Cost of living crisis, the B9007, and a busy week ...
Cost of living crisis
You may remember me talking a few weeks ago about the cost of living crisis and what Highland Council was proposing to do to make some small attempt to alleviate that.
Cllr Michael Green and I have also been looking at what we might be able to do locally and, in particular, we have been investigating if we could make a winter payment to people in need from the Nairn Common Good Fund (CGF). There is precedent for this: the Inverness CGF has been doing this for some years and was planning to pay out £98 per qualifying household but at the last meeting of the City Area Committee they agreed to increase it this winter to £150.
Unfortunately we’ve run into legal complications which means we will not be able to make payments in time for this winter even if councillors agreed to do so.
There is another way we can get help to people though, but this means the community needs to step up. At the last Highland Council meeting it was agreed to create a Highland-wide grant fund to support communities to respond to the cost-of-living crisis.
Grants of up to £10,000 per organisation are being made available with the aim of enabling community groups to provide local activities and support. We have already been talking to some local organisations to see if they want to get involved but if you’ve got any ideas then do shout as we need to ensure that the ward gets its fair share of this fund.
B9007 Carrbridge to Ferness
In the aftermath of the latest extended closure of the A9 at Slochd and the problems unofficial diversions caused especially on the B9007 Carrbridge to Ferness road which saw a lot of HGVs making use of it I’ve been talking to people about how we might handle that better in future.
I’m wondering whether it might be possible to prevent HGVs from using that route during closures of the A9, either by active policing or simply by restricting that route at all times to something like “7.5t except for access”.
If anyone has any views on this please let me know.
A busy week
As well as worrying about the above I continue to do case work for residents in the ward who have issues and I’ve also had multiple meetings this week including chairing a site visit at Boat of Garten and then a meeting of the South Planning Applications Committee for the first time as the chair wasn’t available.
I’ve also had briefings on Resilience and Emergency Planning, on Gaelic and the Highland Council, and on funding of Early Learning and Childcare; the last of which is a hot topic at the moment. I also attended a meeting of the Central Safety Committee.