Independent candidate places flood alleviation as a top priority

Dennis Slater - hoping for early action over flood issues
Dennis Slater – hoping for early action over flood issues

THE INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE in a Moray by-election is calling on an early decision over flood protection for a local village.

Hopeman was hit by floods last year with residents having been complaining about a lack of drainage in the area that they believe is the root cause.

Officials from Moray Council acknowledged that drainage problems had existed for years – with the local authority calling in consultants over a year ago to undertake a survey.

Having been at the heart of the push for a flood scheme to be created that would finally end the misery for local residents, Community Association chairman Dennis Slater – the independent candidate in the current by-election – is calling for an early decision by Moray Council on a flood scheme for the village.

Mr Slater said: “Hopeman has suffered for years from these problems and I know through discussions I was involved in following the horrendous flooding in the village last summer that plans were being made to alleviate the problem.

“This is just one of the issues that has to be high on the agenda during the current by-election campaign in Heldon & Laich – and is one of the reasons I felt such a strong need to put my name forward.

“It is these local issues that are often swallowed up in the bureaucratic process and forgotten about, but people in the local community have certainly not forgotten and have been urging me to ensure that the issue is brought back to the top of the agenda should I be elected on October 1.”

In August last year Forsyth Street in Hopeman was turned into a river as water poured down the street. Other damage included a sink-hole appearing at the top of School Road. Residents expressed their fears that it was an issue that appeared to become more serious each time it happened.

Four candidates are contesting the Heldon & Laich by-election – Dennis Slater (independent), Joyce O’Hara (SNP), James MacKessack-Leitch (Greens) and Peter Bloomfield (Conservative).