Thursday, March 10, 2022

Former chair of Community Council is incandescent with the proposal to move the library to the new Nairn Academy - "What utter nonsense! – Come on Nairn – wake up and smell the coffee!"

Sheena Baker, former Chair of Nairn West and Suburban CC, told the Gurn:

"What utter nonsense! – Come on Nairn – wake up and smell the coffee!

Moving the library to the New Academy – it beggars’ belief that folks (including elected members) have even given this any mileage!

What is the BID Board of Directors agreed policy on this? I have not been able to get an answer to that. Have they had an emergency zoom Directors meeting? If not, why not?

The very raison d'etre for the BID was to bring footfall and growth to the centre of Nairn. If this suggestion gets off the drawing board it will fly in the face of their reason for existing. This is the year they need to prove they have muscle and that they are acting for their full and opted in membership. Finding nice words to oppose the suggestion just is not enough. They should be spearheading the fight against this ridiculous suggestion. The BID will soon need to be voted in for another five-year period. This suggestion needs to be something they oppose, really flex their muscle on and prove that they have, as an organisation, substance and standing.

Whether you liked the lady or not – the words NO, No, No come to mind. That is what Nairn should be shouting from every rafter in the town. If the cost of building the proposed new Academy cannot stack up without removing the library from the town centre to within the grounds of the new academy then clearly something is very wrong with the forecast and budget,

Why should the centre of Nairn be consigned to even more reduction of footfall on the back of a simply stupid, some might say farcical, suggestion from Highland Council? I include in that statement everyone involved in the planning of the new Academy. Repositioning the library to the outskirts of the town is simply a very poorly thought out, ill-conceived some may say crackpot plan. It is wrong from all angles. Why should town folks have to use diesel and petrol to go to the library or wait on a town bus powered by diesel to spend 20 plus minutes getting there and then at least that getting back. This is supposed to be the era of COP26 and ECO planning. I am sorry, I just cannot see how this suggestion fits in, it has no ECO points of merit that I can think of.

The A96 is already overloaded but it appears there are those planning this move who think it would be a good idea to add to that congestion and the resulting vehicle emissions.

What about older folks of a frailer nature being possibly bounced by younger exuberant pupils. I am sure that they would not intend to do anything like that, but it could and more than likely would happen. Then there are the clearance issues of folks wandering around the school premises and young children. They will have an open door to being able to get in contact with pupils. Policing that by the school would be just another burden and also needs to be considered.

I could go on, however I live in hope that others may put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards and find words to encourage the folks of Nairn to let their voices be heard and not let yet another disaster of a decision be decreed on us from Highland Council.

Please, please find some way to let your views be heard and kick this silly suggestion back into the long grass never to be raised again!"


Anonymous said...

I will vote for the move, open up the library building to a new vendor, kids play area, nursery it would have made a great building for Citizen's advice.... anyway I have seen public library's incorporated within schools before and its great for all generations to mix in an educational setting. Better facility's, computers etc for additional learning for all ages!

Its not youth v elderly.... you make out that you would have to get the bus or take a car. walk, cycle...

Lets Move more!! lets Move the library!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what Mrs Baker says!

No alternatives considered, no options provided. Moving the library from the Town Centre to the School would have a seriously detrimental effect on the Town Centre and therefore would break the NPF4 (National Planning Framework)Town Centre principles.

Please see the link below from The Scottish Government, which came into effect on the 22 January 2022. A Local Place Plan is an expression of a community's aspirations and solutions which can influence the local planning policy. It sets out priorities for future development in an area, as well as helping communities to develop and deliver their own projects.

Local Place Plans offer the opportunity for a community led, but collaborative, approach to creating great local places. LPPs can support community aspirations on the big challenges for a future Scotland such as responding to the global climate emergency and tackling inequalities. It is vital that local people have the opportunity to engage meaningfully and have a positive influence in the future planning of development in their areas.


Our place Local Place Planning

Anonymous said...

Quite right Sheena.
As many public services as possible should be kept in the town centre.
Banks and Pharmacies, Post Office and Library.
The brand new Alness Academy didn't involve relocating their Library away from the Town Centre.
It's best for the Library and it's better for all our local businesses as well.

Malcolm Cook said...

Very reasonable comments Sheena.