A NEW cross-party group of Moray councillors has been formed to smooth the way for the handover to a new administration following next May’s elections.
The transition board comprises four members of the current independent/Conservative administration, four members of the SNP group and one Labour member.
Over the next few months, they will work together on preparing the foundations for a five-year business plan spanning 2017 to 2022 to give the incoming administration a head start as it takes office.
The board – which is being supported by officers from the council’s corporate management team – has already met to lay the groundwork and several more meetings have been scheduled.
Council leader, Stewart Cree, who sits on the board, said he appreciated the cross-party co-operation and was confident that it would lay the foundations for the next council to build on.
“It has been said time and again that extremely challenging times lie ahead and it is everyone’s interests that we pull together for the good of the people of Moray.
“We will aim to pave the way for a new council and a new administration in May without tying their hands because it will be up to them how they shape the future.”
Councillor Gary Coull, leader of the SNP group, said: “There are a lot of major projects in the pipeline in Moray that elected councillors need to give clear leadership on such as a city region deal, the building of new schools and levering in more money for council housing, amongst others.
“Therefore, it is important to see discussions happen between the different political groups in the council.
“It is also important that we ensure that those elected in May can hit the ground running when they come into office given the scale of the challenges ahead.
“Therefore, the SNP have agreed to give our input and help with this process in order that there is as smooth a transition as possible.”
Labour group leader, Councillor John Divers, said: “The board has a lot of work to do in a short period of time but I detect a genuine willingness – even eagerness – to work together and by doing so I believe we can ensure a smooth transition from this council to the next.”
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west.
The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.
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Contact: Peter Jones