Monday, April 09, 2012

Community Councils finding consensus on the Common Good – can it happen or is it “a big mountain to climb”?

West CC spent some at their meeting last week time mulling over last month’s Common Good Fund meeting between the town’s three community councils and Highland Council. Graham Kerr stated:
“We were outmanoeuvred by the Highland Council. They came there ready with the answers that they wanted to answer and without any information regarding what we wanted to hear. It was quite clear that Mr Gillfillan was dancing to a tune that he’d been given, he was not telling us about the past errors and he was making it very difficult for us to find out about these past errors. What we as a community council and the other community councils need to do is get our act together and say this is what we want, this is where we need to be. There are two separate issues one’s the past and one’s the future. The stuff that’s in the past, we have to decide whether we pursue that or not and what we definitely need to do is to decide how we get control of what is going on.
Graham Vine also present at the meeting made mention of the Scottish Government’s localism agenda and suggested Highland Council were going against this with their administration of the fund.
Cllr Kerr then said: “At the moment Highland Council are saying that they administer it, and we’re saying fine just you carry on administering it. What we’re after is that Nairn people have to decide what is going to happen with Nairn’s common good.”
Brian Stewart was more pessimistic than Graham Kerr. He thought the Council had used the meeting to close off local public debate but he saw a couple of small chinks of light. He added: “I don’t have a great deal of confidence that all three community councils will be anymore willing now than they were a month or two months or six months ago to come together to discuss a strategy on this issue And secondly, I am willing to lay good money on the fact that even if all three community councils did get together to discuss this they would not be able to reach consensus. I’m very willing to try and take part in that effort, but I’ve been round that course and the evidence is that it would be a big mountain to climb.
Graham Vine had the last say at the meeting: “Madam Chair, now that I no longer have no official status whatsoever I would suggest that if the price of forgetting history was that they no longer charge the Common Good for the Community Centre that would be a very fair compromise all round.”
This observer feels that that would be an ideal outcome but would Highland Council write off around £3 million to placate the citizens of Nairn in order to put the long running festering sore that has been the administration of the Common Good to bed?


Highlander said...

Once upon a time it was just "Oor Graham" now we have three.
Surely there can only be one.?

Anonymous said...

There is only one "Oor Graham" the others are far more interesting and make more sense !