No pavilion for Elgin pitches unless benefactor steps in

Time and cash run out on Deanshaugh.
Time and cash run out on Deanshaugh.

MORAY COUNCILLORS HAVE REFUSED to back a proposal that a costing exercise be undertaken over the building of a pavilion at Deanshaugh in Elgin.

At a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday, proposals that no pavilion be built on the site that has been waiting ten years for development and only one of three pitches be put into use was backed by officials.

Earlier members of the children and young services committee slammed the report that claimed there was no demand for more football pitches in Elgin – and pointed out that promises have been made for years that the playing fields would be fully restored.

The area was used as a dumping ground for waste from the Elgin Flood Scheme, saving millions of pounds for the Council in transportation costs to a landfill site.

However, the current financial position facing the local authority meant that the restored pitches, which are expected to be ready soon, could not be fully utilised as no funding was available for a pavilion.

Local councillor Mike Shand led the criticism of the original paper put before councillors in Committee – and did so again when it was brought to Full Council, saying: “Looking at the new report yes, there have been some changes but in these days when we don’t look at the process we look at the outcomes – the outcome is absolutely identical to what it would have been at children and young people.

“There is a recognition here of the financial position of the council, but the thing here is the lack of pavilion which would be detrimental to the use of the ground.

“It is greatly desired that we do have a pavilion there in particular by Elgin members, in particular since the infrastructure is there. We know the current position of the council so trying to put a pavilion in there in the current position would be nonsensical.

“But for this report – it is not so much the poverty of Moray Council, it is the poverty of ambition displayed by this report.”

Councillor Shand proposed that all three full size pitches be marked as well as the one juvenile pitch, with goalposts set for recreational training use, and that alternative sources of funding for a pavilion in the future be sought and sought continuously.

However, Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Douglas Ross sought an agreement that in addition council officials research the cost of placing a pavilion on the site – a proposal that was heavily defeated when only two fellow councillors backed the idea.

At the earlier meeting, Councillor Patsy Gowans pointed out that an offer to build a pavilion had been made – but withdrawn because of the time taken by the Council to restore the pitches.  Now the only hope for the local community appears to be a similar benefactor stepping forward.

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