Gathering Place deal announced with taxes set to rise

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Plan to concrete over beauty spot now ‘fully funded – and council chiefs want big tax rise.

by Colin Campbell

INVERNESS councillors were yesterday told the controversial Gathering Place project is now “fully funded” and officials “will now proceed to finalise the contract with the preferred contractor”. The leap forward in plans to concrete over the Ness riverside beauty spot with a vast outlay of public money came on the day when council leaders said they want to increase the council tax by almost five per cent. Continue reading “Gathering Place deal announced with taxes set to rise”

Fishers attack ‘madness, waste and folly’ of Gathering Place

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Anglers going to and from their riverside hut on a bright, chilly day denounced the Gathering Place plan in a two-hour blast of protest and opposition.

 by Colin Campbell

INVERNESS anglers cited as being central to the creation of the controversial riverside Gathering Place have instead attacked the “madness, waste and folly” of the £300,000 scheme. Weeks before work is due to begin, the plan to build a wall and concrete pathways on the riverside adjacent to the Ness islands has evoked scorn and ridicule from fishermen who were supposed to be among its tiny handful of supporters. Continue reading “Fishers attack ‘madness, waste and folly’ of Gathering Place”

Anger as more money is poured into the Gathering Place

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More public money will be spent on the Gathering Place on the riverside adjacent to the Ness islands.

by Colin Campbell

MORE public money is being poured into the controversial Ness riverside “Gathering Place” – despite a previous council assurance that spending on the wall and concrete pathways development would stop. Another £32,000 is being allocated to it to improve access for the disabled. It is understood the bill will be picked up by the Creative Scotland arts agency. However, at a time of constant cutbacks in essential services, the prospect of more cash being spent on a development opposed by thousands of people has engendered anger. Continue reading “Anger as more money is poured into the Gathering Place”

SFA shambles gives Keatings his rightful second chance

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James Keatings…’the dogs in the street knew he had been treated unfairly’.

THE PAUL CHALK COLUMN

WHAT a week that was for Caley Thistle forward James Keatings. His red card dished out by referee Greg Aitken in ICT’s 2-1 Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup semi-final win over Rangers Colts last Sunday left the nation and beyond baffled and confused. The Inverness club was both of those as well as furious. Continue reading “SFA shambles gives Keatings his rightful second chance”

Trees protest sends out signals on riverside destruction to come

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Trees facing the axe at the Gathering Place site have been highlighted by campaigners.

by Colin Campbell

TREES axed, shrubs uprooted, grass and flowers churned up, wildlife fleeing or destroyed: Highland Council is promising a spring by the Inverness riverside like no other. The beginning of work on a concrete wall and pathways to form the £300,000 “Gathering Place” on a beauty spot adjacent to the Ness islands is only a few weeks away.  Continue reading “Trees protest sends out signals on riverside destruction to come”

£80million pretty picture prison that won’t see light of day

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The new Inverness prison plan didn’t get beyond a series of artistic drawings.

THE COLIN CAMPBELL COLUMN

WHAT can be made of the “new prison for Inverness” saga? After five years of tunnelling out plans there’s still no sign of daylight. In fact the entire project seems to have foundered, loosened, and collapsed into a pile of dirt. Tory MSP Edward Mountain was first to hear the elusive prison had vanished over the far horizon after he tabled a question to the SNP Scottish Government. It had been “delayed indefinitely” he was told last week. Even by the abysmal standards of Nicola Sturgeon and co, this has been a seriously botched job. Continue reading “£80million pretty picture prison that won’t see light of day”

Friday Scottish cup tie in Edinburgh puts ICT fans last

THE PAUL CHALK COLUMN 

CALEY Thistle fans should feel used to it by now. But being shafted once more by the powers-that-be on a big cup occasion doesn’t make it all the more acceptable.BBC

The 25-year-old Inverness club have a superb big-hitting history in knock-out competitions, none more so than in the flagship Scottish Cup. The Championship side did remarkably well last weekend to defeat Premiership visitors Livingston 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals. Continue reading “Friday Scottish cup tie in Edinburgh puts ICT fans last”

All-powerful, arrogant SNP is rotting from the head down

by Colin Campbell

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Nicola Sturgeon with Derek Mackay standing directly behind her…too powerful for too long.

THE Derek Mackay scandal last week shed career-shattering light on the man who had been widely tipped as the front runner to succeed Nicola Sturgeon when she departs as party leader, which could be sooner rather than later. Drunk on power – and often just plain drunk it has emerged – here was a man who thought he could get away with anything.  But another illumination shed more light on the SNP and, its propensity for trying to con people on a spectacularly grand scale.
Continue reading “All-powerful, arrogant SNP is rotting from the head down”

Clients shun escorts, escorts shun city, in fake pictures backlash

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Fake pictures on websites lead to the city’s ‘escort’ business getting the cold shoulder.

THE escort business in Inverness has slumped due to the widespread use of fake photos involving women here “on tour”. The news will be welcomed by those who regret an often seedy element of city life encroaching on the Highland capital, but the downturn is all about money rather than morality. Recently INV reported on how pictures of international glamour models were being placed on websites advertising Inverness escort services, and now it seems potential clients and some escorts themselves have had enough.  Continue reading “Clients shun escorts, escorts shun city, in fake pictures backlash”

Time to announce date for dreaded work to begin

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The idyllic riverside location due to be torn up and concreted over weeks from now – but when exactly?

IN mid-January it was announced, to the dismay of many, that work on the reviled gathering place on the riverside at the Ness Islands would begin in the spring. Even after councillors voted in August to go ahead with the £300,000 plan to build a wall and concrete pathways on a cherished site of unspoilt natural beauty the faint hope remained that the hideously expensive riverside-ruining vanity project might still founder or stray of course. The declaration of the spring schedule dashed the hope that sanity could somehow still prevail. Continue reading “Time to announce date for dreaded work to begin”