A quick flashback to last Wednesday night and the meeting of the Nairnshire Community Councils. Making a big contribution to the debate was Alistair Noble. He talked about returning power to Nairn, the town centre and the role that NICE will play in redevelopment of the old social work buildings. Here's a couple of short extracts from what he had to say:
“If we don’t try we’ll not get anywhere. There’s so much that’s so good about Nairn. There’s so many good people in Nairn. It should be possible to pull this together. I think we’ve got to be quite explicit about this whole thing about power. Either we get control of decision making and we make the best decisions we can, and we know that might not be right, and we might make mistakes, or let other people make that decision for us and sit there and moan about it.”
“If we are going to go down this road it has to be with the support of the four councillors, the eight community councils and the community. I haven’t heard anybody, so far nobody has, disagreed with the idea that we’d like a nice town centre. We want really, free parking. We want a good High Street. I know these are all really easy things to say. NICE has actually got to show that it can do something so we are starting with the social work buildings and hopefully get money coming for a feasibility of the town centre and these things stack together.”
This observer is a great admirer of Alistair’s vision and wishes his efforts well. If things go the right way the old social work buildings will be developed by the community for the benefit of the community and if genuine control of that process stays in Nairn then that will be a breakthrough that could lead to other things. The role of our four Highland Councillors will be crucial and might, at times, be testing of their loyalties. Events in the past have clearly demonstrated that the interests of Highland Council do not always dovetail with the best interests of Nairn. The new administration promises a new beginning but just how much are the ruling rainbow group capable of turning round the (up to now) centralist juggernaut that is Glenurquhart Road?