Thursday, February 01, 2018

Cleaning the town up a bit more - can we as a community take a bit more responsibility and get something done?

This week this observer had a wee walk around parts of the  town with one of our regular readers who is very concerned about what he sees as the deteriorating state of how we look after the spaces that visitors to the town use. Our regular reader is not blaming anybody for this, we all know that the Highland Council workforce in the town has been cut to the bone and beyond and those that are left are doing their best in increasing demanding services. There's a new round of cuts coming with the Highland Council budget on 15th February too. 

The question then is, do we, as a community, look for imaginative ways of doing things so something could be done to clean things up a bit more? Can we find funds, machinery or manpower from other funding sources to do something to remedy things?

We are often sitting waiting for the latest big "idea" to get off the ground such as Town Centre Redevelopment or improvements to the Harbour area. One day hopefully some of the ambitions will realise themselves but in the meantime are we taking our eye off the ball and just getting used to a deteriorating situation. Is it time for a debate about what, if anything can be done to look after what we have more effectively? We are perhaps for the most part inured to changes for the worst as they grow on us slowly but it isn't about how we see ourselves it is about what visitors think - time to tidy up some of our roads, paths and civic spaces a bit more?

Below are some pictures in a slideshow you may wish to play, the individual images are here. 


Citizen Smith said...

Most of your photos highlight weeds, namely moss and grass growing on paths. The quick fix for this is to use the likes of Roundup™ that is not only damaging for the environment but leaves behind the growing medium for weeds to return.

The good fix would require effort with a hoe and a stiff broom to clear up the residue, more costly in terms of the time it takes but also a lot more friendly to our wildlife and also the likes of pets such as dogs.

Could the citizens of Nairn do some of this work. I don't see why not with the hoe and broom but suspect a license would be required if the weedkiller route were chosen.

A sensible route might be to find out if we have volunteers and for them to be supervised clearing certain areas.

The downside might be that the council sees this work as an opportunity to further downsize the work force.

I think there's probably an certain expectancy from some folk that this work should be carried out for them as they pay council tax. It might take a while for it to sink in that there just isn't the money there anymore and that council tax hasn't risen for several years.

Perhaps a start would be to ask folk to sweep the public area outside their own properties?

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know what liabilities there are. Say you scrape out moss or pull up budlias (which can be very damaging) and damage the pavement/brickwork. Are you liable for damage of public property?
Some of the moss and grass is mostly cosmetic and an easy fix. Trees and shrubs left growing in walls etc is going to see some serious damage though.

Green Fingers said...

Let Nairn be green and beautiful, embrace the grass on the paths and the weeds in the roads. Let it be and let's go more eco.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures showing total neglect and an utter disgrace. Gutters awful and moss everywhere with weeds growing out of every orifice not to mention the appalling shop fronts lacking any paint. Vistors much shake their heads when they see the unsightly mess. Time for action.

Anonymous said...

This growth has not happened overnight. This is several years of not being cleaned and swept properly by the Council staff when it comes to the many pictures of the Public places.

Business and property owners should also regularly clean the shop rhones and brush their frontage. If they cannot reach the rhones there are firms who can and would. The damage caused to a building if this is neglected can be expensive to fix long term

However, I know there were several town centre and Harbour Street properties approached, re the shop front painting grant scheme money from the original Sainsbury’s planning gain money, who failed to apply despite several reminders. Regrettable! Horse and water come to mind.

This is not going to improve in the short term unless, as a town, a considerable number of residents organise and participate in a town clean up in April before the main tourist season.