Thursday, March 28, 2013

Colin: “We’ve got the wrong system of public service and local government in Scotland, the lines need redrawn”

We reported yesterday on the discussion at the Suburban CC meeting on Wednesday night where the Chair, Dick Youngson, revealed that there will be another meeting of the Nairnshire Community Councils plus Croy and Ardersier CCs in the near future. There was then some discussion centring on the proposed new Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey area committee proposed by Highland Council and whether this or other forms of administration, would be the best format for Nairnshire. Some chat too on the various geographical administrative areas that other public bodies use for Nairn. Colin MacAulay, one of our four Highland Councillors, had some thoughts he shared with the meeting, he started by talking about the moribund Nairnshire Partnership that used to meet regularly in the Courthouse:

“I think the Partnership is the right thing to do in terms of throwing some of these ideas around and not being firm about what shape that actually takes in the future. In terms of the geographies I think there are all kinds of arguments. To my mind I can see the logic of Nairnshire. Beyond that you are into geographies that are of convenience. The Badenoch and Strathspey link is just as convenient as the Ardersier and Croy one. The police are aligned to Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, the bulk of the Council services aren’t linked into Inverness are in Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey and have been since the end of the District Councils and the collaborative, licensing and planning and whatever else. So historically there’s a link there.

There are more similarities with Badenoch and Strathspey than we have with our pals in Culloden or whatever else and I think that is the dilemma you’ve got, as eight Community Councils to me makes zero sense. You have four elected members who cover Nairn and then you have four half councillors that cover the other area, that has to be as bonkers as anything. We’ve got the wrong system of public service and local government in Scotland. The lines need redrawn. They’re not going to be redrawn in the short term so someone’s suggesting there’s this style of fuzzy management. That’s what we are into for the short term, it’s making the best of illogical things. The Scandinavians would sort this in a minute, they would just…”
Colin was then interrupted by John Hart who said:” The suspicion is that its nice to keep it fuzzy because it’s nice and confusing.”
“Oh, that’s a conspiracy,” replied Cllr MacAulay.
“That’s my cynical view, you change it!” countered John.
Colin laughed and said, “I can’t change your frame of mind or I would.”

This observer awaits the promised developments with the (possibly revamped) Nairnshire Partnership with interest. Could we have the nucleus of a body that could become a focus for those many individuals in the community that are willing to help carve out a better future for Nairn, or will we just have talking shop mark 2 with more officials from Glenurquhart Road coming through to practise their PowerPoint skills?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you're right, the chance for men in suits to come through and kick a deflated football of a Powerpoint presentations around for a day or two, and then produce some glossy A4's

We need action not more talking shops, someone to propose and another to second, job done