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.