Put up your own road plans challenge to council opposition

Councillor Cree

Senior administration Councillors at Moray Council are challenging those opposed to the West Approach Road in Elgin to come up with their own answers to the issue.

Plans for the £8.5million road were thrown out at a planning committee meeting last month – but brought back to the table less than two weeks later under controversial circumstances, when the administration forced through a vote that the matter be referred back to the Full Council this month.

That decision by the economic and development committee, chaired by Heldon & Laich councillor John Cowe, caused fury with anti-road campaigners and opposition councillors.

However, with the matter now set to be discussed at a crunch meeting of the Full Council on December 17, Councillor Cowe is joining the Convener of Moray Council, Stewart Cree, in issuing a challenge to those opposed to the plans.

Councillor Cree has invited members who disagree with the link road but do wish to see a crossing over the railway line linking the A96 with the new Elgin High School to show him where such a crossing should be placed.

“I am open to suggestions – and I would add that we don’t need to be engineers to identify a crossing point we think should be investigated as a possibility, as ample evidence has been provided to members on a range of possible alternatives,” Councillor Cree said.

Defending the decision of the economic and development committee to send the issue back to Full Council, Councillor Cowe added: “I am absolutely clear that the greater good will be served by building the link road and finishing the traffic distribution network around Elgin – something the council accepted in their development plan more than 12 years ago.”

The meeting on December 17 could prove to be a landmark for Moray Council, with the Independent administration, supported by one Tory councillor, facing a strong challenge from opposition members including a vote of no confidence in the current Leader of the Council, Allan Wright.

There may also be a proposal from ousted administration councillor Douglas Ross that Moray Council form a ‘rainbow alliance’ and remove party-divisions in the local authority.

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