Extensive discussion on parking charges and other topics important to Nairn last night at River Community Council's meeting in the Community and Arts Centre. Circulated was a copy of a letter written to the CC by Tom Heggie in response to the joint Community Council letter to Peter Saggers. Readers might already have read the text of that letter which is available here (if you haven't get yourself a cuppa and sit down for a few minutes and give it a go). Here is Tom's response.
River CC weren't happy and there was much animated discussion which this observer hopes to relay to readers when time permits. Readers may wish to know that at the moment there are one or two discussions ongoing on these topics in the popular facebook group, Nairn Our Town, Our Views. In the meantime here's a taster from last night.
Secretary of River CC Mandy Lawson said: “We went to some effort to set out a list of questions, we felt, I think, at Community Council level, and it is good to hear that people from the business association had a private meeting about this but we certainly don't feel that we haven't been involved in any shape or form or consultation whatsoever, however you interpret the Community Empowerment Act. Also we asked some questions and none of them as far as I can tell have been answered here. We don't see if this is actually a financially viable thing, never mind whether it is good for Nairn. […] So we just want to see how the sums add up and we haven't seen that yet."
Tom Heggie replied: “I think Chairman, what I've indicated in my response is that the officers will be present and they will be able to give detailed answers and a proper consultation, folk say that we voted for it, there was no councillor that voted against this, the only vote that happened in the Council meeting was that the opposition said that this should be delayed until we found a better way to do things. No one has come up with any better way to do things. I understand that it is controversial, it is difficult. I understand you are saying very specifically Nairn and the thirty thousand pounds was bandied about. That's gone into the ether now, there will be a full consultation question and answer session with the actual officers who hopefully will clarify some of the questions were a wee bit difficult, went through all kinds of things.”
Tom then went on to say that the Common Good car parks were not the province of Highland Council and that was up to any local decision making. If charges went ahead on Common Good land he indicatedthey could only be used for the Common Good and not anything else. More details when time permits
Gurn comment: It isn't over until the meters appear. We have to pursuade Highland Council to pull back from implementing parking charges, they could be catostrophic for the town centre economy. When it comes, Nairn folk should attend the consultation in massive numbers , bring a banner maybe but behave respectfully and peacefully and articulate to Highland Council that it is not on and they have made a huge mistake.