Cllr Andrew Purkis quizzed Highland Councillor Colin MacAulay (the sole member of the local authority present last night in the URC hall) on the subject of road repairs, he also compared planned expenditure in Inverness with that in Nairn, he said:
"Is there any more news on any road developments around Nairn and upkeep of roads? Highland Council are spending £41 million for the extra bypass, yet we in Nairn have many substandard roads. In areas of the Fishertown there is a bare track. [...] We have been fighting for years in what is a conservation area which attracts tourists and ratepayers shouldn't have to put up with basically gravel in some of their streets. Highland Council and its colonial attitude is willing to spend 41 million in Inverness - we can't even get 20,000 spent on the road. It's just one of these age-old niggles in Nairn that we pay plenty of rates into Highland Council, It's a cash cowboy, but we don't seem to get the roads dealt with. A conservation area is a huge attraction for tourists. They come off the front, they spend some money in town yet the upkeep by Highland Council is pitiful .
Colin responded: "There are bits that are particularly band and I think, let the Council know bits that are bad, let me know which bits that are bad...But I have to say in terms of road budget in Highland, terribly under-resourced for the whole of Highland. It is different in terms of capital budget which is developing a new road versus the maintenance budget. I think it is either one or two extra million put in last year, it'll come again this year. There will be more roads maintenance. In terms of the backlog of roads maintenance you're talking 40 years of backlog. There's certainly more funding going into it [...] They work on a surveying basis, they pick up, they have a computer on the front of a lorry. It picks up exactly which roads are in a worse state and they address those ones first.
Andrew replied: " This was raised I can remember when I was originally on the Community Council back in 2003 [...] Here we are, 11yrs and still nothing done..."
Colin intervened: "The budget has been boosted Andrew but it is not going to meet the requirements or the expectations..."
Leslie Boulton, chairing the meeting cut in with his thoughts: " On Radio Scotland there was a survey with a couple of taxi drivers from Glasgow and one suggested they lifted all the road humps and fill the potholes with the road humps which I thought was a good idea."
Andrew then continued: "There are two streets in Fishertown which really, basically don't even constitute a road surface any more - it is so poor!"