A bitter dispute over the siting of a bottle bank in a north village will be decided by a community ballot run by the council, if the efforts of an external mediator are unsuccessful.
The bottle bank was removed from the pier building in North Kessock two years ago to allow for the building’s refurbishment and the creation of a coastal garden.
It was temporarily placed in the Ferrybrae car park, with the expectation of returning it to its original site.
But the row over the site escalated to involve demonstrations attended by police, obstructions and abuse towards council staff, community council members and councillors.
Most recently a petition and counter-petition have been raised.
Local councillor Gordon Adam told councillors at the Communities and Place meeting: “You may wonder why we are spending time in the midst of a global pandemic discussing where a bottle bank should be placed in North Kessock and Charleston.
“It seems ridiculous, but make no mistake, this is an issue which has divided the community, and it needs to be sorted.
“I think that a ballot is the least bad option, so I will support this course of action, with two conditions.
“First, that before the ballot, there is an attempt to mediate a solution, using an external mediator who will engage with all parties.
“Secondly, that the council undertakes to enforce the outcome of the ballot, obtaining a court order if necessary to make sure the bottle bank is installed and protected.
“We really don’t want any Trump-like shenanigans on the Black Isle.”