MP urges his Council colleagues to rethink winter maintenance on Speyside

DOUGLAS ROSS MP APPEARS to have taken the unusual line of going against his Conservative party colleagues by saying that the situation over winter road maintenance has changed.

At the Full Council meeting in November, an SNP and Independent motion to suspend standing orders over a previous decision to cut winter maintenance on some Speyside roads.

It was only when signs went up informing the public of the intention not to treat local roads that local councillors and the public were fully aware of the situation – and its potential consequences, which included halting school transport and so the ability for children to travel to their school.

Independent councillor for Speyside Glenlivet, Derek Ross, was left furious in the Council chamber when his motion, supported by SNP member for the ward, Louise Laing, failed to come close to the two-thirds majority it need to reopen discussions on the decision.

Douglas Ross met local farmer Alastair Nairn on Friday

That was firmly defended by Conservative and Independent councillors after the meeting – however, now it has emerged that Moray’s Conservative MP, Douglas Ross, believes that the decision should have been discussed again – and reversed.

That emerged from a meeting Mr Ross had in the Speyside Glenlivet ward with local farmer Alastair Nairn, who farms the Braes of Glenlivet. Mr Nairn hoped to use his tractor to transport children to school bus pickup points – but found it was illegal to do so, as children under the age of 13 cannot be transported on farm vehicles.

After meeting Mr Nairn, Douglas Ross said: “We are not even anywhere near the worst of winter yet and there has already been a lot of disruption in that area after a lorry got stuck this week. I know the full council did not debate it last week – but I think the circumstances have changed and it is important to look at what has happened since the first fall of snow.”

Earlier this week Moray Council pointed out that the lorry that got stuck would not have been prevented by their winter maintenance programme as it was not in the area being covered in any case.