for it, holding off would be a mistake to me.”