Council administration attacked over ‘underwhelming’ Paralympian response

Jim Gault: No civic reception.

The administration at Moray Council are being attacked for their ‘completely underwhelming’ response to the achievements of Paralympic bronze medal winners Gregor Ewan and Jim Gault.

Criticism was levelled at the controlling Independent/Tory administration after their dismissal of a call for a civic reception in honour of the Elgin and Lossiemouth Paralympians who were part of the successful Team GB wheelchair curling squad.

Forres councillor Aaron McLean highlighted the matter during a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday. He had earlier posed a written question to the administration asking if their were plans to hold a civic reception for the Paralympians.

However, Convener of the Council, Stewart Cree, said that no such event was planned but the local authority had written to both medal winners congratulating them and they had also had a brief mention at an earlier Council meeting.

Councillor McLean said: “There is obvious unhappiness amongst several councillors in Moray, who believe that the Olympic curlers deserve much more visible civic recognition of their exceptional achievement in gaining a bronze medal in Sochi.

“Their local communities and curling colleagues have made great efforts to recognise their efforts and, in turn, I commend the curlers for taking time to go to schools and to promote their sport, particularly to young people.

“What they have done is inspiring and they deserve far stronger recognition from The Moray Council, which should be leading the civic recognition of their medal success.”

His call was backed by fellow SNP councillor Margo Howe, who added: “Jim Gault and Gregor Ewan, both from Moray and members of the Paralympic medal winning curling team are an inspiration to people young and old.

“It should not be underestimated the effort that has to be put in to reach this standard of competition and winning a medal at an Olympic Games should be widely and significantly recognised by all in Moray.

“The Convener of the Council commented that a representative of the Council will be attending a function arranged by another organisation – but all this does is deprive the other members of the Council the opportunity to show Jim and Gregor their personal appreciation and that of the communities they represent.

“I personally congratulate the curlers on their efforts and I know there are many other councillors, including within the Administration who agree with this sentiment and who want to see more done by the Council.”

See Also: How crushing disappointment became Paralympic bronze medal joy

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