Moray Councillor speaks out against oil transfer plans

Sean Morton – urging other Moray councillors to stand up against CFPA plans.

A MORAY COUNCILLOR has become the first in the region to speak out against proposals that could see ship-to-ship oil transfers taking place on the Moray Firth.

A year after the Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) first came to light no local politician in Moray has reacted to the situation that is of great concern to coastal communities in the region.

While consulting with communities and councillors in the immediate vicinity of the port, the CFPA has never made attempts to consult with wider communities who would be affected by any spills resulting from transfers being expanded from the port itself into open water.

Nor have local councillors in Moray expressed concerns of local communities who fear that such spills could devastate beaches at Findhorn, Burghead, Hopeman and Lossiemouth.

As a renewed application is awaited from the CFPA next month and campaign group Cromarty Rising, which includes many members from Moray as well as regional Green MSP John Finnie, prepares a legal challenge to the plans, Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Sean Morton has spoken out.

He said: “I want to thank all those who have written to me about ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth.

“Like them, I want to look after our beautiful coastline and protect our marine environment. At-sea transfers of crude oil put sea life in the Moray Firth at too great a risk. I want to thank WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre in my ward at Spey Bay for all the work they have done to raise awareness on this important local issue.

“I will speak out against granting the Cromarty Firth Port Authority permission to transfer millions of tonnes of crude oil in the Moray Firth at every opportunity I have – and I’m very confident that Moray Labour will take the same approach in our manifesto at next year’s local elections.

“I hope other local councillors will take a similar view.”