There was discussion at the joint CC meeting tonight in the Academy about the ongoing Sandown Charrette. Here are a few brief extracts from what was said.
Dick Youngson urged everyone to attend over the next two days if they can. Dick was very happy with the Charrette so far and outlined the work down so far today in the Courthouse.
There was a bit of hot debate about the publicity for the Charrette with Brian Stewart critical here. Brian had other concerns, mainly about the Cawdor proposal being way ahead of Sandown - “ The Delnies tail will wag the Sandown dog” was one phrase he used to outline his concerns about what might happen in the future. Rosemary Young said that she’d heard that nobody knew that it was on and that it was the usual suspects that were there. She thought that was a really bad thing and if they didn’t get the publicity right, they need to run it again and they need to put it in the evening so people who are working can get there. Oor Sandy said that the Community Councils had been informed two to three weeks ago and the publicity in the Nairnshire last week wasn’t as good as he would have expected. John Dolan replied that the press release had been too late for the Nairnshire.
John Mackie, with reference to previous experience said: “You could put posters all over the town, all over wherever you want and you still wouldn’t get a big turnout.
Colin MacAulay (Liz’s SNP running mate for the May elections said however; “It was a good day, it was an open and transparent process. People are genuinely cynical from previous experience about the exercise but I don’t think the facilitators are of that ilk at all. I think it is a very special opportunity to influence a very special piece of land.”
John Hart expressed his concern that the predominance of people there were the old Sandown lags gobbing off. “So we’ve got to encourage other people to go in and make their number and have a look at it,” he said.
Graham Vine said that he didn’t even know that the charrette was on today until he rang to speak to Dick Youngson about something totally different and his Dick’s wife said “oh he’s down at the charrette.”
Tommy said that he was totally happy and he’d been well aware of the charrette but did mention that people were working whilst the event was taking place
Simon Noble thought more could have been done earlier to communicate the message to more people.
You can see the schedule for the charrette here. This observer popped in a couple of times today and enjoyed a coffee and biscuit between two sessions. Why not pop down to the Courthouse and give it a try? If you find it’s not for you then you can always slip away quietly. People seem to be coming and going all the time. It’s your town and your taxes that will be paying for the tea and coffee anyway at the end of the day. Give it a go if in town over the next two days