Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cawdor Community Council AGM and some very nice coffee and cake afterwards

Monday night saw Cawdor Community Council’s AGM and handling the brief interregnum when the office bearers stood down to be re-elected was Highland Councillor Roddy Balfour. Also present in the Community Centre were Cllrs Kate Stephen and Michel Green, either of the two of them could have presided over that part of the event but they preferred to see Roddy to do that part of the business given the very obvious and genuine warmth that those Cawdor area citizens in the room at the Centre felt for the veteran member. It’ll be all change soon and perhaps the Cawdor folkies might wonder if they will receive as much attention from the existing Nairn members as they have had from the diligent attendance records of Roddy and Kate. Time will tell if the return of Cawdor to Nairnshire will prompt big turnouts from our four Nairn Councillors for this bimonthly Monday night fixture. 

Re-elected chair Stevie Webster thanked the former interim chair, Meg Robertson, for the time and commitment she dedicated to the Council. He said that the biggest issue had been the White Bridge, which “carried big concerns for local people and businesses. A consultation raised in the community centre raised some very big questions as well as some truthful answers. A dedicated group was set up with regular meetings held in the Cawdor Estate office in order to keep everyone concerned updated.” He added that the weight limit was causing some disruption and went on, “however it is accepted that a new bridge will be built and funding has been allocated to this. We hope this will not be in the too distant future.”

He mentioned that work on the original application for Tom na Clach had been started with “Lizzie Rose putting on her willies and cutting the turf last week.” 

Gurnites will probably be aware of the latest situation with Tom na Clach and the latest decision from Highland Council Iain Ramage of the Press and Journal recently reported:
“A windfarm developer has six weeks to put a shovel in the ground at the site of a proposed scheme or miss a chance to build it.

Highland councillors gave the ultimatum yesterday despite planning officers recommending that more time be allowed for Infinergy to begin work on the controversial Tom nan Clach project on Dava Moor, between Nairn and Grantown.” More here. 

So given the recent decision it was probably safe to surmise that Cllr Michael Green is probably not the most popular Highland Councillor of the Nairn bunch at the moment with the Cawdor supporters of the wind farm project, given the part he played in that recent decision. He was cordially received however although there must have been a temptation for the community councillors not to alert him to come back into the room when discussion of a local planning matter had finished (councillors on the planning committee are in the habit of leaving the room when “live” planning matters are being discussed). 

A regular attendee at the Cawdor CC meetings is Infinergy’s Fiona Milligan. Not long after Michael Green was invited back into the room she spoke:

“Firsty I would like to thank this community and the councillors here representing this community all the way through this process since 2008 or earlier in fact, for its unstinting support for this project. You have been able to see the benefits of it quite clearly, whereas others have not. We have been through the mill with the planning applications committee who have again, twice this year, have ignored their expert planning officers’ advice and recommendations and gone against us but we carry on because we do believe that this is a very worthwhile project and as we always said, we would start this month and we did and thank you everyone who came along last week.”

There was a little more business to be done and then it was time for coffee and some very tasty cakes indeed. Even Michael Green was offered a cuppa too.

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