At the combined meeting of the Westies and Subbies CCs on Tuesday night, Dick Youngson, in his usual modest way, delivered a short statement on something that might fundamentally change the way we go about things in Nairn: (see Gurn comment after article).
Dick said: “Many of you will remember the old Tradespark Hall. The asbestos clad hall which was sold and demolished and houses built on the site. Well the proceeds from that went into what was an existing charity. It was the Delnies charity, they enlarged it to call it the Delnies and Tradespark Hall charity. So there is quite a bit of cash in that.
It’s managed by trustees and a local lawyer. We’ve approached them and the money has to be spent in that part of Tradespark. It has to be spent for a specific purpose. It can’t be put into anything, it has to be spent on community facilities and sporting, recreational facilities. So it is quite specific. Now we have approached them and the trustees along with the lawyers are meeting next week [...].
The trustees are now more than happy to transfer that money to us, to a development company and we can use that to set up a little enterprise group to take on the development of the parkland, wetland and the community facilities.”
Dick was then asked: “how much are we talking about?”
He replied, “about 180,000 at the present time and remains to be seen whether that actually, by the time the investments are sold. We’ll see what we get at the end of the day. But it’s about that, it’s a little bit more perhaps. But it’s quite enough now to act to engage a project manager and to apply for matched funding and some of the larger grants.
It’s something which we will ....with Colin and the Council and we’ll look at a plan, we’ve already had a plan [...]. It’s actually in the plan, it’s already in the Sandown plan anyway, so it is something which we will develop along with the social housing. This area adjacent to Sandown Road which can be actually used for very attractive (and it has to be very attractive social housing). We don’t want flats or anything like that. So that’s where we are at present. We’ll know in a week or two how it’s going and then we’ll start sort of discussing it with the Council, Colin, Liz and the rest of the ward Cllrs and we’ll form management committee of the main players here again. The Woodlands and Wetlands Association, ourselves, the Cllrs and people that are quite au fait with this project. "
Dick Youngson is an exceptional man and we are lucky to have him working for the Common Good of us all. He has a proven track record of delivering for the community. This recent article on the Nairn Allotment site, records his formidable success as chair of that group and the successful projects that have reverberated far beyond Nairn. Good luck to his ideas on how to take the wetlands and housing forward on the Sandown Lands. This is the kind of community control we need or our assets.
There are others like Dick with the skills and willingness to work on such projects, and give their services for no payment, for the benefit of our community (the Common Good). We need full control of the Nairn Common Good fund from Inverness to achieve this effectively but in the meantime if it means setting up what would virtually be another Common Good fund but under community and not Highland Council control then Godspeed to Dick and those that will assist and facilitate it for him!
End Glenurquhart Road Direct Rule – Freedom for Nairnshire!
If we can't even manage to claim the correct rental amounts for the common good what kind of a job would we make if it was left to us to manage it ourselves?
And on the subject of the new Wetlands/Tradespark project I don't deny Dick's skills, just question those of some of the folk he has chosen to assist him
Perhaps if we end up with a well run locally managed fund, like this might possibly become, people will want to donate both money and time. I certainly haven't read much about other such groups/funds that makes me trust them with my money (perhaps I'm being harsh). Even perhaps working to subsidise council owned work (thinking here on a recent articles comment from a tradespark family bemoaning the lack of local recycling facilities which could be part of this development)
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