Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Forres SNP Councillor Aaron McLean has condemned as ‘undemocratic’ and ‘farcical’, a decision by Moray Council today [Wednesday] not to support a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) project for Forres Town Centre.

The scheme, which would have seen funding of around £390k spread over 5 years generating several times as much in investment from other funders and building owners, was rejected after a report was considered recommending refusal, but which Cllr McLean was prevented from offering an alternative amendment that supported the scheme.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr McLean said:

“The procedures used by the Convener in today’s meeting were totally undemocratic and utterly farcical.

“The SNP had accepted that with budget pressures the original proposal would need pared back and we asked for an alternative option, which council officers came up with yet when it came to the crunch my motion to approve that lower commitment, which would still have delivered millions in investment in Forres, was not even allowed to be considered.

“The Convener of the Council initially accepted my motion, which was seconded and had reasonable support but then decided after debating the issue that it was against standing orders.

“Ultimately we had the farcical situation where we had a recommendation to refuse to support this important project with those wishing to take it forward not even being allowed to vote a different way.

“I cannot believe that two other Forres Councillors would not support this investment in Forres, when economic development is supposedly the Council’s number one priority and I cannot believe that they wouldn’t even allow an alternative option to be voted on.

“This was a bad day for Forres and a bad day for local democracy.”