Gurnites will recall the Nairnshire front page splash of February 21st: “Cuts compromise safety?” The first paragraph of that story stated: A community Councillor has called for a re-think by Highland Council on its policy of not deploying a street cleaner at the weekends over the winter months to check for broken glass or dog fouling at the Links Playpark.
There was a sequel to this issue on Tuesday night at the Community Centre meeting of River CC which illustrates yet again how the community fails to get effective action from Highland Council. Something is seriously wrong Gurnites if someone cannot be found to check the playpark at weekends. Who runs the Civic Administration locally? The Councillors in Nairn, the officials here or the high heid yins in Inverness? Just who is laying down the law when it comes to getting things done?
Mike Henderson stated on Tuesday night: “We did write to the four councillors asking for their views and if they would reply prior to this meeting . I asked Stephanie if there had been any reply and no reply from any of the councillors.”
Liz said: “ We did actually discuss it Mike at our ward business meeting and the outcome was that in the spring it gets done anyway at the weekends. There’s someone that goes down at the weekends in the summer months. It was going to be monitored and the feedback that we got was from John Fraser as well was that it wasn’t a big problem.”
Mike continued: “A number of people have approached me thanking me for bringing it to attention. I’ve got to thank John Dolan and the Nairnshire for giving it such a headline because I think, whatever John Fraser says, I’m there every weekend, John Fraser isn’t. And I think it is pretty disrespectful to the Community Council Liz that not one councillor replied."
Stephanie Whittaker then stated that she had asked John Fraser if he was willing to come along to the meeting and he is willing to see community councillors in his office but he can’t go to any meeting of the CC.
Liz then said that she had an e-mail from John Fraser that she could forward to Mike. She had asked if they could either reconfigure the boys routes so that they could do the Links at the weekend or find additional funding to do it and he replied back that they were actually looking to find more savings.
Cllr Ian Gordon was incensed with the information emerging he said: “They live in their ivory towers, they’re not prepared to come face to face. You can go to their office, their kingdom where they feel in control. They are paid by us to provide a service to us, not vice versa, they are accountable. Why should we be dictated too? This is a very valid point the Links are an asset to Nairn, it brings people into Nairn and it must be kept up to a certain standard. Does it need one child to be damaged by broken glass etc, is that where we’ve got to go to get anything done? He can sit in his office if he wishes but can we not just take him down to have a look at it?"
Stephanie then said :”I think that is a bit unfair to John Fraser if we want to someone to come along then we have to ask his boss, it’s not his fault he can’t come to meetings”
Liz confirmed that.
Andrew Purkis then stated it was down to a frame of mind and compared Nairn with other seaside communities where councils acted on such issues. He thought that Highland Council sometimes don’t see what is going on outside Inverness.
Tommy then said: “Is this not where we should actually be trying to get things done locally, everything back locally and this is a perfect example of where it is going, it’s getting further away all the time.”