Discover more from Paul Oldham’s Newsletter
Year 2, Week 15
The Games, A96 Resurfacing, Visitor Levy, 200 subscribers
Nairn Highland Games
Despite the pessimistic forecasts in the days leading up to the Games we were blessed with good weather on Saturday and from what I saw it all went very well. For me the Games is the big event of the summer, a chance for the whole town to get together and have a fun day.
SNP Nairnshire had a bottle stall and we raised more money than ever before so thank you to everyone who donated bottles and who took part on the day. My apologies if you visited to say hello to me but I was taken ill around the time the bands arrived so had to go home. (All fine today, just one of those things.)
This continues to be a hot issue, especially the proposal to close the A96 completely from 7:30pm on Friday 25th August to 6:30am on Monday 28th August, i.e. next weekend which is also the English bank holiday weekend, with further overnight closures between 7:30pm and 6:30am each night on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th August.
At Cawdor & West Nairnshire Community Council’s meeting on Monday night this was a hot topic with residents of both Cawdor and Clephanton raising concerns and I’ve also had emails from residents in Brackla and Househill about further issues so I’ve been talking to Highland Council officers again about this. They continue to negotiate with Amey over how the potential problems arising can best be mitigated but there are still a lot of unanswered questions and so from my side I will be keeping the pressure on through the week.
The Scottish Government is consulting about introducing a visitor levy similar to that collected from tourists in many other countries. The levy rate will be set by each council and will be paid by accommodation providers who will collect the money by adding it to guests' bills. The money collected will be spent on improving local visitor services so in Nairn, for example, it might provide funding for better toilets.
You can find more about it here where you can also comment on aspects of it. There’s also another page here providing information about submitting a more detailed response to the Committee about the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill.
The consultation closes on 15th September.
This Blog and Mailing List
I did promise during my election campaign that I would keep people in the ward informed as to what was going on with Highland Council as I always felt that our last four councillors made a mistake by not doing that. The council is responsible for a lot of the decisions that affect your life so I think it’s important that you know what they’re up to and I and my fellow councillors are up to to help shape that. My principle way of doing that has been via this blog and its associated mailing list.
I was keen to offer email as a route for getting the word out rather than simply relying on posting to social media, as not everyone uses social media like Facebook or Mastodon but everyone on the Internet has an email address. This is why I chose Substack and last week we passed 200 subscribers to the mailing list for this blog.
There are over 10,000 electors in the ward and perhaps 5,000 households, so that’s only one household in twenty five that I’m reaching so far via email but it’s also true that the posts are read by more people as some read it via the links which I post to Facebook and Mastodon whenever I send out an email and overall I’m reaching about 400 people so in that basis I’m getting closer to 10%.
Anyway, there’s still a long way to go, but we’re getting there. And please let your friends know about the blog. Just tell them to search for paul.nairn.scot