Agendas, reports and minutes

Nairnshire Committee

Date: Thursday, 7 December 2017

Minutes: Read the Minutes

Minutes of Meeting of the Nairnshire Committee held in the Chamber, The Court House, High Street, Nairn on Thursday 7 December 2017 at 10.30 am.


Mr L Fraser, Mr T Heggie, Mrs L MacDonald, Mr P Saggers
In attendance:

Ms L Cowie, Ward Manager, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey
Mr R MacLeod, Principal Housing Officer, Community Services
Mrs L Dunn, Principal Administrator, Chief Executive’s Office

Also in attendance:

Mr I Murray, Chief Executive, High Life Highland (Item 3)
Mr G Morrison, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (Item 4)

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 T Heggie in the Chair


Prior to the commencement of the formal business, the Chair advised that the press would be allowed to record the meeting since it was a public meeting and was not webcast.  The Chair also advised that managing and delivering services in the year ahead would be challenging and emphasised the need for support from citizens to maintain local communities.


1. Apologies for Absence

There were no apologies for absence.

2. Declarations of Interest
Foillseachaidhean Com-pàirt

The Committee NOTED the following Declarations of Interest:-

Item 3 – Mr T Heggie and Mrs L MacDonald (non-financial)

Item 6 – Mr L Fraser (non-financial)

3. Presentation – High Life Highland
Taisbeanadh – High Life na Gàidhealtachd

Declaration of Interest: Mr T Heggie as a director of High Life Highland and Mrs L MacDonald as her daughter was currently undertaking a study on Nucleus declared non-financial interests in this item but, having applied the test outlined in Paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, concluded that their interest did not preclude their involvement in the discussion.

Mr Ian Murray, Chief Executive, High Life Highland (HLH) gave a presentation to the Committee during which he outlined the Council’s Public Service Obligations, i.e. the services operated by HLH on behalf of the Council; gave an overview of the financial composition of HLH; summarised the key governance processes with the Council; set out the benefits of HLH; provided information on the successful Leader Programme; and gave details on the next steps for HLH.

During discussion, further information was sought and provided in regard to the development of the dance studio at Nairn Swimming Pool; availability of open sessions/courses on falls prevention; and on the process that would be adopted by HLH in order to achieve the required £1m of savings.

Thereafter, the Committee NOTED the presentation.

4.Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – Local Committee Performance Report for 2017-18
Seirbheis Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba – Aithisg Coileanaidh na Comataidh Ionadail airson 2017-18

There had been circulated Report No N/14/17 dated 17 November 2017 by the Local Senior Officer for Highland (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service).

In discussion, the following points were raised:-

  • The Committee requested that their best wishes be conveyed to Mr D Wilkie, Nairn Station Manager, following his retirement;
  • In regard to false alarms, further information was requested and provided on the estimated cost for a call out and the sanctions that could be implemented for repeat offenders;
  • Concern was expressed in regard to the deliberate fires that were being started on Nairn East beach and assurance was provided that a successful multi-agency approach had been implemented to address this issue;
  • Further information was provided on the level of training that was required for Retained Fire Fighters; and
  • It was suggested that the support of local employers in releasing staff to attend Fire Service duties should be acknowledged.

Following discussion, the Committee NOTED and scrutinised the Area Performance Report.

5. Nairn Common Good Fund – Audited Accounts, Annual Report 2016/17 and Quarter 2 Monitoring
Maoin Math Coitcheann Inbhir Narann – Cunntasan Sgrùdaichte, Aithisg Bhliadhnail 2016/17 agus Sgrùdadh Cairteal 2

There had been circulated joint Report No N/15/17 dated 22 November 2017 by the Director of Corporate Resources and the Inverness City Manager.

Appreciation was expressed by the Committee to staff for their work in respect of the management of the fund, particularly in regard to the uplift in income following the conclusion of the negotiations for the extension of the Lochloy Holiday Park.  Responding to a question, it was explained that in order to stabilise the Fund, it had previously been agreed that the useable reserves would be invested and an update could be provided to a future meeting on progress of the Investment Strategy.   Once reserves had been built up to a sufficient level a policy would be developed whereby the reserves could be utilised to enhance the local community. 

Thereafter, the Committee:-

i. NOTED the Nairn Common Good Fund (NCGF) Annual Report for 2016/17;
ii. NOTED the position of the NCGF and outturn as shown in the 2017/18 Quarter 2 Monitoring Statement against budget; and
iii. AGREED that an update be provided to a future meeting on progress of the Investment Strategy.

6. Housing Performance Report – 1 April to 30 September 2017
Aithisg Coileanaidh Taigheadais – 1 Giblean gu 30 Sultain 2017

Declaration 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.

There had been circulated report No N/16/17 dated 22 November 2017 by the Director of Community Services.

During discussion, the following comments were made:-

  • The local housing statistics were very positive in comparison to the Highland Council average, the Committee commended the staff for this remarkable achievement and requested that their appreciation be conveyed; and
  • The general trend indicated that poverty and inequalities was increasing but the local rent arrears performance indicator had significantly reduced and further information was sought and provided on how this reduction was successfully being achieved.

Thereafter, the Committee NOTED and scrutinised the information provided on housing performance for the period 1 April to 30 September 2017.

7. Minutes of Previous Meeting

There had been circulated and were NOTED Minutes of Meeting of the Nairnshire Committee held on 21 September 2017, which had been approved by the Council on 26 October 2017.

The meeting concluded at 11.50 am.