Discover more from Paul Oldham’s Newsletter
Year 2, Week 28
Council budget, changes to bus routes, road closures, and other council news ...
Council budget 2024-25
I am currently going to a lot of meetings on aspects of the council’s budget for the next financial year where, as I’ve said here before, we are currently looking a gap of £60-70 million, or about 10% of our budget. For more information on what’s involved in setting the budget I strongly recommend this page which has an introductory video and also some excellent infographics which lay out exactly how the council spends its money; like this one:
As part of the consultation exercise you can attempt the budget challenge yourself, using an online budget simulator, to see how you would make choices to balance the budget. Apparently this was done during the previous council and officers found the feedback from it useful.
You can also take part in a short budget survey as another way to express your views.
There’s also a separate survey you can take part in specifically for community groups to complete and to provide a group or organisation’s view.
Changes in Lochloy bus routes
Highland Council are proposing a new arrangement for the Auldearn Primary School bus with eight formal bus stops around the Montgomerie Drive estate and this will also affect the Stagecoach service 11 bus.
The essence of it is that the school bus will come into the estate and turn right into Lawrie Drive, go all the way round and then into Montgomerie Drive before doing a loop up Averon St into Burnside, coming back via Dulnain St to continue down Montgomerie Drive to complete the loop. See the map below which explains this better:
The eight stops have been chosen so that they are not outside houses, although some are across from houses.
As part of this change the service 11 bus will also follow the same route, although skipping the loop through Burnside (so reversing the circuit it does now).
I went out on Wednesday and looked at the whole route and I've put an album of photos showing the bus stop locations here.
I'd welcome any thoughts from parents whose children use the bus, service 11 bus users, and indeed from anyone else on the estate, ideally via email to Paul.Oldham.firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve got three in the next week:
The B9090 Cawdor Road in Nairn under the railway bridge will be closed from 10pm on Tuesday, 21st November to 6am Wednesday, 22nd November.
Mill Road in Nairn under the railway bridge will be closed from 10pm on Wednesday, 22nd November to 6am Thursday, 23rd November.
Nairn high street will be closed on Saturday, 25th November for Nairn BID’s Countdown to Christmas street market and switching on of the Christmas lights.
Other council news
Highland Council has announced that its in-house bus services will be offering free travel next week and that includes the 251 Nairn Town Service. (Passengers who have a free U22, 60+ or disabled concessionary bus pass should use their pass as normal to travel.)
The garden waste collection service will soon stop for the winter break with final collections of the year on Thursday, 30th November. The service resumes again on Friday, 1st March.
As part of the budget planning for next year Highland Council is consulting tenants on how much rents should rise. If you’re a tenant you should be getting an email or letter about this next week but you can find the survey here and the Tenant Participation Team has a dedicated phone number 07387 234107 that tenants can call to help complete the survey if they are unable to do so online.
On Thursday the Economy and Infrastructure Committee agreed to give Nairn Community Transport a grant of £5,750 and Wheels in Nairnshire a grant of £3,500 next year as part of a total funding package of £358,850 of Community Transport Grants across the council area.
The uplighters are the war memorial in Nairn were got working again before Remembrance Day but still need some work to get them level with the ground which officers will be undertaking soon. They are also investigating what work is needed on the decorative lighting on the Bandstand on the Links and also the Dr Grigor memorial in Viewfield in Nairn.