Council leader hits out at criticism over Budget consultation

THE LEADER OF MORAY COUNCIL has hit out at local MSP Richard Lochhead for describing the public consultation on the local authority budget as ‘a disaster’.

Councillor George Alexander was reacting to a statement from Mr Lochhead who, in calling for the Council to drop their proposals over cuts to services for children with special educational needs, said that the handling of the council budget process had been a “public relations disaster”.

Mr Lochhead insisted that any action on cutting staff from schools made it more difficult for the workforce he has led to seek new ways of attracting teachers to the region very much more difficult.

However, Councillor Alexander hit back, saying the MSP clearly did not understand that despite the proposed contribution from the Scottish Government being better than expected it still meant a reduction in income for the council – and did very little to alleviate the threat of bankruptcy that still hangs over the local authority.

He added: “Moray Council’s budget process has been far from a disaster and the general public have reacted positively to the consultation – many suggestions have been forthcoming. Our children are not getting the education service they deserve because the service is spread over too many schools.

“Morale in our schools in indeed low and is likely to remain so until such time as councillors take their responsibilities seriously and change the way in which the service is delivered.”