Agendas, reports and minutes
Date: Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Minutes: Read the Minutes
Minutes of Meeting of the Nairnshire Committee held in the Chamber, The Court House, High Street, Nairn on Wednesday 20 April 2016 at 10.30am.
Mr L Fraser, Mr S Fuller, Mr M Green, Mrs L MacDonald
Mr D Haas, Inverness City Area Manager
Ms L Cowie, Ward Manager, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey
Mr P Finlayson, Education Quality Improvement Manager, Care and Learning Services
Mr C Kemp, Area Community Services Manager, Community Services
Mr R MacLeod, Principal Housing Officer, Community Services
Mr D Coghill, Community Payback Officer, Community Services
Mr S Dalgarno, Development Plans Manager, Development and Infrastructure Service
Mr R Gerring, Transport Planning Manager, Development and Infrastructure Service
Mr P Mascarenhas, Community and Democratic Engagement Manager, Chief Executive’s Office
Ms R Cleland, Corporate Communications Manager, Chief Executive’s Office
Mr S Taylor, Administrative Assistant, Corporate Development Service
Also in attendance:
Group Manager F Nixon, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
An asterisk in the margin denotes a recommendation to the Council. All decisions with no marking in the margin are delegated to the Committee.
Mr M Green in the Chair
The Committee AGREED to allow the members of the press to record the meeting.
1. Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
2. Declarations of Interest
The Committee NOTED the following declarations of interest:-
Item 6 – Mrs L MacDonald (non-financial)
Item 9 – Mr L Fraser (non-financial) and Mr S Fuller (financial)
3. Presentation – Community Payback Service
Taisbeanadh – Seirbheis Pàigheadh Air Ais Coimhearsnachd
A presentation was given by Mr D Coghill, Community Payback Officer, on the work of the Community Payback Service during which he advised that community payback orders were handed down by the Courts to individuals who had offended and that his role involved the apportionment of unpaid work to offenders. He explained that, whilst the work undertaken by offenders formed part of their sentence, the aim of the scheme was to try and introduce individuals to new skills and to enable them to reintegrate back into the community without reoffending. It was emphasised that work was only undertaken through the scheme when it would otherwise not get done and that whilst the standard of work expected of individuals was that of tradesmen standard, this was not to make savings for the Council or to put businesses out of work. Various organisations and individuals could ask for services including Community Councils and the elderly, vulnerable or disabled and the type of work undertaken included grass cutting, tidying of pathways, tree cutting and (in cases where individuals did not have the capability) new fences, shed repairs and garden makeovers to provide low maintenance gardens. Individuals requesting the service were not charged for the labour provided and only paid for the materials used which were kept to a minimum wherever possible. In closing, it was advised that any Community Councils or individuals who considered that they could use the community payback scheme should contact the Community Payback Officer in the first instance and he would undertake an assessment of the work requested.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- Community Councils were best placed to judge the merits of proposals and the opportunity for them to engage with community officers on specific proposals and to develop an ongoing relationship was welcomed;
- work previously undertaken by the Council, including maintenance of some paths in and around Nairn, was highlighted as something the community payback service could undertake;
- there were large areas within Nairn which came under the responsibility of the Nairn Common Good Fund and consideration should perhaps be given to utilising the community payback service in this regard;
- the community payback service could also perhaps contact Nairn River Enterprise to look at ways of supplementing the assistance they intended to provide in relation to gardening for elderly residents;
- in terms of the number of offenders involved in the scheme, it was noted that all individuals were supervised at all times and that careful consideration was given to the areas they were working in.
Thereafter, the Chair thanked Mr D Coghill for his presentation.
The Committee NOTED the terms of the presentation as detailed.
4. Scottish Fire and Rescure Service Area Committee Performance Report for 2015-16
Aithisg Coileanaidh Comataidh Sgìreil Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba airson 2015-16
There had been circulated Report No N/08/16 dated 29 March 2016 by the Local Senior Officer for Highland providing an update on the progress in Nairnshire against the priorities outlined in the Area Committee Plan for Nairn and Badenoch & Strathspey 2015 - 2016.
Priority areas had been identified through a range of Intervention, Prevention and Protection activities delivered in partnership to reduce risk to the communities of Nairnshire.
The report also contained previously agreed information and performance as requested by Members.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- the historical trends provided within the performance report and the comparison with the average in Highland was welcomed;
- concern was expressed regarding wildfires, in particular several cases at Culbin the previous summer and reassurance was sought, and received, that the service had the capacity to deal with wildfires and that issues surrounding access to ‘The Culbin’ in the event of a wildfire would be addressed. In this regard, it was highlighted that in addition to local resources in Nairn, specialist wildfire appliances and off road vehicles were available from Inverness Fire Station;
- in congratulating the staff of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for the work they had achieved, the Service’s attendance at a number of events over the summer was highlighted;
- the advice provided by the Service’s Home Fire Safety Visits was endorsed and a request was made for copies of leaflets and links to online information regarding the visits to be made available for Members of the Committee;
- following a request for further information, the Committee was advised that, following a recent publicity event at Drumnadrochit Fire Station, an initiative to use local fire stations as communication hubs during periods of power outage, such as during a weather event, had been established with local agencies. The support provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies in relation to the Council’s emergency planning arrangements and the use of fire station facilities was commended; and
- information in relation to road safety programmes, including Driving Ambition and Safe Highlander, was noted.
Thereafter, the Committee otherwise NOTED the terms of the Area Performance Report as presented.
5. Nairn Common Good Fund: 2016/17 Budget Setting
Maoin Math Coitcheann Inbhir Narann: Suidheachadh Buidseat 2016/17
There had been circulated Joint Report No N/09/16 dated 11 March 2016 by the Director of Finance and Inverness City Manager inviting Members to set the revenue budget for the Nairn Common Good Fund (NCGF) for the financial year 2016/17.
During discussion, Members raised the following issues:-
- the decrease in investment income was highlighted and it was noted that this was attributed to a one-off redemption of war stock and that this money had been transferred to the balances;
- income of £15k had been made from the Nairn Games and this was highlighted as a good example of the work currently being carried out with the Nairn Common Good Fund;
- the proposed budget would cover substantial repairs to the paddling pool and guarantee that the facility would be open for the next three years during which time the opportunity to consult and draw up proposals for improvement to it and the Links and seafront area could be prepared;
- the protection of the paddling pool for the next three years was welcomed; and
- in relation to an ongoing issue with regard to angling rates, it was noted that an ongoing review of Council managed assets, including angling rates and the ownership of the river, was currently being undertaken and that a report would be provided on this in due course.
Following a request from the Chair, the Inverness City Area Manager provided further information on the Investment Strategy for the Common Good Fund during which he confirmed that, in collaboration with the Director of Finance and in accordance with the decision previously taken by Committee, arrangements had been made to place the funds allocated for investment with the Fund Managers, Messrs Adam and Co. In this regard, he highlighted their successful management of the funds of the Inverness Common Good Fund over a number of years and the good rate of return. Investment would be subject to market fluctuation and performance reported back to the Investment Sub-Committee.
The Chair highlighted the significant involvement of the Inverness Common Good Fund in the bulk of regeneration projects currently taking place within Inverness and that the potential for projects in Nairn to be developed could be achieved through the Nairn Common Good Fund. He also confirmed that any project bidding for funding would be subject to meaningful and effective consultation. Officers were also commended for their work with the Nairn Common Good Fund and the development of the Asset Register.
Thereafter, Members AGREED:-
i. the Nairn Common Good Fund Revenue Budget for 2016/17 as detailed within the report; and
ii. that update reports should continue to be brought before the Committee.
6. Future Development in Nairn
Leasachadh san Àm ri Teachd ann an Inbhir Narann
Declaration of Interest:
Mrs L MacDonald declared a non-financial interest in this item on the grounds that she owned an area of land in the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan and left the room during discussion of the item.
There had been circulated Report No N/10/16 dated 8 April 2016 by the Director of Development and Infrastructure presenting background evidence for future development proposals in Nairn and more detailed transport analysis to inform the preparation of a revised draft masterplan for the Nairn South development.
In this regard, the Delivery Strategy for Nairn confirmed the capacity of local services and infrastructure to accommodate development across the wider town and outlined the current status of sites allocated in the Development Plan. Alongside, a Draft Transport Appraisal had been prepared setting out the transport mitigation requirements for development of the Nairn South site. The Transport Appraisal was presented for approval for consultation to allow any comments to be considered.
Members were also asked to agree how to proceed with a new Nairn South Masterplan following the recommendations of the Examination Report to the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan.
During discussion, the Chair welcomed the Delivery Strategy for Nairn and highlighted the opportunity it presented for the Committee to represent the views of communities. He emphasised that, in relation to the proposed Nairn South Masterplan, it was not a case of people being against development in Nairn in general, but that the existing infrastructure could not cope with the scale of development proposed on the Nairn South site.
In response, the Development Plans Manager explained that, in the absence of a Masterplan, the Council would be in a much weaker position to determine an application for development and to mitigate the impact. The area had been allocated for development in the adopted Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan and there was a commitment to prepare a new Masterplan.
Following discussion, the Chair, seconded by Mr S Fuller, then moved that the recommendation to agree and prepare a new Draft Nairn South Masterplan be removed and that the following recommendation be agreed:-
- that, following being made available for public comment, the Transport Appraisal should return to the Nairnshire Committee on 21 September 2016 for consideration and recommendation as to whether or not to progress with the preparation of a new Nairn South Masterplan. In the intervening period, all work on the new Draft Nairn South Masterplan should be deferred.
There being no amendment the Committee:-
NOTED the Transport Appraisal summary document enclosed at Appendix A and AGREED to make it available for public comment.
The Committee also AGREED that, following being made available for public comment, the Transport Appraisal should return to the Nairnshire Committee on 21 September 2016 for consideration and recommendation as to whether or not to progress with the preparation of a new Nairn South Masterplan. In the intervening period, all work on the new Draft Nairn South Masterplan should be deferred.
At this point, Mrs L MacDonald returned to the meeting.
7. Education Scotland Reports – period January 2016 to March 2016
Aithisgean Foghlam Alba – ùine Faoilleach 2016 gu Màrt 2016
There had been circulated Report No N/11/16 dated 31 March 2016 by the Director of Care and Learning providing details on Education Scotland’s inspections of schools in the area during the period from January 2016 to March 2016 for scrutiny and monitoring.
The Committee NOTED the Education Scotland reports as circulated on the basis that a progress report on Nairn Academy would be submitted to a future meeting within the next year.
8. Nairn Roads Maintenance Programmes
Prògraman Càradh Rathaidean Inbhir Narann
There had been circulated Report No N/12/16 dated 8 April 2016 by the Director of Community Services inviting Members to approve the Nairn Roads Maintenance Programme for 2016/17.
The Committee APPROVED the Nairn Roads Maintenance Programme for 2016/17 as circulated.
9. Housing Performance Report - 1 April 2015 to 31 December 2015
Aithisg Dèanadais Taigheadais – 1 Giblean 2015 gu 31 Dùbhlachd 2015
Declarations of Interest:-
Mr L Fraser declared a non-financial interest in this item as a Sub-Contractor for the Housing Service in Nairn but, having applied the test outlined in Paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, concluded that his interest did not preclude his involvement in the discussion.
Mr S Fuller declared a financial interest in this item as a Council House Tennant but, in terms of the dispensation granted by the Standards Commission, remained to participate in the discussion.
There had been circulated Report No N/13/16 dated 3 March 2006 2016 by the Director of Community Services providing information on how the Housing Section had performed in relation to the Scottish Social Housing Charter and other performance indicators up to 31 December 2015.
The Committee NOTED the information provided on housing performance in the period from 1 April to 31 December 2015 as presented.
10. Nurturing Nairnshire Participatory Budgeting Update and Next Steps
Cunntas às Ùr agus Ath Cheumannan a thaobh Buidseatadh Com-pàirteach Àrach Inbhir Narann
There had been circulated Report No N/14/16 dated 11 April 2016 by the Acting Head of Policy updating Members on the recent Nurturing Nairnshire Participatory Budgeting process and seeking comment on the process and the partnership which delivered it.
The report also sought consideration as to how the process should be developed in the future in terms of the mechanism used, the services potentially in scope, the focus of future activity and the resource which could be utilised.
The Committee NOTED the feedback on the process and commented on potential future developments.
It was also AGREED that further information on the Community Choices Fund, in particular in relation to bids in areas of deprivation and tackling inequalities, should be provided.
There had been circulated Minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 January 2016 which had been approved by the Council on 10 March 2016 and which were NOTED – subject to the following correction –
Item 7 – Mr S Fuller had seconded the Motion by the Chair (and not Mr L Fraser as had been detailed).
It was also AGREED that the use of microphones and a hearing system at future meetings of the Committee should be investigated.
The meeting concluded at 12.30 pm.
- Item 4 - Scottish Fire and Rescue Area Committee Performance Report for 2015-16 Report, 936.98 KB
- Item 5 - Nairn Common Good Fund: 2016/17 Budget Setting Report, 109.47 KB
- Item 6 - Future Development in Nairn Report, 2.65 MB
- Item 7 - Education Scotland Reports – period January 2016 to March 2016 Report, 245.14 KB
- Item 8 - Nairn Roads Maintenance Programmes Report, 196.88 KB
- Item 9 - Housing Performance Report - 1 April 2015 to 31 December 2015 Report, 331.94 KB
- Item 10 - Nurturing Nairnshire Participatory Budgeting Update and Next Steps Report, 109.85 KB