Council refute claims that Dufftown has been ‘ignored for decades’

Alastair Jeffs – Dufftown “ignored for decades” by Moray Council

CLAIMS THAT DUFFTOWN is being neglected by Moray Council are being made by a local business owner and community councillor.

Alistair Jeffs insists that the Speyside town has been largely ignored for decades – pointing to the current situation that has left the town without a Post Office and the apparent lack of any action as typical.

Mr Jeffs, who owns a Bed and Breakfast business in the town, played a leading role in the campaign to halt planned closures to seven libraries in 2013 – including the Dufftown Library.

Since that campaign successfully halted plans to close the Dufftown library he has remained active in the local community, including becoming a member of the community council. While he does not blame Moray Council for the Post Office closure, he does believe that more could and should be done to alleviate the problem local people now face.

“People think Dufftown has been ignored for decades and in terms of what it brings Moray as a whisky hub, I don’t think it gets enough investment,” he told a Press and Journal reporter.

Mr Jeffs added: “Of course the council cannot be blamed for the post office and Royal Bank of Scotland leaving Dufftown – but there are a lot of vacant premises in the town that could use some funding to help boost the are in light of their departure.”

A spokesman for Moray Council hit back at the claims, saying that the economic development committee would welcome and carefully consider any requests for financial support – but have no record of any such requests from Dufftown recently.

Councillor John Cowe, who chairs the committee, added: “I object to the notion there is nothing happening in that area of Moray – the council is very much involved in Speyside.

“I think these comments are unfounded and I know that the Dufftown area has a very strong councillor in Fiona Murdoch who fights the area’s cause at every opportunity.”

The Post Office branch in Dufftown closed suddenly last month leaving elderly residents with a journey to Aberlour and Craigellachie collect their pensions. People in the community called for urgent stop-gaps measures to be put in place.