Nairn River Community Council

Comhairle Coimhearsnachd Abhainn Narann

Minutes of the meeting held on 19th Dec 2018 at the Nairn Community and Arts Centre

Joint meeting with Nairn West and Suburban Community Council from item 7





NRCC Members Present:

Tommy Hogg, Mandy Lawson , Hamish Bain , Veronica Mackinnon, Iain Henderson, Iain Bruce, Steven Bain

Cllr Laurie Fraser  

John Dolan Nairnshire Telegraph

Apologies Cllr Heggie, Cllr Saggers,Simon Noble, John Hume

Meeting recorded by T Hogg and J Dolan


Declarations of interest

No interests were declared


Minutes of last meeting 21 Nov 18 and Matters  Arising

These were tabled but it was agreed to  defer  formal approval to next meeting on 23 Jan as they had only been sent out to members the day before.

Matters Arising - Cllr Fraser queried whether NRCC were going ahead to spend CC funds on  on our planned survey. The secretary said that we had deferred action on this till we have  studied the full dataset recently obtained from previous Nairn and Nairnshire Community Planning survey carried out  in 2017

Rather than duplicate effort we want to set up a subgroup of members to review NNCP survey data  to  inform priorities for any future survey. We also want to make sure work in a joined up way with other Nairnshire CC’s and other local partners  ( eg NNCP members) to get the best from any future community surveys and ensure value for money..   The Secretary  clarified that the Survation quote to design and  support delivery of a survey for NRCC  had been  just over £2000 (1780 plus VAT) This was our initial proposed budget not £5000 as suggested by Cllr Fraser . However   Survation had  also quoted  for additional services  : a final survey analysis report ( 1000 plus VAT) and a’ toolkit’ ( 1780 plus VAT) to train local volunteers in skills to carry out  future surveys.


Treasurer's Report

Presented online by Veronica Mackinnon

3 cheques paid out  balance remains £ 7737 in current account  


Planning Matters HB

New applications 2  house plots at Kingsteps  - no issues of concern

NRCC have submitted a comment requesting that the new McDonalds Drive Thru restaurant  lighting  be switched off at night (to avoid light pollution)

 2 separate applications were submitted for McDs signage  with consultation period of only 3 weeks before decision to approve by officers.  As this was between our 2 last NRCC meetings - only one of  2  submissions we sent  got in on time . Hamish Bain ( Vice Chair) has since asked Planning  why there was no ad in Nairnshire Telegraph re McD signage application. Planning say this is not required  but that they do routinely contact  statutory consultees re new applications . However unlike other Statutory consultees  Community Councils must request statutory consultee status each time we want it, so must monitor all new planning applications so that we do not miss any  application relevant to our patch. If we want to submit Planning comments  between CC meetings office bearers  have to approve any submissions with members by email.  Hamish Bain is currently NRCC Planning contact  and receives regular emails of new applications. He noted that many planning applications for Nairn and Nairnshire  are allocated to wrong CC areas -indicating errors and/or  lack of geographical knowledge at Planning end. He is compiling a spreadsheet of  recent misallocations to share with members  so that we can follow up with Planning.



The following items deferred from November meeting  were further deferred till January meeting :Harbour Parking, Safety and Toilet closure, Community Planning  survey review

Steven Bain queried progress on Harbour traffic calming  and Cllr Fraser reported that equipment was expected to arrive in New Year


Action since last meeting (Nov)

Community Planning meeting- 24 Sept Auldearn   Lorraine Mallinson  and Tommy Hogg attended  ( LM at top table)

Topics discussed included  Lochloy impacts of Stagecoach bus changes and the need for  more school transport

Noted that no one currently running Places and Spaces sub group as the nominated chair from Signposts  has let them down

Some questions from public were permitted by the Chair at this meeting which was noted as a positive step

The next NNCP    meeting is 21 Jan at the Community Centre Nairn

Highland CCs network Workshop - was attended by the Secretary ML This was very positive. Findings from survey of CCs were reviewed. Widespread CC concerns re CC budget cuts have been noted by HC, and more similar network events are likely. A revised CC scheme document is to be consulted on in early 2019

No major changes expected re membership, election or operational  arrangements for CCs but potential for greater role and engagement in local decision making which will require resources and support for CC members as volunteers.

Highland Council Budget public Consultation event.( Nov 18)

 Several members attended Community Centre in late Nov  to meet with Donna Manson new CEO  Cllr McKinnon - finance convenor, and Alison Clark (head of Policy).  An apology was given for the way last year’s Highland budget was pushed through without public consultation -and the new CEO made clear that  change was ahead at HC with regard to engagement with communities. Nairn CCs’ passed on a list of key assets and concerns for Nairn -(see copies)

Donna Manson asked for a 2nd meeting to hear direct from Nairnshire communities. This took place on 12 Dec at Nairn Community Centre with 30 representatives of community groups contributing. Donna Manson, Cllr McKinnon and Alison Clark Head of Policy  were in attendance again, and brought along Nairn’s 4 Councillors and Ward Manager  (see presentation slides and list of attendees, and themes covered)

We hope this marks the start of more open dialogue and rebuilding trust with HC and look forward to new ways of doing things, more locality focus and community empowerment

Donna Manson wants to arrange further meetings in New Year to discuss and progress LInks Devpt,  Common Good arrangements. She is also taking a close interest in schools and housing issues  in Nairn and wanted more info . It was made clear from both business and community reps why  parking charges are strongly opposed in Nairn as it would be so damaging to our local businesses  and tourism and we have  seen no evidence that  income generated would justify this economic damage or offset  set up and running costs.

Despite this Cllr McKinnon said that charges would still go ahead.We await more information, with meetings planned  for Jan 19 with ANB and others

We were told that the Nairnshire local Committee( chaired by Cllr Heggie)   is where key locality decisions will be taken in future for Nairn. So far this Committee has met in private without  community representation.  CCs are not currently invited or sent papers. We need clarity on what involvement  community  representatives/local service users will have in the Nairnshire Local Committee. Can we attend, have seat at table, a voice or a vote in local decisions?  The Secretary noted that latest Highland Council Standing Orders says Local Committees are all ‘public meetings’ .

Links Consultation event  2nd event hosted by consultant Nick Wright and Nairn’s Ward Manager on Dec 1.  to present priorities and explore ways forward to fund and implement the project. Any proposals will go to the Nairnshire local Committee for approval

CC members S Bain and T Hogg -attended and noted lower turnout than first event at Cricket Pavilion. 2 ‘Vision’ documents presented by Nick Wright now incorporate  Team Hamish proposals. - Several Members present expressed impatience that we have now had ample public consultation and  need to see developments at Links   moving forward  with Highland Council support, especially with  the new Highland CEO taking a personal interest - There is funding in place with 150 k already raised by Team Hamish whose community support is inarguable with their vision for Nairn recently voted top by public vote  in Scottish Towns Partnership competition

 John Hart noted how some projects notably the -Fisherwoman statue and Sundancer restaurant development have happened fast with the right Council support. Surely it is time now to   replace the lost slide . and the old paddling pool   All we need are firm proposals, to start setting up contracts to manage the work required . We need  HC  to get behind this, and not obstruct it with more delays.

Action  Nairn Cllrs still  to respond to  CC questions re Parking Charges.


Next Meeting 23 January 2019 -

Formal joint meeting ended about 8pm -followed by  tea, coffee and networking with slide show of 12 Dec Nairn presentation for Highland’s new  CEO ( available on NRCC website)

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