Nairn River Community Council
Annual General Meeting
7.00PM to 7.30PM Wed 19th April 2017
At Nairn Community & Arts Centre
Present: John Hume (JH), Steven Bain (SB), Iain Bruce (IB), Simon Noble (SN), Fred Holmes (FH), Tommy Hogg (TH) Des Scholes (DS) Aidan McCormack (AM) Hamish Bain (HB)
Ex officio: Cncllrs Stephen Fuller (SF),
Members of the public present: John Dolan (Nairnshire Telegraph) and 4 others
Item 1. Apologies: Cncllr Michael Green, David Walker, Paul McIvor, Laurie Fraser Liz MacDonald
Item 2. Minutes of previous AGM
The minutes of the previous AGM were accepted without change, proposed by SB & seconded by SN
Item 3. Chairperson’s annual report.
Chair (JH) presented his annual report as follows:
Tonight brings an end to another busy year for Nairn River Community Council; we have discussed many issues from lighting up times to ship to ship transfers, from bus shelters to community empowerment.
During the year we saw the proposed Ghost Island on the A96 finally rejected on appeal, a decision warmly welcomed by NRCC. It remains a core responsibility of community councils to stand against irresponsible development on behalf of their local communities.
Another potential example of irresponsible development, Nairn South, still waits in the wings, despite overwhelming local opposition this proposal may well be resurrected again in the near future. It will be up to us to ensure that unless current infrastructure deficiencies are addressed, we again lead opposition to these plans.
Progress has been made in the matter of adoption of roads and drains in the Lochloy area, which is now expected with weeks. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the issue of grass cutting of communal areas in the development. Council officials are still in discussion with the present developer to try and resolve issues which have now been outstanding for a decade and a half. Failures by Highland Council Planning Department are the root cause of this matter but as always they seem immune from any repercussions.
Irresponsible planning decisions, coupled with creaking sewerage infrastructure, are also the reason behind the bathing water quality issues on Nairn beaches. Unless and until we see substantial capital investment by Scottish Water and or Highland Council no further housing development should be proposed in Nairn.
In future, with the Scottish Government’s Community Empowerment legislation, the advent of the Nairn Committee and the Nairnshire Partnership, local groups like ours may have a greater role in forming local plans. With that greater role will come greater responsibilities, we will need to ensure that all our efforts genuinely reflect the priorities of local people.
Ship to Ship Oil transfers in the Moray Firth represent the biggest threat to both our local environment and our tourism industry, Iain Bruce has played a leading role on our behalf, coordinating the efforts of Community Councils in the Moray Firth area against these plans.
With a new application by Cromarty Ports due soon it will be vital that we continue to work together with other Community Councils, local Councillors, our MP Drew Hendry and other local groups to ensure this application is rejected by the UK Government.
No doubt next year will throw up a fresh batch of challenges, but with the movement toward greater localism, is this now the time to consider a single Community Council for Nairn, perhaps then we would be better able to deal with these new challenges.
Item 4. Treasurer’s Financial Statement.
Treasurer (SB) presented his Financial Statement. These were approved on proposal by JH and seconding by FH.
Item 5. Demit of current office bearers
The current office bearers stood down from their positions at this point and the meeting continued under the Chairmanship of Councillor Stephen Fuller. The following individuals were duly elected as office bearers unopposed.
Chair -Tommy Hogg, Vice-Chair – Des Scholes, Secretary - vacant and Treasurer - Steven Bain.
It was noted that David Walker had tendered his resignation and that this leaves a vacancy on the CC. It was agreed to advertise for new members.
Councillor Fuller handed control of the meeting to the elected Chair (TH) and there being no further business the meeting closed after setting a provisional date for the next AGM of 18th April 2018.