Election17: No Illusions – Billy Adams, Elgin City North

All individual candidates or political groups contesting the forthcoming local council elections in Moray are invited to state their case through the pages of our community news site – contact for submissions is editor@insidemoray.news. Here we have views of Billy Adams, Independent candidate for Elgin City North.

WE HAVE NOW HAD a period to digest the views of the various representatives and their issues which they wish to address if successful in the upcoming elections in May.

Affordable Housing
Better Internet and Mobile Phone coverage
Better Transport Links and Roads Improvements
Centralisation of NHS services and the burden placed on patients attending appointments

The list is unending and I cannot disagree with any of them but find myself asking the same question over and over again , “where is the money coming from?”

We should be under no illusions that nationally and locally we are entering uncharted waters politically and economically as Brexit is negotiated, potentially another referendum hangs over us and now a general election.

More pressure is being placed on Councils to deliver services with an ever decreasing budget. You’ll hear a lot about savings and cuts and see lots of figures branded about with competing groups demonstrating why they are deserving of being supported. Division of community as one groups win is someone else’s loss and possibly for a cause which could be equally deserving.

Cuts are not the only answer and closer focus on the benefits to be derived from any expenditure must be the driver exhibiting sustainability for the future. I believe these outcomes can only be delivered by closer co-operation between councils, departments and outside organisations.

Moray Council in their 2017/18 budget have a £7.6million deficit between income and expenditure and are looking to fill this gap from their reserves (savings). In the main this is how things have been done in the past and we are fast approaching a time when those savings will not be available any longer.

There will undoubtedly have to be cuts in some areas but I will work to ensure that they happen fairly and correctly. The New Council cannot continue to do things as they’ve always been done and need to look at innovative ways to solve the issues. We need to attract young professionals to come and live in Moray to invigorate Education and Commerce.

We need to maximise our Heritage and Tourist attractions to bring Visitors to our Area and kick start the local economy. We need to ensure that there is affordable housing and transport for the less affluent in our communities to have access to. We need to stand up to Centralisation of services losing local responsibility for quality delivery

The list could go on and on – and each of the candidates will have a similar view and look to achieve the most they can for their constituents and the wider Moray community. At this stage I don’t have any answers and, in reality neither do any of the candidates.

The future, is unwritten and I would feel most comfortable knowing that my views were being represented and defended against centralised govt cuts locally rather than dictated nationally by parties trying to maintain popularity.

Collaboration and working together to promote Moray as a place to live and work should be the priority of the next administration and I strongly believe this can only be achieved by flexible , hard working independent candidates.

I’ve been told that voters are fed up seeing their councillors whenever votes are required and rarely thereafter so I promise that I will be approachable and visible to my constituents. The decision the people of Moray face on May 4th is one about who will stand up for their interests best.

I believe the main duty of the Moray Council is to serve constituents diligently and with maximum efficiency and hope the voters believe that when they cast their votes accordingly. May 4th will let me know if others share my views or not and I look forward to the outcome in due course.

Also contesting the Elgin City North ward: Frank Brown (Scottish Conservative and Unionist), Sandy Cooper, Paula Coy (SNP), Patsy Gowans (SNP), Nick Taylor (Scottish Labour)