Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dick’s Sandown plan latest - also a Business Improvement District for Nairnshire? – Michael Green “It’s just a new millennium version of the old Nairn Initiative.”

At the last ever meeting of Nairn Suburban Community Council in Nairn Academy last night before they merge with the West CC, the Chair, Dick Youngson, gave an update on his organisations aim to see the south field of the Sandown lands turned into a parkland-wetland facility. 

He mentioned his ongoing communication with the Trustees of the Tradespark Hall fund about the Subbies plans for Sandown that go back to the early 2000’s. He said the Trustees had met and had discussed how to close the fund down and move it to an appropriate trust for raising funds for Sandown. He also said there would be a meeting with Highland Councillors looking at the Common Good land and looking out how the wetland part of that could be utilised. He said that there appeared to be a blockage in the culvert that goes under the A96. 

Dick said that they would be doing a community survey. He said: “we did one before and asking the community what they really want in the way of a parkland/wetland, the facilities that go with it. Because that is a condition of the trust. It has to be used for the community in the way of facilities which would replace the old Tradespark Hall which was used for a number of different purposes. But we don’t need a hall like that, we need different buildings and facilities for the present time. So that is where we are, we will communicate now with the whole area.”

Michael Green then said:

“Just picking up your point on the wetlands. I’d like to put a sense of perspective onto this.” He went on to mention a very positive meeting that outlined the CC’s aspiration and then added: “What came out of the meeting was really that we needed a wider perspective for the whole of Sandown. [...] I’ve been away for two weeks and I picked up a lot of the points in the Nairnshire, everyone seems to be facing these things piecemeal, now what came out of our discussions there was that we wanted to get a broader picture of Sandown and just to put that perspective we want to get a broader picture of Nairnshire as a whole. We want to work together, we want everybody to have their input to the town centre, the harbour, Sandown, because you can’t do any of these projects in isolation. 

So I would just mention that, I’ll look over at Alistair* for this, we’ve been pushing for this for some time for a BID. Which is a Business Improvement District which would give us the capacity whereby we could meet and that’s where we could do surveys and consultations – all that could come and all the various community councils, elected members, agencies groupings would be round that table and that would be the forum to take these things forward and feed these things into. 

So that’s a very exciting development, that is next week and hopefully we will get that up and running.”

Dick said: “That’s something very sensible and something which we have been working for.”

When asked by Martin Ashford about the makeup of the BID for Michael Green responded:

“That’s to be decided the meeting is between myself, there’s NICE and it’s the Association of Nairn Businesses and it’s to bring all the parties together and create a forum whereby we can actually get things done. It’s just a new millennium version of the old Nairn Initiative. It’ll be very, very effective and tailor made for Nairnshire. They’ve got it in Inverness and it’s been very, very successful. These things really, really work.”

*Michael Green was glancing in the direction of Alastair Noble.


Final Bid said...

BID........ so try to explain to me how this basically offers those running businesses anything other than another financial burden to bear.

I would certainly be interested to hear the big sell from BID, particularly given that the scheme in Elgin was not well received by many a & seems to have boosted the city centre not a jot... and the scheme in Inverness , no matter how much noise it makes , cannot change the dynamic of modern retailing and customers preferrence for anything, as long as it's out of town.

So drop Nairn into this mash...and where does this wonderful windfall of extra money come from...? Given that Nairn will be left fighting for money from the same pot as our bigger and gravitationally more powerful neighbours.

Most of the bigger towns are now signed up to those responsible for its promotion ( & earning a living from it) are looking to roll out the big sell to smaller towns.

I think they may find that there welcome is often less than warm ...but the Devil is in the detail and, if it is decided to consider adopting BID status , a poll would have to held of all the businesses in the county.... to succeed in reaching the desired status, the 'pro' lobby are pre-equipped with a trump card , in that the poll will be considered valid if 25% of businesses take part & victory achieved if over 50% of those voting said yes...

Even my basic maths tells me that a BID for Nairn could proceed as a result of 12.5% of the businesses saying they wanted it....

Businesses in the town need to sit up and take notice...

The Nairn Economic Initiative seems to be working away very quietly behind thd scenes with project managers in place to start to move some of their most achievable schemes forward at zero or very little cost to the businesses in the town.... So why do we need a BID?

Graisg said...

Hi Final Bid, where can we find those rules on the voting? Somewhere on the Scottish Government site.
This observer does remember a BID type person of some kind doing a presentation to one of the ward forums in the Courthouse. Think it was a ward forum but there are quite a few things that have happened over the years upstairs in that fine building that it has all become a blur. Anyway there wasn't much enthusiasm for a BID in Nairn that time round when cost was mentioned. Think it didn't come cheap for businesses.

Anonymous said...

So the answer to all our problems.... Form another 'focus' group run no doubt by highly-paid officials and consultants.

When is some action going to take place?

Final Bid said...

How Does the Ballot Work?

The ballot is a confidential postal ballot, the same as a postal vote in a Scottish Parliament or local authority election, held by the ballot holder, normally the local authority. All eligible persons located in the BID area will have the opportunity to vote on the BID Business Plan. In Scotland a BID will only be approved if:

there is a minimum turnout (the headcount) of 25% of the individual persons entitled to vote there is a minimum turnout by rateable value of the properties of 25%
more than 50% by turnout and by rateable value of the properties vote in favour.

details lifted from Bids Scotland

Anonymous said...

"Even my basic maths tells me that a BID for Nairn could proceed as a result of 12.5% of the businesses saying they wanted it....
Businesses in the town need to sit up and take notice"

The starting point is what the BID area is and then the businesses in that area. If the proposed BID area is Nairnshire then one assumes the farmers would also have a vote. If the BID area is the boundaries of Nairn then it would be important that all business within the boundaries were identified and not just those paying business rates. This would mean that small B&B's and other small businesses operating from their homes etc etc would all need to be identified and included in the vote. Is it one vote one business or do larger business have more than one vote which is the way it seemed to work before?

Indeed every one with a business needs to sit up and pay close attention. Once the YES vote is cast in stone then THC will automatically charge you via the rates collection and non payers could find the heavy hand of the council ensuring payment is made and received.

So sit up, listen and ensure if it is decided to go down the BID route that you excercise your vote!