Speaking in Nairn Academy last Tuesday night at the joing meeting of the West and Suburban Community Councils (Westies and Subbies), Dick Youngson of the Subbies, gave his Chairman's report for the year. The two organisations also held their respective AGMs. A previous report on what Rosemary Young of the Westies had to say is available here.
He said: " It’s really been quite a year for groups getting together, to speak together, to speak common sense and get common messages over.
It’s been quite an amazing year, there’s been a lot happening. Everybody has pulled their weight, there has been quite a lot of paperwork and reports coming out which are all very intense, looking at data and everything like that. It’s something that we've never really experienced before. It’s probably one of the hardest years for community councils to keep up with what’s going on, especially as it really sort of centres on Nairn South, the hearing, the build up first of all through to the planning committees: the south planning committee and then the PED committee and then leading up to the appeal and the build up to the hearing which suddenly collapsed and we haven’t had, we have no correspondence at all, no explanation, no information on whether it is going to be delayed or abandoned or whether it is going to take the form of something else which could be an inquiry or the Reporter might suddenly decide that he has enough evidence or enough information and he will make his judgement on the written papers which he’s got. So we've got no indication really of what’s going on. I wrote to them, the Reporter, really to say that it is a poor show the breakdown of communication between them and us. We’re sort of left in the lurch having done a lot of work, especially the team, Brian and others, that have built up information. Joan Noble likewise. So we’ve really been left high and dry.
Transport Scotland again, that was the A96 with the options that we were given for the bypass and the route of the A96. Again that occupied us quite considerably. Transport Scotland have written to us. They are giving us a day when they are going to allow us and all the other groups to meet with their consultants in November. So they want small representation from the community councils, two members, one or two members and they will meet and they will give us some indication of the stage that they are at and what they want us to do now in the way of looking at linkages, routes, how it affects different owners, occupiers, farmers etc. So that’s going to be a November meeting, again it’s almost on schedule, that’s what they said they would do, they’d come out in the autumn with some decision. So that’s the A96 whether we get a lot a lot more - it’s a don’t know, we don’t know what stage they are at. There was a surveyor working again up by the Gollanfield flyover looking at levels and routes again today. They’re always on the go actually, they’re quite a lot of work going on behind the scenes.
And really again, there’s been quite a lot of discussion over the year about Nairn itself, reshaping Nairn, looking at projects and how we’re really going to make Nairn attractive to ourselves, how we are going to make it economically viable to traders, how we are going to look at traffic within Nairn and make it attractive to tourists. To try and get things for tourists to actually enjoy and to come for. I know we've got marvellous golf courses and things like that but we haven’t got an awful lot more for families so we’ll have to look again at that."
Dick spoke about the charrette and then went on to thank everyone that had supported his Council: “It doesn’t happen without a lot of input from those that give up their time. It’s all volunteers and it gets quite onerous at times: meeting deadlines for minutes and setting out information at the right time etc.”
Dick then thanked the Gurn and the Nairnshire Telegraph for the reporting of Community Council affairs and “getting the message over”. The police were thanked for attending meetings and working with Suburban CC. He did say howeve that it would be much easier if there was a local police contact dedicated to the CC : “but nevertheless the link with the police is there and they do rely on us.”
Dick finished his report by thanking the Treasure Lorraine Mallinson for her splendid work in preparing the accounts ready for submission.