Care Home issue ignites local election hustings
24 April 2017
Issues including matching infrastructure provision to population expansion, ship-to-ship oil transfer and cutbacks in local education provision were discussed at a well-attended Highland Council election hustings event in Fortrose on Tuesday.
But the meeting came to life during discussion of the proposal by the Parklands group to build a 40-bed care home on a 'green belt' site in Ness Road, Fortrose, which the company says is the only site it will consider. The strength of local feeling on the issue was obvious as passionate pleas were made for the conflicting needs to increase care home provision on the one hand and to prevent encroachment on the open space between Fortrose and Rosemarkie on the other.
Vikki Trelfer, TBI Membership Secretary and Green Party Candidate in the Council election, made the most telling point of the evening when she deplored the necessity of having to depend for care provision on a profit-seeking private company rather than the preferable alternative of a publicly funded, community-run facility which would enable old people on the Black Isle to receive and afford the care they needed.
Five of the seven candidates standing in the Black Isle ward were present at the meeting: Gordon Adam (Liberal Democrat), Craig Fraser (SNP), Bev Smith (Independent), Rainie Smith (Conservative), and Vikki Trelfer (Green Party). Jennifer Barclay (Independent), and Michael MacMillan (Labour) had sent apologies. The event was capably chaired by Rory Mair, and thanks are due to him and to Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council which organised the event with the support of the other Black Isle community councils.
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