PREPARATIONS ARE UNDER WAY to ensure that Moray Council will transition to a new administration in May next year with as little fuss as possible.
A cross-party group of transition board of councillors has been formed made up by four members of the current Independent/Conservative administration, four from the main SNP opposition group and one from the Labour group.
In the coming months they will work on preparing the foundations for a five-year business plan that should allow an incoming administration a head start when they take office after the May local council elections.
The board is to be supported by officer from the corporate management team who have already met to lay the groundwork with several more meetings scheduled. Council Leader Stewart Cree sits on the new board, and says he is appreciative of the cross-party cooperation and confident it would lay the foundations that the new council will be able to build upon.
He said: “It has been said time and again that extremely challenging times lie ahead and it is everyone’s interests that we pull together for the good of the people of Moray.
“We will aim to pave the way for a new council and a new administration in May without tying their hands because it will be up to them how they shape the future.”
Councillor Gary Coull, leader of the SNP group and who has already said he will not return as a councillor after May, added: “There are a lot of major projects in the pipeline in Moray that elected councillors need to give clear leadership on such as a city region deal, the building of new schools and levering in more money for council housing amongst others.
“Therefore, it is important to see discussions happen between the different political groups in the council.
“It is also important that we ensure that those elected in May can hit the ground running when they come into office given the scale of the challenges ahead.
“Therefore, the SNP have agreed to give our input and help with this process in order that there is as smooth a transition as possible.”
Labour group leader Councillor John Divers said: “The board has a lot of work to do in a short period of time but I detect a genuine willingness – even eagerness – to work together and by doing so I believe we can ensure a smooth transition from this council to the next.”