Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Councillor tells Westies and Subbies he was not aware that the Big Slide was going to be removed

Michael Green was the only Highland Councillor present at the meetings of the Westies and Subbies (Nairn West and Suburban Community Councils) in Nairn Academy last night. He was asked by the West CC chair Rosemary Young:

“Can you just tell me if the elected councillors would be aware of the removal of the slide and the other equipment before it was done?” 

There followed a brief pause while Michael reflected on this very important question then Rosemary changed the question slightly:

“Were you aware?” 

Michael responded: “Was I aware? No I wasn’t” 

Rosemary then added: “So it was feasible then that Liz might not have been aware?” 

Michael said: “I can’t comment on whether...I’ve no idea...”

Rosemary interjected: “You were ill at the time of that meeting.”

Michael continued: “Folk have private meetings with officers and various staff. I can’t answer for Liz or for Laurie or various staff. I don’t honest answer to an honest question.”

Earlier Michael had acknowledged local concerns, and agreed that there would have to be a serious discussion as soon as all the facts were known. He said:

“By the time the next community council meeting comes along we will have had the full response from the officers and we can have a full and frank discussion about. I would like to think that my existing colleagues and new colleague will be at the meeting so we can have a full and frank discussion on the facts”

Rosemary Young replied: “It is amazing I’ve been down there on a few occasions and mothers and grandmothers have come to me and one of the most pointed things one of the mums said to me was: “this replacement slide they’ve put in, the height of the slide, they all have that at home and they are bored with it. They wanted something that is bigger when coming down to the Links.” And I must say the trippers to Nairn which we value so much certainly used it a lot.”

Brian Stewart then spoke: “There is deep, deep, unhappiness about the consultation or lack of it and the other point which is very interesting because it has already emerged that there is a clear distinction between decisions and actions relating to the equipment (the slide whether it was safe, whether we needed a new one, bigger or smaller) and the separate question of the removal of the hill or the brae, and it is very interesting that it has already been admitted publicly that the Council officials who were engaged in the business of the slide had no knowledge and no involvement and weren’t aware of the plans to remove the hill as well and the point about that is that it serves other purposes as well as simply being a slope for the slide. It’s a windbreak, it’s a shelter area, it’s part of the landscape and that’s a separate issue, it’s not just a matter of a children’s slide.”

Rosemary said: “Presumably it was built as a windbreak and then they thought well we’ll put a slide here.”

Brian added: “So there are specific technical issues about whether it was justified to remove the slide or not. There are wider policy issues about whether, who or why the hill was removed and there is a fundamental issue about the process of consultation and decision making.”

A full range of Freedom of Information questions submitted in a letter from the Suburban Community Council was also discussed and Michael Green pointed out that requests for information added to the pressures on Council staff who were already stretched to capacity. Some at the meeting urged that that official discussions and records of such matters should be more transparent and in the public domain to avoid situations where it was necessary for Freedom of Information requests to be submitted.

More details of the Subbies Freedom of Information Request when time permits.


Anonymous said...

Michael Green should not be defending "overstretched' council staff. His duty is to represent his constituents and he should be fully supporting the request, looking forward to the response and holding the unelected council officers to account on our behalf.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9.02
In your opinion .............. but there are others you know!
The Westies and Subbies could be applying for mega-grants not available to the Council - to build bigger and better local play facilities.
That would be better for the town than guising as Nairn's House of Lords.
That's what the best Community Councils do.

Anonymous said...

Slidegate shows no sign of abating

Anonymous said...

If councillors don't know what's going on in their community then who does, only those people in the council at Glenurquhart Rd in Inverness?

Little point paying councillors it that's the case

Anonymous said...

We need to know what happened here. Who let the community down? The four Highland Councillors that should represent Nairn or the officials?

Keep you guessing said...

Why was the hill flattened if all stores are true that was done to contain the train now standing at the East Beach car park and will depart? arrive at the links to quieten things down. the replacement at the east beacj will be another surprise for you all

Anonymous said...

I hope the flattened brae will not be for the repositioning of the East Beach train. That thing is an eyesore. What kid is going to want to play on that.

The debacle continues........

Anonymous said...

Maybe the new Nairn brewery could produce a 'Slider' ale, I'm sure it'd slip down easily