Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nairn united and determined to win back democracy – hard hitting speeches at Nairn Suburban CC meeting - demands for a new start

A palpable sense of unity tonight among the ranks of Nairnshire Community Councillors and members of the public present at Nairn Academy, there was a determination in the air that things have to be put right and that Highland Council have to listen to the people of Nairn. It seems the South Nairn planning decision has been a tipping point for many in the town - Dick Youngson, chair of the subbies, was the first to speak, followed by Brian Stewart of the Westies, then it was the turn of Alastair Noble, then Leslie Boulton of River CC. They and others were explicit about the situation as they see it and they want change.  

Gurnites will know that the town has had a few battles with Glenurquhart Road in recent years but, to this observer, the talk is now much, much tougher and open rebellion is in the air. Highland Council might have control but tonight it was evident that they are close to losing all respect from the representatives of the local population that sit on the Community Councils. The Gurn will  present a few more details from the meeting on this thread later and we are also working on a video of the proceedings that we hope to have on line some time tomorrow. 

Extracts from individual statements to the meeting - more to come plus video:

“It’s really atrocious that we are employing professional planners and if that’s the quality of their work, we can’t live with it and we are certainly not going to accept it. It has to stop now! We’re not going to go ahead now and work with Highland council staff when they can’t really do a professional job. It’s reached that stage and our four ward councillors, they were almost bullied into supporting this one by saying that if they didn’t support it the application would go to Edinburgh on appeal and be granted – well hell mend them!”  Dick Youngson.

“I think the problems that have surfaced that Dick has described illustrate a pretty serious and fundamental failure of the local planning process and to some extent they call into question the Highland council planning apparatus. I actually think the Nairnshire got it right with their headline: “Council ignores community’s voice.”  Brian Stewart,

“I’m putting down a question for the debate between Fergus and Danny. Don’t know if it will make any blinking difference but the question is: “Some Nairn residents consider that Highland Council is now completely beyond local democratic control, would independence make the Highland Council more or less accountable to the local residents.”  Graham Vine.

“I think tonight we have to fully support what the Community Councils have already done in writing and I think we really need to ask our four councillors very strongly and very clearly and very directly to find a way that allows them and Nairn to move back to some sort of democratic local control of all the decisions but particularly these planning decisions, which to my mind are completely out of line with any sort of common sense or Nairn’s best interests.” Alistair Noble

No comments: