Moray council tenants urged to help their own environment

Residents in Pilmuir rallied to repair overgrown pathways.

COUNCIL TENANTS IN Moray are being encouraged to help keep their own play areas, roads and paths in a clean and tidy condition by applying for part of a £100,000 council pot.

A consultation will continue to run on the Moray Council website until the end of January ahead of proposed changes to the local authority budget for 2017.

With very limited resources, Moray is expected to allocate just £100,000 for improvements to be undertaken on their own housing developments. Overgrown public areas have become an increasing concern for local communities throughout the region – but with a lack of available funding there appears little hope of the council putting additional resources into all bar essential maintenance.

Last September one group of residents in on the Pilmuir estate in Forres took their own direct action, local community champion Kerry Speed joining forces with local SNP councillor Aaron McLean to rally support.

Now an Elgin councillor has said that community groups should take advantage of what council funding there is to purchase tools to help them clear up overgrown public areas. Elgin City North SNP councillor Patsy Gowans said: “The council has a limited budget and people already know that means they cannot expect certain standards to be maintained.

“The idea of simply handing unhappy tenants tools and telling them to sort it out themselves is not something I agree with – but there are many organisations and schemes that would be able to pay towards a community-led effort to keep these estates looking good.”

The Estate Improvement Consultation is consulting on how the council can improve their management of the budget and to make sure that tenants, tenant groups and elected members have more say on how it is used. It can be found online here.