Friday, June 28, 2013

Sandown debt - Laurie’s words of wisdom through at Glenurquhart Road and other snippets

We’ve masses of interesting material here at Gurn HQ to go through yet from the two Community Council meetings last week and also from what was said in the chamber at Glenurquhart Road on Thursday – The webcast is now up so readers can entertain themselves there if they wish (scroll down on the right hand side to item 19 at 4.43 once you get there). Now bits and pieces that Gurnites will find interesting, if not in an ongoing sense (and it still may be according to one Gurn sources), then mabye now in an historical sense. 

Here’s what Laurie said: “I for one would like some sort of separate, as a trustee, not as a councillor - as a trustee I would like to see separate legal advice as trustees, completely independent from the Council’s and just see what a QC would have to say about the situation. Because we are in this situation where our legal advisors are sitting with two hats and my view its not compatible.”

Interesting view from Laurie. In the post below we have Michael’s take on the vote and the support of the Indies for option 5. Further information about who voted which way emerged in a comment to the Gurn from Liz tonight. Most of the SNP group voted for option 5 and four of them abstained. Liz said: “so they didn't vote against us, but weren't comfortable enough  to vote against officer recommendation, this was partially because they didn't have enough information in the report.   It was easy for the indies to vote against the administration they are after all in opposition, 2 independents voted against Nairn Common Good. One was an independent nationalist Donnie Kerr the other was Andrew Baxter from Lochaber.”

Liz also tweeted the following tonight.

The Gurn understands that Labour members voted against too along with all the Lib Dems. Colin Commented on his facebookpage earlier today: “Have just realised that not a single Liberal Democrat Councillor on the Highland Council was persuaded yesterday to help Nairn's Common Good. A Party with a proud history (well the Lib part) that has sadly lost its principles.”

As to whether the Sandown matter has gone away, that is debatable and only time will tell. One Gurn advisor with a great deal of information on Sandown stated just after the vote yesterday: “As for the result, in effect it was another bodge  - an undistinguished compromise deal, cobbled together in an attempt to avoid an even worse outcome (the whole of the £734k being charged to Nairn's CG).  Nairn is however £344k the poorer tonight, which is not a reason to celebrate.  And by grabbing a share of the land, the Council is indeed now sucked even more deeply in the mire of Sandown.  They have made another rod for their own back. “

1 comment:

party animal said...

It is depressing to discover that the Council voting was still largely on party lines, and sad to see how quickly our team of local Councillors are now resorting to political point-scoring, with each trying to spin the result to put their own parties/groups in the most favourable light.

Such partisan posturing does nothing to deliver good local government. The issues at Council should be judged on their merits, not according to party alignment.

It is particularly alarming to note that a number of SNP councillors "weren't comfortable enough to vote against officer recommendation". It is precisely because unelected officials seek to manipulate compliant Councillors - or because elected councillors are incapable of making up their own minds and just acquiesce in official recommendations - that the Council has been getting itself into difficulties.

Credit to Laurie for highlighting the fact that there is a blatant conflict between the interests of the trustees and the interests of the Council. It is quite improper for the same legal officials to be advising the Trustees and the Council administration.

That blurring of boundaries has been made worse by the fact that the Council will now have a vested interest as a "shareholder" in CG land, as well as the responsibility as CG administrator, and the duty of CG trustee (not to mention the power as local planning authority). It is hard to see how the Council can reconcile these roles, or act with integrity and objectivity, in consideration of the future of the Sandown Common Good land.