Discover more from Paul Oldham’s Newsletter
Year 2, Week 13
Area Committee, Grant Street Yard, Land next to Seaman’s Victoria Hall, the Fire, 20mph speed limits, Queenspark ‘Rate your Estate’, NHS Highland Board recruiting, A96 resurfacing
As I said in my last post back at the start of July Highland Council has a policy of not having councillor meetings in July so we have a chance to take our holidays, and I did just that, sailing from Oban to Penzance on Bessie Ellen, a gaff rigged ketch built in 1904.
But now we’re into August and the meetings have started again in earnest, including Nairnshire Area Committee yesterday which is why I held off posting until today so I could include news of that.
Nairnshire Area Committee met yesterday. It was a hybrid meeting and sadly, although the video of the meeting is online the audio is not good. My apologies for that. We did discuss this after the meeting and we’re going to try doing things a different way next time.
Grant Street Yard
You will remember that in January the Council held a second consultation on the future of Grant Street Yard and that the last Area Committee agreed to sell it. As a result it was put up for sale and five offers were received and yesterday we agreed to accept the best one. You may remember that it was estimated by officers that the Common Good would probably make around £50,000 from that sale. I can’t reveal the agreed price at the moment as this is still commercially confidential but I can tell you that we have actually made rather more than that, assuming the sale completes.
Land next to Seaman’s Victoria Hall
I mentioned this back in March when the consultation opened. This was a request by Green Hive to acquire a narrow strip of land (outlined in red on the photo below) which is owned by the Common Good and which sits between the Seaman’s Victoria Hall and the old gas works site.
The consultation on this gave rise to a lot of comment, both for and against. My concern, which was shared by Nairn West & Suburban Community Council, was that that “a disposal for nil cost delivers no value to the Common Good fund”. I agree and I commented on that.
As a Common Good custodian I have to do the best for the Fund and with this in mind I proposed, and two of my fellow councillors agreed, that we sell this land to Green Hive for £500 plus costs.
We had a report at Area Committee from the local Station Commander so we asked him if the source of the fire at the harbour was ever determined. He said it wasn’t but the suspicion was that it started in an upper flat.
20mph speed limit roll out
As previously discussed here many times Highland Council is bringing in blanket 20mph limits across most urban areas and Nairn is no exception. The repeater signs started appearing in early July, including at the bottom of our garden …
What I’d not realised is that Transport Scotland have agreed to include the A96 in the programme (this was mooted early on but I’d heard nothing since) and their plan is to make the current 30mph section, so from just after Moss-Side Road through to just before Sainsburys, 20mph too. That’s why there are currently no big signs announcing the start of the 20mph limit on side roads like Lochloy Road as, once Transport Scotland’s signs are in place, the limit will have begun somewhat earlier. Hopefully all this signage will be completed this month.
I'm not entirely convinced that 20mph speed limits throughout the whole of Nairn are really required but it's certainly overdue in some parts of town judging by the demands for it I was getting from residents and having a uniform limit through the whole town, including the A96, should make it easier for drivers as they don't have to keep worrying if they're exceeding the limit.
Community councils will be surveyed in the coming months for their experiences of the trial, school pupils and parents will also be surveyed, and a full public consultation will take place in spring 2024 before a decision at made in 2025 as to which schemes to retain and which should be removed. So if, after experiencing the scheme for a while, you aren't happy you should ensure that you contribute to the consultation.
Queenspark ‘Rate your Estate’
One of the Council’s regular ‘Rate your Estate’ meetings took place this morning attended by residents, Highland Council officers, and three of your local councillors. My apologies that I didn’t give people notice of this one, as I usually try to do.
We spent two and a half hours walking around the southern half of the estate and many notes were taken of action points for officers. Previous rounds of doing this has helped resolve issues so let’s hope that continues.
NHS Highland Board recruiting
NHS Highland is seeking two new members for its Board. They are looking for people from a wide range of backgrounds who share their values and can bring a variety of views, particularly from those groups which are under-represented on our Board.
In particular, they are keen to hear from people with experience of change and innovation, and people management skills. They also value knowledge of issues affecting ethnic minority communities and young people in relation to health and social care. Applications are open from 26th July to 21th August and you can apply online here. Remuneration is £9,030 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week.
A96 Resurfacing West of Nairn
Over the next month the A96 west of Nairn is being resurfaced along approximately 1290m from a point 70m east of B9092 Ardersier Junction and 100m east of Delnies Woods. This is well overdue … but is going to cause you issues if you are using the road, especially at night.
Works are due to be undertaken in August and September 2023 in five stages:
This Thursday 10th and Friday 11th August – night-time Temporary Traffic Lights (TTLs).
Sunday 20th August to Thursday 24th August - overnight convoy working between 7:30pm and 6:30am each night. There will also be daytime TTLs in place on Wednesday 23rd, Thursday 24th, and Friday 25th August.
Full weekend closure between 7:30pm on Friday 25th August and 6:30am on Monday 28th August.
Overnight closures between 7:30pm and 6:30am each night on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th August.
Between Wednesday 30th August to Friday 8th September there will be overnight convoy working between 7:30pm and 6:30am each night, traffic management will be removed by 6:30am on Saturday 9th September.
During the closures westbound traffic will be diverted down the A939 Grantown Road, turning right onto the B9101 and continuing on the B9090 through Cawdor and Clephanton to re-join the A96 at Brackley.
Eastbound traffic will take the route in reverse. Additional traffic management measures will be in place in traffic calmed areas like Cawdor.