Agendas, reports and minutes
Date: Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Minutes: Read the Minutes
Minutes of Meeting of the Nairnshire Committee held in the Chamber, The Court House, High Street, Nairn on Wednesday 12 September 2018 at 10.30 am.
Mr L Fraser
Mr T Heggie
Mrs L MacDonald
Mr P Saggers
Ms L Cowie, Ward Manager, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey
Mr R Porteous, Roads Operations Manager, Community Services
Mr R MacLeod, Principal Housing Officer, Community Services
Mr J Henderson, Housing Investment Officer, Community Services
Mr S Taylor, Administrative Assistant, Chief Executive’s Office
Also in attendance:
Mr S Noble, Green Hive, (Item 4)
Acting Inspector C Johnstone, Police Scotland (Item 5)
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 committee meeting held in public and was not webcast.
1. Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
2. Declaration of Interest
The Committee NOTED the following Declaration of Interest:-
Item 9 – Mr L Fraser (non-financial)
3. Recess Powers
The Committee NOTED that the recess powers granted by the Council at its meeting on 28 June 2018 did not require to be exercised in relation to the business of the Nairnshire Committee.
Additional Urgent Item: Member Appointments – Nairn Business Improvement District (BID) Board
The Ward Manager advised the Committee that the Council had been approached by the Nairn Business Improvement District (BID) with regard to the appointment of a Member to the Nairn BID Board which was currently being formed following the successful vote for creation of a BID for Nairn. It was confirmed that as the Board was currently being formed, the next Committee meeting in November would be too late to take this nomination and it had been considered appropriate to take this at area committee level in recognition of this development in Nairn. The Committee was therefore asked to propose a Member to be the Council’s representative on the Board.
Having duly been nominated by Mrs L MacDonald and seconded by Mr L Fraser, the Committee AGREED to appoint Mr P Saggers to the Board of Nairn Business Improvement District (BID).
4. Presentation – Green Hive
Taisbeanadh – Green Hive
A presentation was made by Mr Simon Noble of Green Hive providing an overview of the organisation and its aims and objectives with regard to local environmental issues, community engagement, sustainable development and employability. During the presentation, Mr Noble explained that the aim of the organisation was to enhance Nairn’s environment by reducing and recycling waste; promoting food growth; turning local people’s ideas into action; making a lasting social and economic impact; the creation of job and volunteer opportunities and learning and education opportunities. The presentation also included information on specific activities and projects undertaken by Green Hive within Nairn and provided a summary of events currently scheduled to take place over the next two months. In addition, further information was provided on potential income generating waste reduction projects, such as wood and plastic recycling and mushroom growing, during which, it was highlighted that in seeking funding for these projects, there was potential for collaboration with local organisations and the creation of employment and work placement opportunities.
In discussion, the following key points were raised:-
- Further information was provided on the mushroom growing project, during which it was explained that this involved growing mushrooms in discarded coffee grounds;
- Further information was also provided on Green Hive’s involvement with local schools, during which it was highlighted that Green Hive had established a strong relationship with Millbank School and the Youth Forum and was seeking to further develop its connection with Nairn Academy;
- In highlighting a gap in the market for environmental projects in Nairn, the potential for Green Hive to work with Nairn Business Improvement District (BID) was suggested;
- Further information was provided on the establishment of wildflower meadows, during which it was explained that, whilst it did not specifically form part of Green Hive’s strategy, there was potential to establish these in areas of land around Nairn, including around the LochLoy development area and the electricity substation at Mill Road;
- It was confirmed that the site at Mill Road was owned by one of the electricity companies and that the potential to establish a wildflower meadow at this site should be pursued through dialogue with the owners;
- In regard to the potential for Green Hive to expand its projects into the wider local area outwith Nairn, it was confirmed that this could be difficult as the development officer only worked two days a week and resources were spread thin; however, an opportunity had been identified to undertake a litter pick and beach clean near Ardersier on the Whiteness peninsula;
- In highlighting the current trend for green living, it was suggested there was an opportunity for the Council to continue discussions with Green Hive regarding the provision of resources and assistance to support projects being undertaken;
- In welcoming the promotion of volunteer work by Green Hive, the potential to work with other groups and partners was highlighted; and
- It was suggested that a link-up between the Council’s Tenant Participation Officer and Green Hive could help to raise awareness of the forthcoming event in the Queenspark Gardens to tenants within the surrounding area.
Having thanked Mr Noble, the Committee NOTED the presentation and the information given and that the Ward Manager would provide contact details of the Council’s Tenant Participation Officer to Green Hive.
5. Police Scotland – Area Performance Summary
Poileas Alba – Geàrr-chunntas Dèanadais Sgìreil
i. 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018
There had been circulated Report No N/10/18 dated 28 August 2018 by the South Highland Area Commander.
In discussion, the following points were raised:-
- Concern was expressed that the figure of 141 missing persons which had been reported in the South Highland area during the period was relatively high and that of this figure, 72% of investigations were in relation to missing children and missing looked after children;
- The importance of providing care and protection at an early stage to help prevent vulnerable children from feeling that they had to go missing was emphasised;
- Whilst the figures in relation to missing persons were not disproportionally high in comparison to other areas of the Highlands, it was important to acknowledge that missing persons was an issue in the area;
- An increase in detection rates of a number of specific crime activities could be related to the amount of resources assigned in those cases and further information was sought, and received, regarding the specific types of crime in which the Force had increased its support; and
- Joint patrols which had been undertaken with the Fire Service around Nairn beach during the autumn had made a positive contribution in preventing antisocial behaviour.
The Committee NOTED and scrutinised the progress report against the objectives set within the Highland and Islands Local Policing Plan 2017-20 Year 1, attached as Annex A to the report, for the period covering 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018.
ii. 1 April 2018 – 30 June 2018
There had been circulated Report No N/11/18 dated 28 August 2018 by the South Highland Area Commander.
In discussion, the following points were raised:-
- With regard to the previous report, concern was again expressed that the figure of 46 missing persons which had been reported in the South Highland area during the period was relatively high and that of this figure, 26% of investigations were in relation to missing children and missing looked after children;
- Further information was provided in relation to reports of antisocial behaviour at the skate park, during which reassurance was provided that an officer was specifically allocated to antisocial behaviour and that officers in general were able to provide assistance when this type of crime was reported; and
- In highlighting that there were currently no antisocial behaviour orders in place in Nairn, further information was sought, and received regarding current demands on officers.
The Committee NOTED and scrutinised the progress report against the objectives set within the Highland and Islands Local Policing Plan 2017-20 Year 2, attached as Annex A to the report, for the period covering 1 April 2018 - 30 June 2018.
6. Nairn Common Good Fund – Quarter 1 2018/19 Monitoring Report
Maoin Math Coitcheann Inbhir Narann – Aithisg Sgrùdaidh Cairteil 1 2018/19
There had been circulated joint report No N/12/18 dated 30 August 2018 by the Director of Finance and Inverness City Manager.
In speaking to the report, the Ward Manager confirmed that the annual audited accounts would be presented to the Committee at its next scheduled meeting in November.
The Committee NOTED the position of the Nairn Common Good Fund, as shown in the Quarter 1 2018/19 Monitoring Statement against budget.
7. Annual Area Capital Report
Aithisg Bhliadhnail Chalpa Sgìre
There had been circulated Report No N/13/18 dated 6 August 2018 by the Depute Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Services.
In discussion, the following points were raised:-
- In relation to the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund, the results of an inspection which had been undertaken at Kingsteps Quarry had come back as clear;
- The allocation of £58k towards capital repairs and environmental works in Nairn was welcomed;
- The one-off property purchase in Nairn listed under the section headed New Builds should read “property purchases in Nairn”, as it was in regard to more than one property;
- In welcoming an increase in expenditure from £209k to £297k on roads, the problems currently experienced across the whole Highland area regarding the state of roads and the insufficient level of funding available to maintain their current condition were emphasised;
- Work currently being undertaken in relation to the replacement of White Bridge was welcomed;
- In welcoming the conclusion of works at Nairn Harbour in relation to dredging and the resolution of issues which had been encountered, it was highlighted that work was now progressing with the installation of traffic calming measures at the harbour in response to queries from the public;
- In relation to Nairn Academy, it was highlighted that, whilst efforts were being made to progress with this development, opportunities to seek funding at a national level were limited and therefore monies that had previously been considered available might not be available in the immediate future;
- In response to a question regarding the cost of the biomass boiler at Rosebank Primary School, the Ward Manager gave an undertaking to convey this to the Council’s property and energy departments and would ask them to provide a response to Members clarifying the cost; and
- A query was also raised regarding the Council House build at 7 High Street, Nairn.
The Committee NOTED:-
- expenditure on each project in this Council area in 2017/18;
- the budget for each project in this Council area in 2018/19; and
- that the Ward Manager would convey a question raised during discussion regarding the cost of the biomass boiler at Rosebank Primary to the Council’s property and energy departments.
8. Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme 2019-2021
Prògram Calpa Cunntas Teachd-a-steach Taigheadais 2019 2021
There had been circulated Report No N/14/18 dated 9 August 2018 by the Director of Community Services.
During discussion, it was suggested that, in relation to environmental improvements, community councils should be asked if they had encountered any problems around council housing in their area and that any issues or suggested improvements could then be taken forward by Members for discussion with housing officials.
- NOTED the allocation of resources to the Nairnshire Area as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;
- NOTED the investment priorities as set out in section 4.2 of the report;
- AGREED the proposed two year HRA Capital Programme for Nairnshire 2019-21 as set out in Appendix 2 to the report; and
- NOTED that updates on the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme would continue to be provided through Ward briefings and at Local Committees as requested by local Members, in addition to reporting to the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee.
9. Housing Performance Report – 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018
Aithisg Dèanadais Taigheadais – 1 Giblean 2018 gu 30 Ògmhios 2018
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/15/18 dated 12 September 2018 by the Director of Community Services.
During discussion, the following points were raised:-
- In relation to low turnover and large waiting lists for housing in Nairn, it was requested that further information be provided within future reports regarding overall housing demand in Nairn;
- It was also requested that further information be provided within future reports regarding rental income and expenditure in Nairn;
- It was highlighted that there were opportunities for the Council to purchase back council houses when they became vacant;
- In welcoming the low figures in relation to rent arrears, the impact of universal credit on tenants was emphasised and, following a request, further information was provided on how the service dealt with this as part of its overall business;
- Further information was provided on the process for reporting and resolving antisocial behaviour (ASB) cases, during which it was confirmed that all cases were identified on performance indicators until they were closed; and
- In welcoming the report, the Committee commended housing staff in Nairn for their work which encompassed many different areas and people with a range of needs.
The Committee NOTED and scrutinised the information provided on housing performance for the period 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018.
10. Nairn Winter Maintenance Plan for 2018/19
Plana Obair-gleidhidh Geamhraidh Inbhir Narann airson 2018/19
There had been circulated Report No N/16/18 dated 27 August 2018 by the Director of Community Services.
During discussion, the following points were raised:-
- It was highlighted that under the priority routes identified for the Nairn area, 51% of roads came under the “other” category and concern was expressed that a significant proportion of the road network in Nairn might not be immediately treated during events of bad winter weather;
- Following a request for further information, during which it was confirmed that salt bins in the area would be filled imminently in preparation for the winter weather, it was emphasised that communities could take the initiative and help themselves during the winter weather;
- Further information was provided on the treatment of car parks, during which it was confirmed that car parks were gritted in relation to their location within the identified priority routes table; and
- It was emphasised that staff would be on standby to treat roads during winter weather and that the situation would continue to be monitored.
The Committee APPROVED the Winter Maintenance Plan for the Nairn Area for 2018/19, which was in accordance with report EDI/57/18, and included the priority road maps presented in Appendix B to the report, noting amendments in paragraphs 3.5, 8.2 and 12.3 of the report.
11. Minutes of Previous Meeting
There had been circulated and were NOTED Minutes of Meeting of the Nairnshire Committee held on 13 June 2018, which had been approved by the Council on 28 June 2018.
The meeting concluded at 11.55 am.
- Item 5 i - Police Scotland – Area Performance Summary 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018 Report, 292.37 KB
- Item 5 i - Police Scotland – Area Performance Summary 1 April 2018 – 30 June 2018 Report, 350.97 KB
- Item 6 - Nairn Common Good Fund – Quarter 1 2018/19 Monitoring Report Report, 164.45 KB
- Item 7 - Annual Area Capital Report Report, 308.87 KB
- Item 8 - Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme 2019-2021 Report, 230.04 KB
- Item 9 - Housing Performance Report – 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018 Report, 252.23 KB
- Item 10 - Nairn Winter Maintenance Plan for 2018/19 Report, 1.56 MB