Friday, June 13, 2014

"Council failures cost common good fund thousands" Article and editorial in the Inverness Courier

Donna MacAllister reports on information concerning the Nairn Common Good Fund that came into the public domain down in Strathspey on Wednesday when the area committee met.
She writes in today's edition of the Courier: "A huge error may have robbed Nairn's Common Good fund of thousands of pounds of extra revenue after it emerged that a caravan park's rent did not increase for 14 years." and "Until the blunder was spotted last year there had not been a rental review of the site since 1992 when John Major was still prime minister."

The rent should have been reviewed in line with the RPI every 7 years. The information the Council put into the public domain in a Nairn Common Good Fund update presented to the area committee is as follows: 

"4.2 An issue with the lease review process for the caravan site at Lochloy has 
been identified. The original lease agreement was for 60 years w.e.f. 
01/11/1985. In 1992, in accordance with the rent review provisions in the 
lease, the rent was reviewed in line with RPI. (The lease was extended on 01 
November 1994 for a further period of 99 years.) The rent should have been 
reviewed 7 yearly thereafter (RPI) on 31 October 1999 and 31 October 2006. 

4.3 In accordance with the terms and conditions of the lease, the RPI rental 
increase can be applied from 31st October 2013. The increased rental will be 
reflected in the monitoring report to be brought before Area Committee in 
September. "

The Courier goes on to state in an hard hitting editorial entitled" Lack of local scrutiny proves costly for Nairn" - "Nairnites will still mourn the loss of their own town council. The local area committee may have been recently restored by Highland Council but it has few power and the important decisions are still made in Inverness. 
The ongoing campaign for more devolution can only be strengthened by the debacle surrounding the Nairn Common Good Fund which, it emerged this week, has cost townsfolk thousands, if not tens of thousands of pounds. Exactly how much has been lost is being kept secret, hidden under the smothering cloak of commercial confidentiality." 

Plenty more in the Courier today in the article and editorial including comment from Dick Youngson who also criticises the Council for their massive mistake. 

1 comment:

common man said...

This is just the latest addition to the catalogue of neglect and incompetence regarding the management of Nairn's Common Good.

The administrative "oversight" which led to the need to buy out an agricultural lease on the Sandown CG land was embarrassing and expensive;

The attempt to sell off that land to an over-ambitious developer was a costly misjudgment;

This latest evidence of a failure to administer and review existing lease arrangements for the caravan park is a further indictment of the Council.

It is good that the pressure of public opinion, the local community councils, and the efforts of some councillors are now at last beginning to shine a light on the Council's less than impressive track record.