It’s an odd one this but planners have applied to themselves to get their own permission to waste £100,000s of “Common Good” money on a hideous precast concrete Berlin Wall, which is to be built to obscure the shoreline of the natural and beautiful River Ness.
This monstrosity is an apparently much beloved vanity project backed by the likes of local provost Helen Carmichael (rarely to be seen not wearing her “chains of office”) and the die hard anti-art brigade are hell bent on despoiling Inverness and wasting the money even when it is desperately needed for very worthy projects to fight and alleviate Coronoavirus COVID19.
It hasn’t taken long for councilors, past and present, to throw their voices behind the appalling and disgusting erection they are thrusting up alongside the beautiful and environmentally sensitive River Ness.
Former councilor Thomas Prag has been involved with various awful so called “art” projects and was another enthusiastic endorser of the Berlin Wall Project. The provost (we wonder if she actually sleeps with her chain of office on, as it appears to be melted onto her skin or fixed with Gorilla Glue) also welcomed her own decision making process. From top to bottom, Highland Council has taken its tax payers to the cleaners, ram raided the common good fund for cash and slashed the budgets of essential care services to build its drunks and druggies den and make Inverness River Mess.
This fight is over: Highland Councillors have thrown money, art, culture and the environment into the sea as they voted 15 – 7 to squander £750,000 of tax payer’s money on their own bigwigs’ vanity project: A Berlin Wall built on wild habitat alongside the once beautiful River Ness.
A spokesman for the campaign to stop this folly told us, “at least when the council leader and provost tell us there is no money for elderly and disabled care, educational needs or road repairs we can shove this wastage down their throats and say ‘we know why, you burned all the money'”.
In an astonishing last minute intervention the Director of Eden Court Theatre in Inverness threw his support in favour of the scheme and accused protesters of standing in the way of cultural progress in Inverness. The sad reality is that Inverness is already losing its Ironworks music venue to be replaced by another grey stock built hotel and Eden Court is the only cultural venue left. Its Director should have fought for any funds that were available for art to go to it – instead of this total “vanity” mess pushed through by apparently artistically challenged councilors who just seem to want a memorial erection in the city centre dedicated to themselves (at any price). £750,000 (and it will probably go over a million as developers rarely finish on time within budget) is much too much to waste on bulldozers scraping away the green sides of the River Ness, destroying its nature to build a druggies’ den that will be filled with rubbish, dog excrement, old needles and graffiti within weeks of opening.
In years gone by we had this cultural and environmental vandalism years ago – with the Urquhart Castle visitor centre at Loch ness (its real monster). The place is so absolutely hideous that every photo of the castle that you see on a card or biscuit tin or the quango’s (Historic Environment Scotland) own marketing material is very carefully angled to exclude the monstrosity. There is precious little left of value in Inverness, it isn’t worth a visitors’ journey and now there will be even less.
Unelected and therefore unaccountable in any meaningful way to the cash strapped residents of the Highlands, it’s head mandarin , Highland council Chief Executive, Donna Manson says the £100,000s of public money wasted on The River Ness Mess is well spent and the calamity must proceed.
Once a beautiful part of Inverness (perhaps the best part), this crackpot scheme apparently dreamed up by a few councilors in the privacy of the council chamber will see a huge concrete wall resembling the Cold War Berlin Wall built alongside the water’s edge.
Meantime, elderly and frail people in the Highlands freeze, starve and suffer from a crippled care service but the bosses at Highland Council are hell bent on their vanity project that will leave a massive ugly erection in the heart of the so called city for decades to come.
Inverness Councillor Ron MacWilliam has been spearheading The People’s Rebellion against Highland Council’s ludicrous and profligate wastage of public funds (£300,000 so far – and nothing has even been constructed yet!)
Now MacWilliam has reportedly been summoned for a dressing down and told to personally attend to apologise to the Highland Council bosses angry at his defiance of their diktats and refusal to be “muzzled”.
He was on the front page of The Inverness Courier this week and both he and fellow champions against The Wall have used The Freedom of Information Act to successfully crowbar the numbers showing true scale of the waste of public money out of the council (already spent and gone) because it is determined to build Inverness’s very own Cold War Era Berlin Wall alongside the (currently) beautiful River Ness. Photo it now folks, soon it will be a concrete catastrophe.
Many of us believe this is a disgusting waste of money by a local authority that is currently chopping and cutting every budget including elderly and vulnerable persons’ care and even charging 50p for use of toilets. But of course The River Ness Mess is a Vanity Project and nothing pushes big wigs’ buttons like the thought of a “legacy” – in this case a massive erection in the so called city centre, whatever the cost and loss to its citizens and the environment. What a way to literally pour The Common Good Fund into the sea. The councillors and officers behind it owe the people of Inverness and the Highlands an apology and should hang their heads in shame, while also cancelling this River Ness Mess.
We are proudly one hundred percent behind Councilor Ron MacWilliam and the group fighting this disaster. The council’s River Ness Mess is not art, it’s a blot on the landscape that will harm fragile wildlife and the environment and be nothing more than another litter and graffiti strewn cesspit for druggies and winos – and Inverness already has those in spades.
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