There were suggestions last night at the Westies meeting that the Ward Forum meetings held in the Courthouse should be led by the Community Councils rather than Highland Council and that our local "usual suspects" should be the ones that invite speakers and officials etc. In the meantime, after a considerable gap since the last event, there will be a Ward Forum meeting soon in the Courthouse on Wednesday 30 October 2013 at 7.00pm. Ward forums have had a chequered history in Nairn with occasional complaints of "Death by Powerpoint" and other grumbles. Liz stated back in March of 2011: “ ”I used to think that the Ward Forum was where all the community councils came together and we could discuss local issues but it is pretty apparent to me now that that is just a vehicle for the Highland Council. [...}The Ward Forum is not for local issues now, it’s hijacked!” More in a a Gurn article from that time here.
Now we have a ward forum under the new regime, of which Liz is the local Political Leader, and many of the usual suspects will no doubt interested to see if there is more participation from the Community rather than the top-down approach that has been, rightly or wrongly, the perceived method in the past.
This coming meeting might be a good opportunity for any Gurnites with questions on things like the absence of traffic wardens to attend because the meeting is being held to seek the views of the public on local police and fire services. It's the last meeting in a series of 20 Highland Council Ward forums being held across the Highlands will take place next week on Wednesday 30 October 2013 at 7.00pm in The Court House, Nairn.
Councillor Drew Millar, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee said: “The Council works closely with both Police and Fire Services to help ensure that Highland communities are as safe as possible. We’re pleased that our Ward Forums have been used as a platform for our partners to consult on their community plans.”
He added: “If you missed any of the earlier meetings held, this is an excellent opportunity to have another chance to air your views.”
Chief Superintendent Julian Innes of Police Scotland said: “This has been a partnership approach to engagement with local Highland communities. We have welcomed listening to people’s views on how their local services are targeted.”
Scott Hay, Area Manager for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service added: “Public sector organisations work most effectively when they work in partnership. We’ll continue to work together to keep communities safe.”