A rural Moray community has recruited its MSP to lead a charge to ensure its village is not left to rot.
Richard Lochhead will host a public meeting in Newmill next week to look at the challenges facing locals who are desperate to shape their own future.
In recent months, the SNP parliamentarian says he has been contacted with scores of concerns regarding current relationships with Newmill Estates and the Moray Council.
The lack of maintenance of estate-owned roads — many of which locals say are a minefield of potholes — is the main bugbear.
Other issues of unrest include the decaying Glenisla house in the Square and the level of village services operated by the council.
Rhona Patterson, chairwoman of the Newmill Community Association, said: “A number of the lanes and roads in the village are un-adopted.
“We are in a situation where the council no longer has the funds for an un-adopted roads budget.
“It’s something they did out of courtesy in the past but it does upset people that it no longer happens.
“The absent Newmill Estate owners have told us they do own the roads but don’t use them, so they don’t have any plans to look after them.
“Monday’s meeting will allow Richard Lochhead to talk to the people and advise them about what their rights are.”
Ahead of the meeting, Mr Lochhead said: “The purpose of Monday’s meeting is to bring residents together to air their views on how they can work together to shape the future of Newmill.”
A Moray Council spokesman said it had to focus funds on areas it has a “statutory responsibility” for.
“The council maintains over 1,000 miles of roads in the area on a limited road maintenance budget,” he said.
“This budget has to be targeted at areas we have a statutory responsibility for, which excludes any un-adopted roads.
“These must be brought up to a satisfactory highway standard by the landowner before the council would consider adopting them.”
Newmill Estates was unavailable for comment last night.
The meeting will be held on Monday from 7pm in the Newmill Village Hall.