Friday, April 27, 2018

Parking charges - “Any consultation they do have now will be about how to implement them and how much to charge”

There is a school of thought that the parking charges are a fait accompli and talk of consultation little more than a sham. News from Dingwall today will certainly feed the many suspicious minds in Nairn. 

Today's Ross-shire Journal quotes Dingwall Councillor Graham MacKenzie:
Anti-parking charges sentiment growing in Dingwall

“It was made quite clear at the meeting that the council administration feel that the decision has been made that parking charges will be introduced. 

“Any consultation they do have now will be about how to implement them and how much to charge 

“They are only planning to consult with what they call community leaders and I'm not clear who they are."

Cllr MacKenzie is calling for the plans to be deferred for a full public consultation. He is planning a motion to the full council on May 10. More in the Ross-shire Journal. 

This observer wonders if our councillors will find common cause with others in the Highlands to stop the parking charges. The Gurn has written to Cllr Tom Heggie, Peter Saggers and Laurie Frasre to ask them how they plan to stop parking charges coming to Nairn and what form the promised consultation will take.


Noisy Parker said...

It's not surprising that Dingwall is up in arms and campaigning. I'd guess Alness folk are also fuming.

A few points strike me as noteworthy:

In Dingwall it's not only Cllr Graham Mackenzie who is actively campaigning against the charges; as an SNP member, he's in opposition and thus it's to be expected that he'd be robustly critical. But note that also Cllr Margaret Paterson, who is an Independent, is equally active and vocal. Compare and contrast her activities, as an Independent, with the very loud silence and inertia of our - three - Independent councillors;
Their local MSP, Kate Forbes, SNP, seems to be taking a leading role in mobilising and organising a petition and in publicly condemning the parking charges proposals. Compare and contrast with the very loud silence and inertia from Nairn's MSP, one Fergus Ewing, also SNP;
The Secretary of the local Dingwall Community Council, George Murray, has also spoken publicly and to the press. Compare and contrast with the lack of public comment by our - two - Community Councils.

The other piece of sophistry that needs to be very publicly nailed is the line - peddled at the time of the budget debate, and now repeated in the press by the budget convener, Alister Mackinnon - that if Dingwall or other 'target' towns reject parking charges then it's down to them to come up with other ways of raising the money. Why? There is no justification for arguing that Nairn, Dingwall and Alness should bail the Highland Council out of the financial mess which the Council - not these three towns - has got into. Why should these three communities be penalised - or expected to produce extra money - to make up for the Council's financial incompetence? What's even more shameful is that the three Nairn Councillors who voted for the charges seem to have swallowed this crazy logic and to have accepted that if we don't cough up for parking then it's down to us to pay up in some other way. No it bloody isn't!

Chris said...

Well said Noisy Parker! Nairn has an ongoing petition too. It can be signed in The Flower Shop, Nickel and Dime, Crafty Wee Birdie, Tradeway or Mr Tans. High Streets everywhere are struggling and parking charges can only make things worse. If you agree that parking charges will only make things worse, then make sure you sign the petition!!

Nairn rise up before it is too late said...

Sadly it looks like we have three ineffectual councillors who have already signed this off by voting for it in the budget. It is time for action. Is anyone up for a demonstation to let them and Glenurquhart Road that they will not get away with this.

Disappointed said...

Well I know who I and many others I have spoken to will not be voting for in the next local election . One in particular who I had every faith in (hint) full of promises pre election but let us down badly . Sack the lot of them and vote in councillors whose main concerns are for our town and not to Inverness. Gone are the days of the real councillors who fought tooth and nail for the good people of Nairn. The high street is struggling as it is and the meter 3 have sealed the town centres fate. Perhaps they should take up a hobby because as councillors for nairn they are useless and get paid well for ruining our town

Anonymous said...

But we can still rise now,
And be a County again,
That stood against him (against who?),
Glen Urquhart's Army,
And sent them homeward,
To think again.

Graisg said...

@ Stake Night, a really nice idea but we'd better not go public with it just yet :-)

and the alternative is? said...

I've heard many people saying get rid of the current councillors but who would replace them? Who want's the poisoned chalice? No sane person worth their salt would do this role which is why we often end up with the wrong people for the job.
Ask yourself - would you do it?

Old rope said...

@and the alternative is

Our current councillors were very aware of the cuts facing as all when they stood for office. As three of our councillors seem to be very happy to roll over and agree to anything that Highland Council asks of them rather than at least try and fight the corner of the community that voted them in then the answer is very simple when it comes to their replacement.

As they're just lackeys for Highland Council they should resign and just let the council decide what's happening to Nairn (as they do now) That'd save £48k+ in their salaries and cut out the middle men in this case. As Highland council hope to raise £35K from parking charges this could be scrapped and they'd still be £13K better off.

If any of the Parking Charges three councillors could tell us why we should still support them and their salaries I'm sure as a community we'd be happy to listen.

Right now I can only see them as on the council gravy train but perhaps with their input they can prove me wrong, in which case they'll receive my very full and sincere apologies.

Anonymous said...

Maybe people should do an FOI to see how many council workers go on jollies and how much it costs instead of sitting at their desks and actually doing some work. I would imagine a lot of money could be saved and spent on things that are really needed instead of making the public pay more like parking charges.

Anonymous said...

Dingwall - there was charges in the car parks back in the late seventies. They were removed as it was costing more than the took in. Nairn was left alone as it was considered not worth it. Dont know whats changed. If they know that it will generate £35k in Nairn they must know what the charges are already.£35k - get rid of a social worker - problem solved. I see they have floged off/ rented the beach car park for campervan sites. Tough luck if its a busy day at the beach when theres only 26 car park spaces. If the Council is short of cash they have to downsize. If the Councillors are voting for something the public dont want then dont vote for them the next time

Anonymous said...

i think parking charges should be implenented and wardens employed to enforce parking regulations,there is too many drivers parking on yellow lines/pavements and disabled bays,a few hefty fines should stop these ignorant folk doing it.
more power to the 3 nairn councillers who voted fot it.

H Godwin said...

really hope the parking charges come in to effect :)