MORAY COUNCIL IS facing its biggest ever shake-up with new leadership a certainty regardless of the outcome in May’s elections.
No fewer than six of the current SNP group on the council will be departing – including their group leader, Gary Coull, who will join the independent leader of the council, Stewart Cree, and the Tory council leader, Allan Wright, in leaving the chamber.
Joining Councillor Coull in not seeking re-election will be the SNP’s former leader Pearl Paul alongside Margo Howe, Mike Shand, Mike McConnachie and, perhaps more surprisingly, Kirsty Reid, just a few years after her selection at an Elgin by-election.
Between them they take the number of confirmed withdrawals from May’s ballot to nine, with Tory member Douglas Ross also not seeking re-election following his successful bid to become a MSP last year.
Several more are understood to still be considering their futures in what is anticipated by many to be a ‘toxic’ situation for councillors who face a savage programme of cuts in services.
Councillors have three months to make a decision on their participation in the ballot with several more thought to be having doubts over the difficult decisions that would be asked of them in the coming years.
Council elections will take place on May 4 with the eight Moray wards providing 26 councillors.