West link road plans go back on the Moray Council agenda

Dougls Ross – failed to find seconder

Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservative Councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde, has stated his disappointment after Moray Councillors failed to back his motion on the Western Link Road earlier today

The move would have seen the refusal of the road plans by the Council’s planning committee last month being the final word on the issue.

However, the move by Councillor Ross, who was the chair of the planning committee at the time of the previous decision before later being removed from his post by the ruling administration, failed to find a seconder.

Councillor Ross said: “It was clear today that the Chief Executive, Senior officers and the Independent and Labour groups on the council are adamant this road must go ahead – and are willing to ignore the views of the vast majority in Moray who see this road as a waste of money and unnecessary.”

An alternative ‘wait and see’ motion was put forward by the SNP opposition, seeking no further action until clarification was obtained on Scottish Government plans for the dualling of the A96 through Moray was obtain.

However, that was ultimately defeated by 14 votes to 9, meaning that new proposals will be put before the planning committee next year.

Councillor Ross said: “It seems we have an administration and a council who want you to respect their decisions – but if a committee disagrees with them, as the Planning Committee did after a two day hearing on the Western Link Road, then the decision can be torn up and resurrected in under two weeks.

“That does nothing to enhance the reputation of the council and the completely blinkered view some officers and councillors have taken on the need and design of the Western Link Road is astonishing.

“I said today that I was not elected because I was an expert in road design or railway crossings – I was elected to be a representative.

“To represent the views of my constituents and the people of Moray only to be told by the Chief Executive that by doing so I could earn the council a black mark from Audit Scotland – that was particularly galling.

“It’s a sign that ticking boxes seems more important than representing our communities and I simply will not accept that.”

Councillor Douglas Ross will provide the first ‘guest editorial’ on insideMoray this Sunday – other local political leaders will also be given the opportunity to provide this in future.

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