Saturday, March 12, 2016

Laurie would like to see number of Glenurquhart Road councillors doubled to 160

Through at Glenurquhart Road at the full meeting of Highland Council on Thursday, Provost Laurie Fraser spoke during the debate on the agenda item “Proposal to establish a Commission on Highland Democracy”, he said:

"I actually welcome this paper, I still believe an independent Nairnshire would be a good thing but I recognise that it is not going to happen in the current financial climate. If we are going to do down this path of localised democracy we’ve got to bring the budgets and the cash with it: it’s no use having area committees and meetings locally with local people unless the cash comes with it. As one of my newspaper editors said to be a couple of months ago “In today’s modern financial world why can’t somebody in the finance department just press a button and then gets your income up for each post code and there’s a percentage allocated to each area by the local councillors, it’s not that difficult to do I’m sure. 
Double up to 160 Highland councillors? Laurie thinks it can be done
Additionally we shouldn’t just be looking at our democracy here in the Highlands. I think there is a demographic deficiency in sort of  councillor representation within Scotland and I think that we should at the same time I think we should be looking at lobbying central government for improvements to democracy because we can’t just do it all in house. For example, I believe that if you try to run a committee in Nairn with four councillors it’s insufficient as a committee, eight is a proper number for a committee to try and run Nairn and to get a good balance of views and to get good representation. For that it means a doubling of the number of councillors. Quite honestly I would advocate we actually double the number of councillors on the Highland Council from 80 to 160. I just don’t see why not. I think it could be done."


Anonymous said...
"Over large, bureaucratic and top-down “local” authorities have become the norm in Scotland over the last 40 years. The average population of our 32 councils today is roughly 170,000 people. The European average is closer to 14,000. The highly devolved Germans have municipal councils of just 7,000 people. And lest anyone think our dispersed rural populations constitute an argument for larger councils, neighbouring Norway has 428 powerful local councils and 19 county councils for a smaller population than Scotland."

Our Provost, Laurie isn't wrong.
Other countries have much better forms of local government.
Lesley Riddoch has done much research - and perhaps Book and Arts might bring her back to talk specifically about this?
Or - could Nairn host its own "Festival of New Politics"?

Graisg said...

10-12 would be good for an Independent Nairnshire but it would be unacceptable to the electorate at present to double up the Highland Council given all the free dinner stushies etc.

Anonymous said...

@graisg for me its not the lunches etc, why would we double the numbers when there is debate about their effectiveness. It would be much better to make it and actual 'job' with the pay to go with it and a restriction on external interests surely?

Celtic107 said...

Whilst in theory it's a sound idea In reality it's impossible in this economical climate which could be like this for years to come .if councilor Laurie thinks it's possible to get a budget to cover an extra 80 councilors wages year on year then he must be possible to use said money and cover the loss of services in Nairn like the flower beds etc surely?

Anonymous said...

Half the pay. Double the number. Expenses only when outside Nairn.

Anonymous said...

Why not just make everyone a councillor?

Anonymous said...

Because that would be silly, Billy

Ever heard of the cuts? said...

So we have one of our councillors suggest building a new harbour to accommodate cruise ships and now Laurie wanting to double the number of councillors. So glad neither of them seem to live in the real world