The Boundary commission’s proposals to put Ardersier in with Nairn as part of a Highland Council ward were unanimously rejected by Ardersier Community Council recently and at the regular meeting of Cawdor Community Council last night in the village’s community centre there was similar rejection of that idea as calls were made for Cawdor to be returned to Nairn.
Cllr Michael Green (venturing over the ward boundary line for the night) told the meeting:
“Myself and my two colleagues, we have actually put in a response to the Chief Executive saying that Cawdor should be included and Ardersier should be excluded. [...] And when Ardersier and ward 18 put in their response, the combined responses, well I would like to think in this age of community empowerment that would carry enhanced weight for the people that don’t want to stay or come back into where they should have been and never should have been excluded from. So we are very much in favour of having Cawdor 100% back with us. ”
Clrr Roddy Balfour backed Cawdor returning to Nairnshire, he said: “The easy answer is to put Cawdor back to Nairn and leave Ardersier where it is connected to Inverness and let everyone be happy except the bureaucrats.
LibDem Councillor Kate Stephen told the meeting:
“From my point of view it would be sad to lose you. I wouldn’t like to be saying I’d prefer to have Ardersier or I’d prefer to have Cawdor so it’s not personal at all and I think that it would be sad. I would actually miss if you guys were no longer in my patch. However I do think that there is a huge amount of boundaries at the moment that we have to work to and it gets very confusing and the more alignment there is the better and for me one of the biggest, most sensible boundaries or alignments is associated schools because they are one of the most stable things. A lot of other things move, whether it is NHS or different districts, the boundaries move but associated school groups tend to be quite stable partly because of geography and that is where the catchment area for children is. For me it is more sensible if everything else can align to associated school group boundaries there’s more sense in that.”
The meeting then heard more about the local associated school group from the Cawdor Primary head teacher which included information about how a youth development officer's initiative was not made available in Cawdor but ran in the other schools in the Nairnshire group because of boundary anomalies.
Chair of Cawdor CC, Tim Smith, also gave his personal view which supported Cawdor being part of the Nairn area.