Readers may have seen the previous article this week, available here: "Explosion of support for Team Hamish on popular Nairn social media pages as public anger grows towards Highland Council over their attitude to the award winning organisation." The Gurn had understood that Team Hamish had been concerned for some time about the attitude of Highland Council towards their project and finally went public with their frustrations.
Today the Highland Council published a press release in connection with their own Links consultation which they have budgeted 15K of Nairn Common Good Fund cash for. In the light of recent developments the Gurn asked Team Hamish for comment on today's press release from Highland Council. They told us:
"We are saddened that precious common good funds have been spent undertaking yet further consultations when the community has made their preferences clear on a number of previous occasions.
Additionally we believe the community would have welcomed transparency and open dialogue regarding the formal procedures to be followed in making such critical decisions when enhancing the town."
Here is the Highland Council press release from earlier today:
Another successful consultation event was held at the Nairn Community and Arts Centre on Saturday 3rd December where it was confirmed that the draft outline plan put forward at the first event held at the Community Centre in November met with broad approval, as did the proposed projects to deliver the plan.
Nick Wright, consultant, said: “Throughout, this has been a positive process with very good levels of community engagement and lots of consensus about future priorities for the Links, keeping the natural character whilst updating what the Links has to offer, with an emphasis on local organisations working collaboratively with the Council. Almost everyone who came to the event was comfortable with the projects put forward, and with the suggestions of who would be involved from the community and the proposed next steps to start delivering the projects."
What has emerged, as well as strong support for improving the area around the Paddling Pool and James Cafe in collaboration with all interested parties, is a widespread desire for new facilities to blend in with the natural setting of the Links. Another main priority is improving accessibility across the Links and particularly to the beach.
The consultation is moving into the concluding phase and the final report is now being prepared. The Council intends to set up a meeting in January with key potential delivery partners who have emerged from the consultation process to enable early action to agree delivery on the ground on a project by project basis. The clear message from the local community is to ‘make things happen’.
Area Chair Councillor Tom Heggie said: “On behalf of the Nairnshire Councillors I would like to thank the people of Nairn for their enthusiasm and input to the consultation process. I have received several very positive reports from groups who were consulted and they have remarked on how carefully the consultant listened to them. We are now awaiting his draft set of proposals which will be discussed with a range of stakeholders. This will allow the final proposals to be ratified at the March meeting of the Nairnshire Committee.”