Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



The day after Moray’s Tory-led Administration slashed education spend in Moray, SNP representatives have said the battle to save services will go on.

They have pledged to meet with local community groups and unions to consider the next steps to save services under threat.

Despite having more than 4 million in funds than had been expected the Council’s Administration made few changes to the budget proposals first presented at the beginning of December.

SNP Opposition Co-leader Cllr Graham Leadbitter said:

“This week’s vote in Moray Council was a betrayal of Moray by the Council’s Tory-led Administration.

“They lined up to back a budget that cut more than a million pounds from education and children’s services, cuts that every SNP Councillor voted against.

“Along with many others in Moray we are not taking this lying down.

“It is unacceptable for the Tories and Independents running Moray Council to call for more money to protect services, to then get an additional 4 million pounds and not to protect services.”

SNP Co-leader Cllr Shona Morrison said:

“The Tory-Independent budget for Moray is utterly shameful. In my own ward it is hard to stomach that the local Conservative councillor, Marc Macrae, voted to cut librarian and technician provision in the local school and I don’t know how he can look constituents in the face after pledging to support schools.

“Conservative Councillor for Keith & Cullen Donald Gatt voted to put the Longmore Hall at risk, despite it not being included in the consultation, giving the community little time to respond before the threat of closure.

“In Lossiemouth Conservative Councillor James Allan and Independent Councillor John Cowe both voted to cut Towns Partnership funding, which has supported economic development in Lossiemouth for 8 years.

“In Buckie Conservative Group Leader Tim Eagle and Independent Councillor Gordon Cowie also voted to hit education and economic development budgets hard undermining the hard work of our schools and the wider community.

“Other examples include voting to cut School Crossing Patrollers on some of the region’s busiest roads; taking a huge cut from the Citizens Advice Bureau’s budget leaving this vital service at risk of closure and leaving town halls and community facilities across Moray at serious risk of closure.

“They have got 4 million pounds more than they expected and just 1 million of that extra funding would have saved all of these services and more.  It is utterly unacceptable.”

Richard Lochhead MSP added:

“For months Tory and Independent Councillors jumped up and down demanding more cash from the Scottish Government, which they duly received to the tune of £4m.

“To then force through a budget that hits education and Moray’s schools is a complete betrayal of our local communities.

“It is clear that there’s a determination within communities to continue to fight these cuts and they can be assured that local SNP representatives will be on their side as we continue the battle to save local services, including school librarians, technicians and community halls.”