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Co-operation and collaboration breaks out at Moray Council

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A spirit of co-operation and collaboration has broken out in Moray Council.

Members at a meeting this week came together to approve several notices of motion.

One congratulated the Queen on her 70-year reign.

Another lobbied the UK and Scottish governments on the cost of living crisis and the impact to council services.

Putting political differences aside, Conservative member for Buckie Neil McLennan seconded by Draeyk van der Horn, Green councillor for Forres, called for a cohesive, cooperative and collaborative leadership to improve the lives of people in Moray.

The move comes after a report from the Accounts Commission criticised councillors for not working together. They were also criticised for not showing strong leadership to achieve the local authority’s goals.

The motion said: “This council notes the reinstatement of group leaders meetings with senior officers in order to provide open communication, enhance scrutiny and aid decision making.

Conservative councilllor for Buckie Neil McLennan.

“We are committed to our duties and to improve life in Moray for all through
cooperative and collaborative approaches.”

Mr van der Horn felt all councillors had the same aim of wanting the best for Moray.

He said: “If we do all work together in collaboration for the people of Moray just think what would be possible”

Amendment

SNP councillor for Elgin South Graham Leadbitter was leader of the council at the time.

He said while there was a way to go in terms of the report’s findings, progress had been made.

He asked for an amendment to be made to the motion.

Mr Leadbitter said: “If willing, could there be an amendment to continuation of group leaders’ meetings, as the last group leaders’ meeting was held 10 days before the election.

SNP councillor for Elgin South Graham Leadbitter.

Mr McLennan agreed “absolutely” and apologised for the oversight.

In another motion SNP councillor for Elgin North Jérémie Fernandes, seconded by his party colleague for Buckie Sonya Warren, called for the co-leaders of the council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

They wanted to express concerns over the negative impact UK government economic and fiscal policies have on the local economy. They also wanted to find solutions to the cost of living crisis.

However after discussions with other parties, it was agreed the letter should come from group leaders. Separate ones will be sent to Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy Kate Forbes on the level of funding for councils and the impact on local services.

Plans to create a cross party working group to tackle the cost of living crisis were also unanimously agreed.

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