An Elgin councillor is “ashamed” of Moray Council’s approach to tackling poverty and social inclusion in the region.
During a heated exchange at a committee meeting yesterday, Elgin North member Mike Shand accused the local authority administration of leaving the problem until after elections next year.
A report produced for the policy and resources meeting stated the council had no plans to produce an anti-poverty strategy or quantify the problem.
Mr Shand said: “The message I seem to be getting is that this is the last year of this particular council and a new council would come forward next year with its own priorities.
“Basically I take from that is that we are just treading water here. I don’t think that’s the right message to send out to the people of Moray.”
Committee members agreed that poverty should be considered as being made a priority. However, council leader Stewart Cree insisted the issue was already being taken seriously but welfare changes had made it difficult to keep up.
He said: “This council is dealing with poverty. This council has a good record of dealing with poverty. There have been many reports highlighting the good work that is being done.
“We need to look at it in the round due to the myriad of changes there have been, like the famed bedroom tax. In my ten years on the council nobody has ever come to me asking for poverty to be made a priority.”
Committee members were told a full report about poverty in Moray would be made before the end of the year.