New coun­cil lead­ers vow to im­ple­ment man­i­festo

Ad­min­is­tra­tion: SNP group to ‘shout’ about area’ s at­trac­tions

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY DAVID MACKAY

Mo­ray Coun­cil’s new ad­min­is­tra­tion has vowed to “shout” to make the re­gion’s voice heard.

After two weeks of limbo fol­low­ing a Con­ser­va­tive walk­out, it took just three min­utes yes­ter­day to rat­ify the SNP tak­ing con­trol of the cash-strapped coun­cil.

While in op­po­si­tion, na­tion­al­ists re­peat­edly tabled pro­pos­als to stream­line the au­thor­ity’s man­age­ment struc­tures and im­ple­ment ini­tia­tives to gen­er­ate more in­come.

Now Gra­ham Lead­bit­ter, who was in­stalled as coun­cil leader dur­ing yes­ter­day’s talks, has in­sisted the group will fol­low through on the man­i­festo pledges.

The El­gin City South coun­cil­lor has pledged to put the re­gion’s best at­tributes at the cen­tre of the ap­proach in an at­tempt to ease re­cruit­ment crises across var­i­ous sec­tors.

He said: “There’s clearly a job of work ahead. We will be hav­ing dis­cus­sions with the coun­cil’s man­age­ment team im­me­di­ately and will be ex­pect­ing to see progress quickly.

“We will have to take a prag­matic ap­proach but also a pos­i­tive one. The fi­nan­cial po­si­tion is well pub­li­cised. It’s crit­i­cal we bal­ance the bud­get in Fe­bru­ary and we will be speak­ing with coun­cil of­fi­cers im­me­di­ately about the chal­lenges.” Mr Lead­bit­ter added: “We are also in a re­gion that has an enor­mous amount to shout about and we will do that shout­ing.

“This an ex­cep­tional place to live and work and we will be pos­i­tive about Mo­ray, pos­i­tive about our coun­cil and pos­i­tive about the fu­ture that it is our job to shape.”

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Roddy Burns chaired yes­ter­day’s meet­ing of the full coun­cil to de­cide the lead­er­ship of the au­thor­ity. The SNP’s pro­pos­als were waved through un­op­posed with coun­cil­lors in unan­i­mous agree­ment of the change.

It means the group is now in con­trol of the coun­cil for the first time since 1999’s elec­tions, when an in­de­pen­dent ad­min­is­tra­tion rose to power.

The new SNP mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion is com­prised from only nine of the 26 mem­bers within the cham­bers.

How­ever, yes­ter­day, out­go­ing leader Ge­orge Alexan­der pledged to sup­port the group on ar­eas where they can work to­gether.

The in­de­pen­dent For­res coun­cil­lor said: “I’m amazed I lasted as long as I did. I thought I would be gone by Christ­mas. I only stepped in be­cause the two main par­ties wouldn’t talk to each other.

“I wish the SNP well. I have no in­ter­est of sim­ply get­ting in the way to make life dif­fi­cult for them.”

“We will have to take a prag­matic ap­proach but also a pos­i­tive one”

Pho­to­graph by Ja­son Hedges

ALL CHANGE: Coun­cil leader Gra­ham Lead­bit­ter and con­vener Shona Mor­ri­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.