Talks on future balance of Council to continue until after election


The future administration of Moray Council may not be settled until after the General Election on May 7.

That was the view being expressed by the Leader of Moray Council as talks have continued into likely alliances sparked by the SNP’s by-election victory in Buckie.

When Councillor Sonya Warren gained the seat it left the nationalists as the largest single party group – and prompted moves to wrestle power away from the current independent-led administration.

Key to any new administration are the two Labour councillors and two Tory councillors. Labour group councillors Sean Morton and John Divers have held talks with the SNP group and then on Monday held talks with the administration.

Councillor Divers said: “Depending on what comes forward from both groups we may feel that we are stronger sitting out as we are and supporting whoever we agree with on issues as they arise.”

However, Councillor Divers added that there would be “deeper discussions” in coming weeks and it would be a while before any decisions are made.

Council leader Stewart Cree, meanwhile, said that the independent group had “good relations” with the Labour councillors in the past, adding: “The general feeling was that there would be little movement until after the Westminster election.”

Currently the administration is formed by 10 independent councillors and one non-aligned Tory, facing 11 SNP councillors.

As well as the two Labour group councillors there are two Tory members who were acrimoniously removed from the administration group at the end of last year.

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