Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Local Democracy - " Direction of travel"

Quite a lot of things were discussed at the meetings of the Westies and Subbies Community Councils* last Tuesday night in Nairn Academy. Due to pressure of things beyond Gurning matters impacting this observer is now only getting round to examining some of the interesting material generated by the CCs. So here goes with another wee bittie.

Michael Green was the only Highland Councillor present (Liz had sent her apologies however). Making a comment on local democracy during the Subbies Meeting Michael said:

"The direction of travel, the way things are going to devolve down to district levels; we are seeing that with the Area Committee. The Area Committee has been going now for 18th months and I don't think it's been a great succes. I think we need to devolve that possibly away from Badenoch and Strathspey down to Nairn. It's all very well to devolve it but unless you have got the powers as well it's kind of pointless. So you devolve, yes the administration, but you've also got to be given additional powers to do things which is budget, which is possible planning, which is licensing. We know these are the discussions and this is what we will be advocating for. Local control and a local council actually in Nairn. "

Many Gurnites too are hoping for similar via the combined efforts of the SNP led Highland Council administration and the forthcoming Scottish Government's Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. A new deal for Nairn and otheon the horizon by the time we all go to the ballot boxes in May 2016 for the Holyrood elections?

*Nairn Suburban and West Community Councils. 


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Cllr Green, Nairn has much less is common with Badenoch and Strathspey than it has with Inverness yet so much effort has been expressed here and in other sources to disassociate and segregate Nairn from Inverness. The only thing the formation of this committee has done is increase the income of the Chair of the Area Committee.

Anonymous said...

Area Committees area a good start but Highland Council needs to go further.

Anonymous said...

People in Nairn need to remember that it was the "Independent" and Liberal Democrat Councillors in the last Council who did away with the Nairnshire Committee - and centralised every bit of control in Inverness. The current SNP administration brought back the current model as a first step, a 'pilot' to see if it could be done within the same overall budget. That review is over and as long as the Council is SNP-led then they will move towards a Nairn Area Committee structure. As others have said, it needs more teeth - but the direction of travel is correct.
Many/Most "Independent" Councillors would not get elected if they stood under their true colours. Hope Nairn folk will campaign hard for a new SNP Councillor in May to keep the progress going.
In the long run, Scotland needs new Local Government - and a new Nairnshire Council