It didn’t take long for West CC last night to back Liz and Colin’s proposal to take the Old Community Centre area off the market. Michael Green indicated that all the town’s four Highland Councillors support the proposal too. It’s now all about getting community support to convince the entire 80 member body through in
There was also discussion about what happens once the site comes off the market. Brian Stewart sees it as a two-step process. The second being getting our act together about what we want for that area and for joined up thinking on the whole town centre. Former Councillor Graham Vine was interested in public ownership either by public subscription, a charity, NICE or the Common Good. He said:
“It occurs to me if a thousand people in Nairn out of our ten thousand inhabitants were prepared to chip in a hundred pounds by gift aid, that’s a hundred thousand pounds. If that enables you to grab other money from the Davidson Trust of God knows where else, can’t the town of
buy it forever, and the town of Nairn will decide
what happens to it. ” Nairn
Michael Green declared himself open to public ownership of the site. He also wanted the housing feasibility study of the old Tourist Office made freely available to all concerned. He saw the forthcoming Ward Forum when the town centre will be discussed as a way of deciding what was wanted and then after that it would be about looking at ways to achieve that. He said:
”There might be competing bids coming in from NICE, from various groups, who knows what there will be. We don’t know what’s on the table, there’s what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it and I’ll help any groups that I think have got great ideas for the town centre.”
The Gurn hears that NICE have been busy in the background recently and will perhaps be coming forward with ideas for the town centre as Michael suggests. If this is the case it is a pity they don’t keep the public informed of their latest initiatives. The most recent post on their website was in late April and advertised their AGM and things are fairly quiet on their facebook pages too. In the early days of NICE the organisation made a commitment to putting the minutes of their meetings on line – so far no minutesof meetings have been posted for 2012. We often hear calls for transparency from Highland Council in matters concerning Nairn and the town centre in general so it would be appropriate if NICE too were to make more information available. It works both ways and if NICE soon come looking for public support it would help their case if they keep Nairn residents better informed.