Cuts to school crossing patrols and Libraries too much for Councillor

Walter Wilson with Moray’s MP Douglas Ross – cuts discussions “too much”

THE TORY COUNCILLOR who quit his position on the ruling administration group at Moray Council did so because he could not face being party to swinging cuts in services.

These included plans being discussed that would remove all school crossing patrols, close every public toilet in Moray and shut down community centres.

Speyside Glenlivet councillor Walter Wilson insisted that he could not be party to cuts that his colleagues insist are required to avoid the local authority becoming bankrupt inside the next two years.

Councillor Wilson also revealed that once again Moray’s libraries are a target for cuts – with those remaining open after the last attempt at closing them down failed after legal action was threatened against the Council.

He branded his colleagues on the administration as “right-wing extremists” telling a local newspaper: “There are a core of right-wing extremists who have made life difficult for some of the Conservatives in the group and the Independent members of the administration.”

Last night the leader of the Conservative group, Councillor Tim Eagle, said that Councillor Wilson will be “sadly missed” from the group and his role as chair of the planning and regulatory services committee.

Council are facing a financial crisis with claims it could go bankrupt.

He said: “Walter was a friend and fellow councillor who as a fully qualified accountant offered a huge amount of knowledge to our group. He will be sadly missed.

“Our current budget discussions are not easy for any of us, all of us are Moray residents ourselves and have no desire to make any cuts. It hurts to even discuss them. Walter decided he did not want to take part in those discussions anymore and so handed in his resignation. I hoped he would not but that was fully his decision.

“As many are aware the Administration is currently involved in talks with the corporate and senior management team looking at every area of the council and coming up with options.

“Nothing is immediate though and we will be presenting everything to every resident in Moray as a consultation before any firm decisions are made. I look forward to talking to and importantly listening to all residents when that consultation comes out.

“All I hope is that every resident in Moray will give us the time to explain in full why each option is on the table.”