You may have seen on Nairn’s local Facebook pages that Nairn BID members/local businesses had been asked by Highland Council whether they wanted more CCTV for Nairn.
Results of a Nairn BID survey of members( pasted below) have been shared by Councillor Saggers who is a member of the Nairn BID board as well as being a Highland Councillor. He has written today to ask the two Nairn community councils the following:
‘The Council has asked the views of the Nairn Business community on the current CCTV coverage in Nairn. They asked whether the present coverage was sufficient both in terms of whether there were additional sites that should be covered and whether the present monitoring period of 16 hours a day should be increased to 24 hours.
Nairn BID have surveyed their members, results below. A plan of the current CCTV positions is also attached. If the CCs would like to add the views of their communities, please can you let me have the responses within a fortnight.‘
Nairn BID survey results
There have been 40 responses to Highland Council request to BID for feedback from Nairn businesses. ( around 1 in 10 of BID membership ). 32 ( 80%) wanted more CCTV. Consolidated answers to the questions are as follows: (NRCC note: Nairn Station is mentioned by 18 BID members but already has CCTV in place according to Scotrail website)
Nairn River CC are not clear what has prompted the above survey at this time, or what Highland Council decisions (if any) these survey results could be used to ‘justify’ .
SURVEY QUESTIONS posted below show the limited location options offered for ‘more CCTV’ . Interesting also to see Links, Maggot, Harbour car parks categorised as ‘Town Centre’ and the Station offered as an option despite having full Scotrail CCTV provision already.
1/ Is there sufficient CCTV coverage in Nairn? o Yes o no
2/ If not where else could CCTV cameras be useful?
Harbour car park
Cumming Street car park
Maggot car park
3.Should there be cameras outside the Town centre area?
Balmakeith Industrial Estate
No – town centre only is fine
Do you think 16 hours coverage is sufficient or should this be 24 hours coverage?
16 hours is fine
24 hours would be better
Cllr Saggers has given Nairn’s two community councils less than 2 weeks to respond to the above findings with ‘community views’. (We were not sent the actual survey)
This is an unfeasibly short window for us to consult the public properly, and report back, as we only meet monthly as a CC, so we will be asking for more time.
The Nairn community was promised by Highland Council this September a full public consultation on Parking Charges on Common Good Land at 3 seafront car parks in Nairn.
CCTV is a secondary topic to that much bigger issue. We do not wish to see it slip through as another ‘parking infrastructure’ cost to be subtracted from any Common Good income which might be raised from Nairn car parks, without the public having had a proper opportunity to consider wider implications for the town of any proposed charging scheme.
Interestingly BID survey results pasted above, from 40 members, reveal some demand for CCTV on the Links/Cumming Street, Maggot and Harbour. It is notable that these 4 Common Good areas, where voluntary parking charges are being trialled, are also 4 our 5 of the only location ‘options’ offered in the survey, Viewfield (also Common Good land) being the only additional one.
It has also been pointed out to us at Nairn River CC that CCTV in car parks can save Highland Council money on parking charges ‘enforcement’, by linking to a vehicle registration recognition system which means parking fine collection can become ‘warden free’ reducing staff costs.
Perhaps this is just a coincidence, but we note that at the April Nairnshire Area Committee (where installation of ‘charging infrastructure’ for the Links etc was approved by Nairn’s Councillors), Shane Manning the Parking Manager, suggested CCTV for these car parks as a possible way to reinvest income raised from Parking on this Common Good Land. You can watch this meeting here on Youtube.
CCTV may well be a good fit with Highland Council’s spending and enforcement plans, but could also reduce parking income ‘left over’ for Nairn’s Common Good fund, to spend on genuinely ‘community led’ requirements, rather than what Highland Council ‘suggests’.
We note that a few BID members have also asked for CCTV at Viewfield, Riverside Park ( both also Common Good land), and Nairn Railway Station (the station is not marked on Highland Council’s CCTV map above but Scotrail website shows that Nairn Station already has CCTV in place.)
Highland Council’s code of practice on CCTV is here if you want to find out more about it.
We will be asking Cllr Saggers and Highland Council for more time to consult the public on CCTV and will aim to feed back in October.
By that time we expect the ‘parking charges’ consultation promised for September 2021 (after a summer of ‘voluntary charging’ ) to have taken place.
That should give Nairn residents a proper and transparent opportunity, with full disclosure by Highland Council of all costs and parking revenue, and consideration of any local problems or trends arising from the current pilot scheme, to review wider issues and implications for parking charges and related security issues such as CCTV, in Nairn’s residential and recreational areas which are also Common Good Land.
If you’d like to read more on what’s happening in Nairn regarding the introduction of ‘voluntary’ parking charges on Nairn Common Good land at seafront car parks See the Answers here, that NRCC got from Highland Council to the ’20 questions’ which we asked earlier in the summer. It looks very much like compulsory charging and installation of CCTV , possibly at Common Good expense, could be the ‘next step’- so do have your say.
If you would like to share your views on this – add a comment below, via our Contact page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org