Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Diligence by Moray SNP Councillors has seen a previous decision on harbour charges overturned with a much reduced increase now in place.

In November of the Council’s Economic Development & Infrastructure Services Committee voted to implement a major increase in harbour charges, which would have seen some harbour users getting over 100% increase in their fees.

At the time SNP Councillors proposed a much fairer and measured proposal, with a lower percentage increase in charges and the retention of the over 60s discount.

Following that decision it became apparent that the information in the report to the committee had been misleading and there was no clear understanding of what the decision was.

SNP Councillors subsequently pushed for the issue to be reconsidered resulting in it recently coming back to the committee.

At the meeting the Council’s Administration were forced to propose an option that was much diluted from the November decision and which did not force harbour users to pay for services that they neither wanted or needed.

SNP Councillors pushed for further concessions making that point that it was entirely unfair to hike charges for current harbour users to pay for the Council’s failure to maintain harbours properly for over a decade. Ultimately the SNP alternative was narrowly defeated by 7 votes to 6.

SNP Councillor for Buckie Gordon McDonald, who proposed the SNP’s alternative commented:

“The original decision on this issue in November was very flawed and the SNP has pushed very hard to get it back on the agenda.

“While we didn’t get everything we had hoped for what we do have is a much better deal for harbour users than the Council’s Administration were originally proposing. They have, in effect, u-turned under SNP pressure.

SNP Councillor Sonya Warren said:

“The five administration Councillors on the committee who represent harbour communities - Cllrs Wright, Cowe, Slater, Cowie and Shepherd - should take a long hard look at themselves. They did not back their communities in November nor did they do so today and I am sure that will have been noted by the folk who use the harbours and who are paying the price for the lack of investment by this Administration.”