Representatives from local businesses, community council and tourism organisations in Nairn, are set to meet with The Highland Council, Scottish Water and The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to discuss a long-term action plan to improve the quality of water at two Nairn beaches.
The problem came to light after SEPA issued water quality notices for Nairn Central and East beaches.
The Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson, Loreine Thompson of the Nairn Residents Concern Group and The Leader of the Nairnshire Area Committee, Councillor (Cllr) Michael Green attended a meeting held on Thursday at The Highland Council to discuss the issue.
|Michael Green and Loreine Thomson|
Speaking after the meeting, Highland Council Leader, Margaret Davidson highlighted the need for swift action to eradicate the problem: “We are seeking clarification on SEPA’s advice and will be looking for urgent action to address any issues which could potentially have an impact on the economy of the Nairn area. We will be looking for an immediate short term plan of action to achieve a sufficient or higher standard of quality as soon as possible and to maintain higher standards throughout this year’s bathing season. It will then be necessary to look at a longer term plan of improvements to ensure that the water quality is improved for future years to come.”
At the meeting it was agreed that short term remedial action was essential and that a longer term multi-agency plan was also required. The Highland Council, Scottish Water, SEPA, The Association of Nairn Businesses, Visit Nairn, and a Nairn Community representative from the River Community Council will now work together to developed a long-term strategy to resolve the issue.
Chair of the Area Committee, Cllr Michael Green was keen to emphasise the important role the community would play and underlined the need for transparency in tackling the problem: "This is the most serious challenge Nairn has faced since I was elected in 2012 and needs to be addressed with the utmost vigour and urgency. In my role as leader of the Nairnshire Committee, I will be working as a catalyst to bring together The Highland Council, Scottish Water, SEPA and Visit Scotland with Nairn Community representatives, namely: River Council, Association of Nairn Businesses, Visit Nairn and the Nairn Resident’s Concern Group. While the first priority is to agree and initiate immediate remedial works, we can only engineer a long term solution by creating an effective and transparent working partnership, that has the confidence of the people of Nairn."
A meeting of all the parties concerned is due to take place next week