Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Liz: “A lot of the dealings that has gone on with that has been dealt with, been proved to be illegal”

There were a lot of interesting items discussed at the Suburban Community Council meeting earlier today (Tuesday 25th) and the crowded agenda meant that discussion on the latest chapter of the controversial Sandown saga had to wait until the end. The meeting was to run around 25 minutes over time as angles as to how the Highland Council might vote to deal with the Common Good debt relating to Sandown were aired.

Liz and Michael were there to be quizzed by the Subbies plus Brian Stewart from the West Community Council who had questions and comment to make too. Before discussion began Dick showed the meeting a copy of a letter he had written to the Highland Council Director of Finance outlining his council’s concerns about the five options for clearing the Sandown debt. You can see a copy here, it is shorter than the one that the Westies wrote but it is just as good a read.  Anyway, now a few highlights from some of the conversations and statements:

In response to a comment from Brian, Michael said: “The key, and we are all sort of saying the same thing, we’re working together very closely and I think the key there is, as you said, is that the 80 councillors are Trustees of the Nairn Common Good Fund and they have to act in the interests of the Nairn Common Good Fund […] We’re asking for them to write off half which we think is fair and equitable.”

John Hart was his usual forensic self and asked how the debt was agreed. Liz said in response to this:

“I remember when the thing came for paying off the farmer. Now I wasn’t in favour of paying off the farmer. I’ve never been in favour of really developing that site at all. So it did come to the Nairn area committee to pay off the farmer and it was ratified by the Highland Council.”

She went on: “I think the problem is now we’ve got to do something or the Council will be report by the auditor for not holding proper accounts so we have to act now.”

A little later John Hart said: “They’ve illegally given us a loan and charged us interest and now they are going to shaft us by making us pay the whole bloody lot.”

 ”They’ve taken the interest off it,” said Liz in response to that and she added: “A lot of the dealings that has gone on with that has been dealt with, been proved to be illegal”
“Correct,” said John Hart.
“If there was any chance I thought that we could get the whole thing written off then we would go for that. We have got 76 other members who we have got to persuade.”
“But that is wrong as well, and you know it is wrong.”
“I know,” conceded Liz.
“But you’ve done nothing about it,” said John.

Brian Stewart made an intervention outlining why he thought Highland Council was responsible for the debt in a corporate sense, here’s part of what he said:

“It is nothing to do with individuals and nothing to do with motives. It’s to do with proper administration and the key point is that those who take the decision and are visibly responsible for the taking of those decisions have to bear the consequences of those decisions.”

John Hart was soon to make another point and he asked:

”Why wasn’t the Nairn Common Good Fund billed in 2002,3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10? Only in 2011 did wee see a final bill. Only then why?”

As John was running through the years Liz could be heard saying “Because it had no money.”

 More discussion followed that and we hope to bring details of that to you tomorrow if time permits.


Anonymous said...

"or the Council will be reported by the auditor for not holding proper accounts so we have to act now"
Why do we have to act now? If the Council have not held proper accounts that's their problem. Nairn's Common Good fund is the fall guy for someone else's cock up?

Anonymous said...

Why don't we declare Nairn bankrupt then everyone within the area of Highland Council could own a little bit of the debt (and Nairn), a similar stunt was pulled off by many banks and the government a couple of years back

Excuse me but... said...

Illegal? Has anyone been sacked for that then or reported to the appropriate authorities or is there a form of illegality that you can just get away?

Anonymous said...

So is the meeting on Thursday all about how to bury this illegal stuff?

Anonymous said...

Highland Council involved in dodgy illegal dealings. I don't believe it ;-) Standards of doing the job right, legally and with professionalism has definately dropped over the years.