Wednesday, November 12, 2014

£187K Common Good lease loss - Liz says members did ask questions in the past - report on fiasco will be in the public domain next week

Recently the Highland Council put up the white flag and paid Nairn Common Good fund back 187K for losses incurred from failure to raise the caravan site rental at regularly agreed intervals in line with inflation. A report for the chief executive on the background to the sad saga was not in the public domain at the time when the repayment decision was made at the full council however. Tonight at River CC’s regular meeting, the Area Leader, Liz was present and made a statement that gripped the attention of Community Council members and those on the public benches alike. She said:

“I just wanted to say something about the Common Good because there’s obviously been quite a lot about that in the papers recently. In fairness to previous members that have been on the committee and the area committee in the Nairn ward, we had raised it several times about increasing the rent at Parkdean and it had been challenged a few times: in 2001, 2003 and 2005 by local members to get the rent increased and investigated during different periods of signing the lease or changing the lease and we had a big, in 2005, a big inventory of Common Good assets and to look at look at the market value and rents for all the...the rent levels for all our... especially commercial lets and that was Parkdean which was the main commercial let at the time.

So in fairness to other members I think it is worth mentioning that and the report that was done for Steve Barron will be going to the Audit and Scrutiny committee next week and that will be the full report. It has got the names redacted out of the officers that have been involved in it but I have done a bit of investigating myself because I thought “well that’s not true”, we had asked questions about the rent and why wasn’t it going up and what could we do to increase it.  So it’s all in there and it is going to the audit and scrutiny next week and it’s easy enough to see who the officers were if you just go to the minutes and you can see who was involved at that time. It’s got proposed amendments to the lease in 2001 and who the officers were that were delegated to deal with that.”

Here on the Gurn we had previously called for this report to be made public (and had in fact submitted a Freedom of Information Request immediately after the Council meeting)  and are delighted that the so far secret report will enter the public domain next week. Obviously it will be a very well read and scrutinised document when it does make its debut and goodness knows what implications might flow from it. More tomorrow on the immediate response from River CC members to Liz’s dynamite revelations. 

Previous articles:

No comments: