Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



SNP Councillors have called on Moray Council’s Independent/Tory Administration to make poverty a priority.

In a report considered by the Council’s Policy & Resources Committee Councillors were updated on the welfare support work being undertaken by the Council to mitigate against the impacts of Westminster cuts to disability and sickness benefits and the work done to help people who find themselves in difficult debt situations.

SNP Councillors welcomed the good work being done but also pointed out that the report repeatedly stated that poverty was not a current strategic priority of The Moray Council.

SNP Councillor for Elgin City North, Cllr Mike Shand, tackled the Independent Council Leader Stewart Cree on the issue saying it was a ‘shaming’ report and that the Council needed to urgently make poverty a priority and co-ordinate the work being done by individual departments.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Shand said:

“First of all there is a great deal of good work being done by the Welfare Support Team, amongst others, to help people in poverty in Moray but the report also spelled out the fact that the Council doesn’t give this issue the priority that it clearly needs.

“Now, more than ever, we need poverty to be given that priority in the Council. It is not enough to simply ride on the coattails of the good work of small teams. As Councillors our responsibility is to ensure that the right level of support is there and that poverty is recognised for the scourge that it is and given the priority it deserves.

“What was deeply concerning was the Council Leader’s comments which seemed to suggest that the Independent/Tory Administration would rather this was left to the next Council Administration. In other words he was prepared to be the Leader of a Lame Duck Administration for its final year in office! That is not acceptable the SNP councillors. This needs to be acted upon quicker than that and that is what we called for and what, ultimately, the committee supported.”