Friday, 23 November 2012

The best laid schemes.......

Good morning Convener, and how are you this lovely morning?

“Oh just hanging together Nigel.  I’m in an awful mess.  I’ll have to de-clutter.

“De-clutter” Convener?

“Yes, it’s this budget consultation, I’ve got bits o paper and e-mails and everything all over the place.  I’m in a right muddle.  So – when everything’s in a clutter I have to have a de-clutter – see?”

Well, whatever you say Convener - but what was it that you wanted to see me about?

“Well I’ve just heard that David Cameron has got something’ called an ‘App’ on his phone to help him run the country.  So, I thought, I could have one of those to help me run the Moray Council.  Only thing is - I don’t know what an ‘App’ is.”

Well Convener, an ‘App’ is a small computer programme that you can have on your smart phone to help you do things like book a hotel or find the nearest restaurant or..

“Could it find my car keys?”

Well,  I presume there is an ‘App’ for that too Convener but I really don’t think that it’s the sort of ‘App’ that the Prime Minister would have.

“Oh I wouldn’t’ bet on it!  Anyway I want an‘App’, I want a Sat Nav ‘App’

Sat Nav ‘App’ Convener? But you already have Sat Nav in your car.

“I know, but what I really want is a Doric Sat Nav”

Doric Sat Nav? Whatever for?

“Well the lady in my Sat Nav’s got a very snooty voice.  She keeps saying’ things like “continue on the A96 for 31 miles”.  What I want is something’ that says, “Keep going until you reach Inverurie”.  And then, when I don’t do what she tells me, or miss my turning she says “Recalculating, Recalculating, Recalculating.  It gets on my wick.  I’d far rather she just said “Where on earth do you think you’re going you dunderhead!”. 

Yes Convener, I’m sure that’s all very interesting, but I doubt whether there’s much of a market for a Doric Sat Nav ‘App’.  Perhaps you will just have to manage without one.

“Well I won’t know where I’m going”

I doubt if anyone will notice the difference Convener!

“Are you suggesting’ that I don’t know what I’m doing?  Or which direction the Council’s going in?

Not at all Convener. Not at all, but it’s something I have been meaning to speak to you about for some time.  It’s the new Development Plan you see.  

“Development  Plan?”

Yes Convener.  One of the big jobs for any Council is to publish a Development Plan which sets out how land should be allocated for the next 4 or 5 years.  In that way we can make provision for land for housing, industry and recreation amongst other things.

“So what’s the big deal about that?”

Well Convener it’s extremely important to give everyone a steer on where the Planning Authority wants to see new houses or industrial estates being built or, indeed, not built as may be the case.

“Planning authority? Is that us?”

Yes Convener, the Council acts as the planning authority for the whole of Moray and right now we are starting the process of producing the next version of the Development  Plan. So, like everyone else in Moray, you have an opportunity to make suggestions about how the land should be used.  The Council will then decide which of these proposals will be included in the Development Plan.

“So let me get this right.  Anybody can make’ a proposal or suggestion and, if the Council agrees, then it’ll be in the Development Plan and that’s what the ground will be used for?”

Well that’s a bit simplistic but I think you’ve got the gist of it Convener.

“Right! I want to make’ a proposal.  I propose we have a Casino”

A Casino Convener?

“Yes Nigel - I propose that an island in the pond in the Cooper Park in Elgin be allocated for a Casino.  Will that do?”

Well I suppose, in theory, that’s a competent proposal although I can’t see it gaining any support.  Why on earth would you want a Casino in the Cooper Park?

“Well a pal of mine is just back from a holiday in Las Vegas and he says that there’s a Casino in Las Vegas with Gondooolas”

Gondooolas? Convener?

“Yes Gondoolas. I’m not very sure what they are but apparently they go in the water.  So I was thinking they might be a bit like the swans and ducks that we have in the Cooper Park.  So maybe, if we got a pair of them, they would breed.  Then we would have plenty of Gondooolas for our Casino”

Convener! You are off at a tangent again.  What you should be doing is encouraging people to make contributions to the Development Plan so that they are not faced with any surprises over the next 5 years.  By having this debate now, we can allow everyone, developers, community organisations and private individuals, to make plans for the future based on what they can reasonably expect from the Development Plan.  Does that make it clear?

“Oh absolutely, Nigel.  It’s not only clear - but it’s very close to making’ sense!.

Thank you, Convener.

“So I suppose what you’re really saying is that the Gondooolas are out of the question?”

Yes Convener!


For full information on how you can help shape the next Moray Development Plan visit the Moray Council Website by clicking this link.

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