Nairn River Community Council
Comhairle Coimhearsnachd Abhainn Narann
Minutes of the meeting held on 21st Nov 2018 at the Nairn Community and Arts Centre
Tommy Hogg, Mandy Lawson , Hamish Bain , Veronica Mackinnon, Iain Henderson, Iain Bruce, Steven Bain , Simon Noble , Paul McIvor
Cllr Heggie, Cllr Saggers, Cllr Fraser
Apologies John Hume
Declarations of interest
No interests were declared
Minutes of last meeting 19 Sept 18 and Matters Arising
Hamish Bain proposed the minute and Iain Bruce seconded
Presented online by Veronica Mackinnon
£ 7737 in current account
Revised bank signatories confirmed as
Tommy Hogg( Chair) , Veronica Mackinnon( Treasurer) and Steven Bain (former Treasurer)
Action since last meeting (Sept) including correspondence
Community Planning - 24 Sept quarterly meeting -in Auldearn. Tommy Hogg attended for NRCC as observer, Lorraine Mallinson took the single CC seat at table as Roger Milton of Auldearn CC not in attendance..
NNCP Employment and Skills partnership group October (ML )wide ranging membership - looking at jobs in different sectors -feed back into NNCP
Paper re Morganti site community buy out now drafted for NICE- If Community Land Bid is possible to to buy site for town and funding found it may be suitable for a community learning/wellbeing hub for East Nairn. More in New Year once NICE has explored options with Morganti Trust trustees
NRCC office bearers attended WSCC meeting in Sept
Links Consultation event Sat 3 Nov ( with consultation Nick Wright) Office bearers attended and met with consultant. A follow up public event to be held 1 Dec to present priorities and explore ways forward to fund and implement the project. Any proposals will go to the Nairnshire local Committee
Correspondence ( since September)
Joint Letter sent with WSCC to Highland Council proposing charitable status for Nairn Common Good with independent governance by local trustees. New structure would avoid conflict of interest for Nairn Councillors
Joint CC letter sent to Cllr Saggers re Parking Charges proposed for Nairn with list of questions to clarify HC plans and business case.
Joint Letter from 2 Nairn CCs sent to HC Auditors querying past missing developer contributions for Lochloy and requesting clarification on DC’s for housing already approved at Kingsteps
Joint Letter sent to HC by 2 Nairn CCs re status of Sandown lands 'survey' for potential housing development
Highland Council new parking policy received and shared.
Update on Parking Charges
Cllr Heggie reported that a recent private meeting was held with Nairn BID members and officers and promised a written response to CC questions in due course ( no answers yet)
Simon Noble asked if local targets for parking revenue would be set centrally by Highland or does Nairnshire Committee have a say?
Cllr Saggers said that each parking bay in Highland costs around £2100 to maintain -this money needs to be found somewhere. He is collecting cost information from Shane Manning of HC. He suggested ‘options’ the public might be offered such as periods of free parking, seasonal parking charges. This assumes that charges are coming, an assumption not accepted in the room.
Loreine Thomson asked about what input communities will have in approving any parking proposals. What happens if we reject them? What is the process?
The Secretary and Iain Bruce repeated the need for answers to our questions, to understand proposals HC puts forward.
Cllr Heggie said he would be discussing the matter soon. He also said that the 18/19 budget process will be better managed and not as last minute as last year
Councillors confirmed that the originally proposed £ 30, 000 revenue target figure for Nairn parking charges has now been dropped as a ‘mistake’ by Highland Council along with proposals to charge for parking on Nairn Common Good land
This leaves only one location from four proposed in March 18
Councillors present were reminded of universal local opposition to parking charges in Nairn voiced at a public meeting in Feb 2018 before the HC budget vote and that this is still the local position from Nairn business and community representatives.. At that time all 4 Nairn Cllrs were asked not to support the vote and 3 still did so against wishes of their constituents.
Simon Noble - noted that those implementing the new Highland Parking policy need to overcome real fear in local communities that HC is trying to pass on overheads to local areas while keeping local revenue. Cllr Saggers reassured that funds raised in Nairn would be spent on Nairn
Simon Noble also noted that he had not seen the joint CC letter questioning our Councillors re parking charges before it went out -as it was prepared and shared by officer bearers of the 2 CCs since our meeting in September . He felt that this was not democratic. He confirmed that he had now seen the letter and did not object to its content. The Secretary noted that he could add additional questions if he wished to
Brian Stewart noted that it was part of CC office bearers’ responsibility to represent and act for CC’s between meetings. Individual members are free to differ from a majority view or if dissatisfied with proceedings can raise a motion of no confidence in office bearers and put to a members vote. Beyond that the decision of the Chair prevails in urgent situations requiring action as per the constitution and these decisions can be noted and ratified at a later meeting
Action Nairn Cllrs to respond to CC questions re Parking Charges.
Clear information needed before public engagement (business case, projected revenue, legal status of land,cost of policing, set up and running costs)
HB to draft planning response re restricted lighting of signage , for ML to send to E Planning
2018 guidance now adopted by Highland Council includes increased contributions, but 'landowner' is liable , not developer.
Loreine Thomson noted supplementary answers received from Highland Council FOI re the ‘lost’ school land at Lochloy. HC confirm that the decision not to safeguard school land( valued at 1.3 Million) was taken for revision of Masterplan (approved at May13 SPAC) ) and covered by 2013 Developer Contribution guidance. At that time Nairn schools were not expected to exceed capacity, but hundreds more homes have since been approved. The FOI request asked about additional homes built by Springfield on former ‘school land’ resulting in an uplift in land value, yet no developer contributions are recorded for this. Highland has responded that any 'uplift' in land value does not normally make a case for compensation to community.
Secretary noted day to day impacts emerging for some families of no school at Lochloy with an active petition for a direct bus from to Millbank/Rosebank primaries- Cllr Heggie is looking into this.
Nairn Common Good Fund/Assets
Nairn Common Good Asset Register is still not published. Cllrs Heggie and Saggers will chase up -they understand there are still 2 outstanding legal issues delaying publication across Highland.
A member of public asked why Nairn’s CG Register should be delayed when it is Highland’s second largest fund and when key CG assets are under active discussion re their future use for the town.
Re Links Development, Loreine Thomson has questioned Nairn’s Ward Manager how the Links Development was to be resourced. Danger was noted of consultations raising public expectations if there was no budget to take ideas forward.
This has happened before with the Town Centre Charrette and Plan.
Were HC plans dependent on Team Hamish funding?
Does Highland have other funds in mind for this?
Cllr Fraser ( a CGF trustee) said that Nairn’s CGF fund was tied up in investments so no surplus money.
Cllr Saggers( CGF trustee) said that Team Hamish could lever in other funds if the public want that, and that CG fund has a net 40 k income per year which could be directed to this if not needed elsewhere
Cllr Heggie ( CGF trustee) said that Links development could be phased but need a development framework in place first
It was also noted that Nairn’s CG Fund has paid 15k for Nick Wright the consultant’s services to lead consultation for potential Links development. Clearly funds are being accessed but the decision making process is not currently transparent and there needs to be more community input . LM queried if more CG funds were likely to be spent on the ‘development framework’. Tom Heggie said that the Nairnshire Committee which he chairs will decide next steps and has no plans for more spend at present.
Re Sandown Lands ( also Common Good)
Screening opinion now issued re possible development of 65-70 houses for Sandown.nTom Heggie noted that nothing due to happen in near future as still complex issues to be resolved. If proposals emerge there will be an 8 week public consultation period.
It was noted that Sandown land must be independently valued for CGFund purposes. This could be lower if CG Fund is now to be liable for Developer Contributions as landowner
Brian Stewart noted that if plans were to go ahead for affordable housing - Highland Councillors would face a conflict of interest to maximise sale value as Nairn CG Fund trustees , and as HC sponsors of Housing Association to negotiate best land price, and low developer contributions.
AOCB and public questions
Following items deferred till next meeting to discuss in more detail, due to time constraints
Grantown Road /Balmakeith traffic management
Harbour Camper Vans and Environmental Health
Public Transport - new Stagecoach bus contracts
Secretary to attend Highland Community Council Review workshop Sat 24 Nov Glenurquhart Road HQ
Action - four items deferred till next meeting
Meeting ended 9 30 pm
Nairn Community and Arts Centre 7pm Wed December 19th. Proposed joint meeting with Nairn West and Suburban CC
NRCC Meeting dates for 2019
These will be published on our website and High Street Noticeboard, and in Nairnshire Telegraph
As per section 11 c of CC Scheme, NRCC will meet our requirement for 6 meetings plus AGM per year as follows
all at 7pm Nairn Community and Arts Centre on Wednesdays
Jan 23, Mar 20, May 15,June 19 AGM, July 17, Sept 18, Nov 19
Additional meetings with other CCs to be held as required