The NICE message was double booked last night and after showing his powerpoint display to the Auldearn Community Council, Alistair hotfooted it up to Glenferness to explain the NICE message to the Nairnshire East CC.
It appears now Community Councils might be moving to associate membership of NICE. This would give them the chance to state that they broadly support the aims of NICE but allow them wiggle room should any of the elements of the NICE plan displease them.
The meeting in Auldearn heard how membership of NICE had now passed the 400 mark. The target is still 1,000 plus so expect a membership form to be flashed in front of you some time soon. When asked about any specific right to buy projects that NICE were committed to already. Alistair replied that they were committed now to buy the “Civic Square”, that makes up the old Social Work buildings an the parking area behind it. “That would be our first project,” said Alistair.
NICE were also interested in the Regal but they have been told that it is under offer now for a lease as a bar and restaurant. Alistair went on to say that other projects would include the car park area of the bus station and then they would get into the “whole of the nitty-gritty” of Sandown.
Alistair received the support of Auldearn Community Council at the meeting. Earlier the Chair Roger Milton had said that the project was a dramatic very ambitions plan and he had a little bit of concern has to how it was going to function. His most serious concern was how it was going to actually mesh into the existing political structure.
Roger went on to talk about the planning proposal that was passed for the flats at the bus station. He said it was a “jig-saw that was put together a long way away from anybody that lives in the community and if NICE start to get themselves involved at that level I just don’t know how successful it can be.”
Alistair’s reply to that was quite frank: “This won’t really work unless everyone pulls together.”