Reassurance that ‘offshore councillor’ will remain available

MORAY COUNCIL’S NEW Convener has moved to reassure people who have expressed concern over the absence of Elgin City South Councillor Ray McLean at the opening meeting yesterday.

Councillor McLean’s work offshore has sparked concerns that the narrow majority held by the new Administration would be severely tested as he works a one month on and one month off shift pattern.

Concerns have also been expressed by people living in Councillor McLean’s ward over his availability to them.

Last night group leader and council convener James Allan said: “It was unfortunate that the full council meeting last Wednesday ended in adjournment.

“My colleague Ray had made no secret during the election campaign that he works offshore and he had made arrangements with his employer to alter his shift pattern to accommodate as best as possible meetings of the council. Sadly, on this occasion Ray had to return to work on Tuesday.

“There have been many occasions in the past where Councillors of all parties have held other occupations whilst serving in the local authority. Indeed between 2007 and 2012 the SNP’s John Sharp also continued to work away from the area whilst an elected councillor for the Elgin South ward.”

Councillor McLean added: “I too was disappointed to miss the first proper full meeting of the Moray Council, having sought a change to my shift pattern to attend the induction sessions following the election on May 4.

“I assure the people of Elgin South and indeed Moray as a whole that I will make every effort to attend council meetings and to best serve the people who gave me their trust and their vote.

“Constituents can email me directly or indeed contact me through the council offices with any concerns they may have or issues they wish me to take forward on their behalf and I will be more than happy to do so in a timely manner.”