Michael Green had a wee gurn at the combined community council meeting on Wednesday night. Simon Noble of River CC had asked for clarification on a point made my Dick Youngson. Simon said:
“I wasn't clear about who you meant by we and want you meant by projects.”
Dick responded: “Well we are the community at large, the community council leaders. We're all sitting here and the other projects are the projects we're not really getting out of Highland Council. It's how we develop Nairn and the infrastructure and the sporting side of it. We've a tremendous number of kayakers and boat enthusiasts and really...”
Michael then intervened: “I would disagree here and I would quote an example: last November* we had a meeting, I've been driving this for the last year, to try and get the harbour redeveloped and to look at some bigger projects and hopefully a lot will be happening. It was a very positive meeting, Alastair and NICE were there, a lot of other people were there, the Sailing Club, the Kayak Club. There are a lot of people involved and there was going to be a report come back with a wish list because Leader 2 funding is further down the road this year. So that was in, I think, the beginning of November. We were going to get a report back which NICE were going to facilitate but we're now almost into April so that's, well five months and we're still needing to hear something back. So you can turn round and say we're at fault but we're pushing for projects as well, we're looking for things to happen. As you say Dick it is partnership working and we're waiting for our partners to come back.”
Graham Kerr then said: “We need to do more for ourselves.”
Alastair Noble, a Suburban CC member and also Chair of NICE then spoke:
“It is incredibly frustrating, and can we say this before...I'll come back to fair shares for Nairn, but an awful lot of the projects that coming in from other areas are being heavily funded by either HIE or the Council or the Scottish Government or whoever. I have yet to see any real evidence of Nairn getting its fair share and the reason that is so important is that I think we've got a very dedicated bunch of people who are working really hard; the community councils are doing a great job, NICE are doing their best but there comes a point when you have to get into serious funds, to get these projects seriously taken forward.
The harbour, we're working on it, it's a massive project, we're talking 50-100 million maybe, who knows as we really get seriously into it. And again it's this wonderful partnership working but it's also to make sure we keep all the local knowledge because the harbour, flooding, sewage, all these things are massively dependent on getting it right. The last thing we want is to balls up the mouth of the River Nairn and the harbour. There's a lot of work going on. I appreciate it is not as fast as people would like it to be. And I'll do my very best to make sure we speed it up.”
* The Gurn reported on the meeting referred to in November in an article intitled: "NICE goes back to its roots for a brainstorming session - "Big" ideas emerge.