Nairn River Community Council

Comhairle Coimhearsnachd Abhainn Narann

Minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2018 at the Nairn Community Centre





Members Present: 7

Tommy Hogg (TH)(Chair), Hamish Bain (HB), Mandy Lawson (ML)(Minutes), Veronica MacKinnon , Iain Bruce, Mike Henderson,  Aidan McCormack, Simon Noble,

Also Present :

 Cllr Tom Heggie (CllrTH)

Cllr Laurie Fraser (Cllr LF)

Cllr Liz MacDonald ( Cllr LM)

John Dolan (Nairnshire Telegraph)

Plus 9 members of the public.

Apologies :  Steven Bain, John Hume, Paul McIvor,


Cllr Peter Saggers ( Cllr PS)


Declarations of interest

No interests were declared


Minutes of last meeting held  April  2018

Meeting recorded digitally by Tommy Hogg and John Dolan.

Corrections - noted that last meeting ended 9.30 not 9

Minutes approved, proposed by Veronica Mackinnon  and seconded by  Hamish Bain

Simon Noble suggested that NRCC need to discuss  how we handle the Code of Conduct  due to his concern at reading in the Nairnshire about how a fellow NRCC councillor was held to account at a previous meeting for not being explicit in  separating his CC role from his private opinions in a letter published in the Nairnshire Telegraph. The Secretary noted that SN was not present at said meeting and to surmise based on a press report what actually happened. SN in response said that was inaccurate because the discussion was held in public and reported in the press. (  foregoing is amendment by SN) and then raising the same issue about the same CC member again in public to suggest that such concerns should be dealt with  in private was not appropriate.  It was agreed that a training session for CC members was overdue, since the last one run by HC was 2014 - Scottish Community Councils - website was recommended by Andy Randerson.   VN noted that if contacting media she would always check with the Chair first.

S Noble -not in favour of  arranging joint training with other CC’s   while Cllr TH was in favour  of this approach.

All members voted to arrange a meeting to discuss Code of Conduct -and other CC processes. ML will  approach  

Carron McDiarmid ( Head of Policy and Reform) to discuss options and dates for  training.

ML to contact Carron McDiarmid to explore CC training options


Matters Arising from the Minute 

Status of Proposed bridge from Lochloy to Balmakeith queried( this was raised by Ian Verner last meeting )Cllr LF said this  was cancelled years ago-  Various views were put forward by individuals

Loreine Thomson noted that a recent FOI request had confirmed developer contributions of- £2000  per house  towards a bridge  but has heard this will now  be an underpass, something which residents do not want.

The Secretary asked if we could  repose the question to Councillors and ask for a written answer for next meeting.

Harbour Shelter  seating  now added, with harling to come  . landscaping ? Reinstated to look like original.  T Hogg noted seeing a local volunteer  in his 90s, fixing the landscaping...

War Memorial paving repair  

This is a trip hazard and repair proposed  by replacing with slabs from path may not help this .

Cllr Heggie  has an upcoming meeting with Legion/memorial stakeholders and will report back

Outstanding actions ( HB compiling a list to pass on to Cllrs)

Cuts to CC budgets

 Karen McDiarmid has not yet been  in touch as promised to all CCs in Highland to respond to concerns re cuts in CC budgets.

Councillors to check official position regarding building of the long promised Balmakeith bridge/railway crossing  for which developer contributions have been set aside. When will it be built, what exactly is proposed, who is responsible and how much funding has been set aside?


Treasurer's Report

ML read accounts  Bank balance 16 Apri 6946.32

Grant for 18/19 not due till after AGM accounts?

We have communicated our concerns re cuts to HC and Scot Gov

 Steven Bain our Treasurer will be preparing end of year accounts for AGM  NRCC wish him well with his forthcoming wedding.


Police Report




Letter from Highland Games programme production company - do we as a sponsor want to buy an advert ?( price from  £150  - £500)    

2 letters sent out detailed later

1/ joint letter re Community Empowerment and public consultation

2/ Participation Request from NRCC

Acknowledgement of receipt of the latter from Pablo Mascarenhas , HC Community and Democratic Engagement Manager  

Suggested we should invite him to a future meeting of CCs  


CC priorities 18/19


ML has updated NRCC website with minutes, recent letters and survey info

Survey plans - need to press on ( see later)

Notice Board  High St - now updated and THogg keeping an eye- future meeting dates and AGM info will be posted there



New Parking Policy for Highland

Deferred from EDI 17 Maytill Redesign Group can deliberate  Re proposed parking charges - petitions Alness 1100 signatures, Nairn 1100 signatures. This paper is flawed to include car parking on Common Good Land, and other inaccuracies including projected revenue.

Paper goes  to June Full Council  With no policy in place no decision re local parking charges is possible.  Thus how could they pass a budget including parking charges?

T Heggie said that the  agreement is that there will be no local consultation process till after BID vote in August.  Community engagement - Cllr TH  noted a lack of trust in Nairn and has been finding out  whats happening elsewhere ( What Works Scotland  and abroad)  1% of local authority budgets to be spent through PB - participatory budgeting…. TH awaits policy on this and keen to hold a local seminar about this and explore models for  a community consultation framework, which people of Nairn can trust.

Member of public ( ex parking enforcement) works for  a contractor to HC to deliver parking --  queried how parking charges could be used to cover HC  deficit.. Says this is a non starter as money from parking must go back into transportation/infrastructure by law. Says also that regulating public transport would be more financially lucrative  TH explain new parking enforcement order for Nairn comes into force in June18  

Also unfairness of prioritising free parking for Council staff -which does not happen elsewhere

Loreine reported reply from Bill Lobban Chair Redesign Board -who says decision is already made on charges, only to discuss when and how charges to be introduced.  Query re why public not consulted sooner on  Parking Policy and proposed charges which was around in Nov last year - why was public not consulted then? .Did any Nairn members go to the ‘workshops’ for Redesign in Nov 17…Did no one get minutes of these?( apparently committee meeting information only goes to members -  Redesign Board - query re transparency and lack of local consultation - why are all councillors not in the loop ? NRCC would like to register concern in support of Councillors  They did query CG land parking - taken off table immediately  Concern that redesign now being used to make budget savings - not to transform/do things better as was the intention. It was not supposed to be a decision making group.

SB ( of ANB) said there will be trust when local people are properly involved and have the sense of working as Team Nairn

This is time for united front for Nairn- message for Tom Heggie -please don’t wait - lets do it now  and be seen to be working together.. We are all frustrated and need to collaborate .

This message was endorsed by CC members present…

SN noted that wider communities need to be represented.


Local consultation /Community Empowerment - 

Joint letter sent with 5 other community groups - W and Sub CC, CroyCulloden CC Kingsteps Residents Gp, Assoc Nairn Businesses, Nairn REsidents Concern Group

( Auldearn CC not a co signatory  but broadly supportive in principle, some reservations re school stats quoted Visit Nairn opted out )

Participation Request submitted( on correct form for all outcomes of HOIP)   to Highland Council to insist on community/CC  involvement on all topics affecting Nairn

Harbour works

Completed but tar /concrete to be removed from beach by contractor...must be removed within 7 days

Nairn Community Partnership

Next meeting Monday 21st May at Cawdor Primary

Secretary noted problem with contacting the chair of the local community  partnership. Via their website it took 10 days to respond and she has raised  concern at this access difficulty - also where is report of 2017 community survey?

Chair B Mackay has been copied in on Joint CEA letter

AOCB Can CC’s  ask to be copied in on papers for CPP?

Loreine - CCs not on CPP - concern re disconnect. Part of CEA if we want to be part of local decision making.  

New Local Governance Bill coming in soon and we need things to change, move forward.

SN - after previous attempts to get more input (and single seat for  all CCs  still  not yet resolved . SN suggested we need to turn up at CPP meetings from CC’s while we are awaiting a more formal role  TH would like to see a shift from ‘scheme of delegation’ approach to more capacity to deal with things locally -local people can decide what is best for Nairn.  We need to bring  CPP into this process  and change the culture, to acheive meaningful discussion/ reach decisions which people can trust.

Public Survey

Aidan updated. Survation will  supply training/resources if we do legwork - sample 500-750 homes £2000 ask for training and toolkit

UHI- Steve Westbrook also an option

 Action to get a proposal from both. Agreed we need independent approach preferably from outside Nairn

Loreine - we need to write the brief first… subgroup -to meet to take forward- AM, SN, ML and others


Re public survey - AM to lead subgroup to write brief and request costed proposal( to include volunteer training)  from Survation and an other ( UHI/S Westbrook)


Current Planning Applications

Joint letter to Stuart Black and chair of SPAC ( planning committee and EDI committee  re planning concerns  - no reply from Planning

Forres Road (Morganti Land - Deveron Homes)

Postings continue - Forestry Officer very critical

Kingsteps NA2 (MacDonald Land - Springfield)

No planning date yet?

Transport Scotland has caved in . Kingsteps Residents Assoc letter to Scot Govt minister  circulated - vote to support/co sign   5 in favour 1 conditional yes, 1 No

Sainsbury site ( McDonalds and Home Bargains)

Ref in joint letter  Transport conditional non objection

New e planning site - less user friendly site …

School site at Lochloy- LM update Ian Jackson Care and Learning has found no  record re why site was relinquished  LM has also searched minutes back to 2012 and found no decision for Nairn

Cllr Heggie /Cllr Fraser requested it to be noted that they took no part in Planning discussions


New Planning Applications   None in our area



Hogweed up Riverside

Now being sprayed from Jubilee to Town Bridge by HC staff  - delay due to many funerals in the town ( same staff)

Parking Policy

This includes mention of parking charges as a way of deriving best value  from CG Land - Cllr Heggie was asked for assurances that this will not happen -and his assertion that CG land was owned by Highland Council was challenged as it is owned by the  people of Nairn - in stewardship of HC

Flags on Beach -noted that these are shredded and need refreshed

Nairn Petition - against parking charges to be presented  by Liz Macdonald to EDI on 17 May

Dog Mess in Boath Park

Residents asking for ‘ clean up after your dog’ signs for corners Sutors/Camperdown Rd and Sutors Ave/Barbour Rd

Previous Surveys What Nairn Wants  - links on NRCC website to recent local surveys eg NICE, Town Centre Charrette.


Meeting ended at 9 30 pm

Next meeting 20 June AGM and ordinary meeting   at Community Centre  to start at 7pm

et  of