Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Parking charges latest - debate at River Community Council meeting - Tom Heggie outlines his posistion

There was quite a lot on tonight at the regular meeting of the Nairn River Community Council. A large number of members of the public were present and also Highland Councillors Tom Heggie, Laurie Fraser and Liz MacDonald with apologies form Peter Saggers. When it came to the subject of parking charges the Chair of the meeting, Tommy Hogg, asked Tom Heggie to speak. Cllr Heggie began:

"As you are aware there was a meeting last Tuesday and people made their views known and we as councillors made our views known. We were in a situation in the Council that every Councillor was told that if they had a proposal to take something out of the budget they had to have a substitute because there was a need for a balanced budget. The proposals were put through with the proviso that further consultation would take place. All of the Councillors voiced their disapproval.

We accepted that there would be further consultation. We've been doing quite a lot of research. Michael Boylan from the BID and the Association of Businesses, he has offered to pull together people to discuss all the implications with us and we will be having meetings with – in fact- the budget leader sent me an e-mail today saying he's be open to meeting with us to discuss proposals. The toilets should be seen as part of the whole package.

We are looking at , again there's lack of clarity about everything. Where we are at the moment, was I have made a plea to the Council and, that a) we were put in an invidious situation that nobody had valued, nobody had put a sum of money on what this car parking was supposed to generate. Some of the car parking was Common Good and further research indicates that there's a probability that other areas are in the same situation and there's maybe other complications that a head of service or whoever is proposing this hasn't researched properly.

We have the support of Michael Boylan and as a group of councillors we will be looking closely at further developments. Liz who is a member of the opposition and they wish this to be postponed. That was not carried in the Council but the four councillors are bringing information together and it looks as though, because this has not been thought through the proper – who actually owns the land I think would be a fair one. It's not been properly researched, that there is still a case to be made, a strong cast to be made that this should be taken off the table but we are in the early days of negotiating that. That would be our view, that would be our objective and that is what we will be trying to achieve. Having it taken off the table but the other side of that is we also need clarification and there was a great lack of clarification about the whole idea of the toilets and how that can be progressed. In some communities Alness and others in the West they have taken responsibility locally and they have community groups that are talking responsibility for certain activities in the community, quite extensive involvement in quite a number of activities but we don't have that option at the moment. "

Tom was then questioned by Iain Bruce of the Community Council and faced criticism from Sheena Baker too. More when time permits. 


Anonymous said...

Hard to understand why the Tory and the 2 "Independents" did not "rebel" against the administration on this.
Just a few years ago when Drew Hendry MP led the SNP administration, the 2 local Nairn Councillors "rebelled" to ensure that the Nairn Common Good Fund was reimbursed.
They had to work hard with ex-Councillor Michael Green who was able to mobilise the vast majority of his independent colleagues. Liz and Colin then had to persuade a small number of their administration colleagues to rebel as well.
As a consequence, Nairn won the day.
"Independent" in Highland only means "Independent" if they are prepared to rebel against the Tory-lite leadership of the Independent Councillors.
SNP Councillors have rebellious bones!
As for Nairn folk electing a Tory Councillor!!
You get what you vote for I'm afraid.

Brian Turner said...

Didn't the consultation from last year state it would cost around £5 million to implement and develop parking charges, but it would take 7-8 years before any return after costs and even then minimally at perhaps £30-40,000 year if fully utilised?

Chariot said...

Why didn't Cllr Heggie vote against the budget, all SNP councillors did, he could have aligned himself with them for this in order to show full support for the community that he's paid to represent

£16K+ said...

It's £16K plus a year for p/t work

Grow a thick skin wise monkey style and it's a doddle of a job, way better than say zero hours at KFC or stacking shelves at Sainsbury's. Me, I'm standing in 2022

Dew Dust Eh Carry Oot said...

Democracy grew out of conflict.

Three of our councillors sat on their hands and preferred being subservient to Inverness council rather than support the community that elected them.

Independents indeed (well, two of them)