Moray Council’s Conservative group have unveiled their main spending priorities for the local authority’s forthcoming budget.
The main items highlighted in their proposals are limiting council service price increases and accepting the Scottish Government’s offer to freeze council tax.
Meanwhile the Tory group has also pledged investment in education, a new athletics track, a 4G football pitch in Forres, an increase in the road maintenance budget and bringing forward the capital spend on the Foths Bridge replacement.
Tory group leader Tim Eagle has urged all councillors to “come together” to set a budget that ensures the region recovers with “great strength”.
This comes after financial bosses warned councillors that estimated savings totalling £3.2 million will be required to balance the 2021/22 budget.
Mr Eagle said: “No-one wants to see a political fight this year, our proposals represent under only around 1% of the overall council budget, we need to come together as councillors to show a positive vision for Moray which will recover from coronavirus with real strength and we look forward to negotiating with other groups on the budget this year.
“While the overall priority is to limit price increases for council services, the group is keen to prioritise investment in education to address the growing attainment gap affecting too many young people in Moray.
“Now more than ever we need to show commitment to core areas of the council, and that means we cannot have a budget of cuts this year.
“Our principle desire is to invest in educational attainment and to that end we have asked officers to prepare plans for a significant increase in spend over the next two years to help our hardworking teachers support pupils as and when they get back to school.”
“On top of this we will argue for more money for roads maintenance and general repairs to ensure that as the investment from the UK Government in the Moray Growth Deal becomes reality we have the infrastructure ready to accept all that comes with it.”
He added that the proposals “come on top” of cross party work already in place to modernise and improve many areas across the Council.