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Tories unveil Moray Council spending priorities

By Alan Beresford

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THE Conservative group on Moray Council have unveiled some of their main priorities for the local authority's forthcoming budget.

Tory group leader Councillor Tim Eagle. Councillors need to "come together" over budget. Picture: Moray Conservatives
Tory group leader Councillor Tim Eagle. Councillors need to "come together" over budget. Picture: Moray Conservatives

Among some of the main items highlighted in the document are limiting council service price increases and accepting the Scottish Government offer to freeze council tax.

The Tory group have pledged investment in education, as well as a new athletics track, a 4G football pitch in Forres, an increase in budget for roads maintenance and bringing forward the capital spend on Foths Bridge replacement.

Tory group leader Councillor Tim Eagle (Buckie) said: "While the overall priority is to limit price increases for council services, the group is keen to prioritise investment in education to address the growing attainment gap affecting too many young people in Moray.

"Additionally the group is arguing the case for a targeted group of investments.

"Now more than ever we need to show commitment to core areas of the council, and that means we cannot have a budget of cuts this year.

"Our principle desire is to invest in educational attainment and to that end we have asked officers to prepare plans for a significant increase in spend over the next two years to help our hardworking teachers support pupils as and when they get back to school."

"On top of this we will argue for more money for roads maintenance and general repairs to ensure that as the investment from the UK government in the Moray Growth Deal becomes reality we have the infrastructure ready to accept all that comes with it."

"To support tourism, we will support plans to invest creating waste disposal points and stopping places for caravans and mobile homes. Making sure that Moray is open and ready for the staycations of the future and argue for the allocation of capital spend to top this up in the future."

Councillor Eagle went on to say that sport and leisure was "often forgotten" when spending priorities were drawn up, saying the the 4G pitch for Forres was "long awaited and much needed".

He added: "These proposals come on top of cross party work already in place to modernise and improve many areas of the council and the Conservative group remain committed to this work which includes significant plans to address poverty in Moray and support education.

"No-one wants to see a political fight this year, our proposals represent under only around one per cent of the overall council budget, we need to come together as councillors to show a positive vision for Moray which will recover from coronavirus with real strength and we look forward to negotiating with other groups on the budget this year."

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