On Tuesday night Dick gave a short briefing to the Suburban CC members about the meeting earlier this month of the six Nairnshire Community Councils.He said:
"We discussed things in a lot of detail, a lot of sense, everyone thought it was a super event and we must have more of them. This was really the first try and we really discussed everything that we’ve lost from Nairn and everything that should come back into local decision taking, and the way things are going there’s really going to be nobody apart from our four ward councillors that can actually speak up for Nairn together with us in the Community Councils and I think with the help of our four ward councillors and the community councillors in the six councils we can come up with a far better master plan for coping with, preventing the destruction of what’s good about Nairn and Nairnshire. Debbie of Nairnshire East, she is very insistent that it is Nairnshire and not just Nairn we are talking about.
There is a lot of work to be done, really we have to get down and talk about how we can actually best achieve this and again working with Highland Council in Inverness – everything is pulled away from us and everything is actually coming back almost as a fait accompli from Inverness which isn’t at all satisfactory. We can’t really live with that. And there’s not much point in having community councils, just as Alistair says, if the decision taking like that is not going to include us. So really a lot must happen. "
Martin Ashford then said: “That has always been always the system though, this fait accompli presented. It’s not a consultation, this is what you will get. And that was the culture and that still is too.”
Dick continued, "Yes, unfortunately it is, we are being lectured to. The strength of that meeting which we had on the 6th of this month was really full support for this sort of approach to looking after what we’ve got and we actually think highly of in Nairn. And there we have the Nairn beach coming in as the top beach in Scotland and 11th in the UK. It’s not just the beach, it’s really everything else, it’s the dune system, it’s the scenic views across the Firth. The whole atmosphere of the Nairn beach obviously came out very highly in this survey of holiday makers. It’s something we have to look after and not have it snatched away from us by planners and others. We’ve really got to look after it as an asset. And what they said in this survey as well is the lack of commercial development along the seafront which is quite unique because most seafronts have a lot of commercial development.
That’s the result of our meeting There’s a lot to think about and a lot really we are quite capable of thinking and we are quite capable of actually decision taking. The funding side is going to be interesting We’ve really got to start thinking quite carefully about how we take Nairn forward because we are not averse to taking Nairn forward but it has to be done in a planned, integrated way. "