The departing leader of Moray Council has urged residents to vote for the election hopefuls "prepared to make difficult decisions" when they take to the polls today.
Moray Council is poised to undergo a radical shake-up whatever the result of next month's election.
THE outgoing leader of Moray Council said his successor will face "tough decisions" when determining which vital services to axe across the region if Holyrood fails to provide them with extra cash.
People power has been credited with saving a bus service in Moray that had been due to fall under the axe.
Moray's schools have been described as a "time bomb" with many at risk of closure due to health and safety fears.
Relief among Moray traders over “monumental” business rates U-turn… But anger over “sting in the tail”
Hotel and pub owners across Moray breathed a sigh of relief last night after SNP ministers' "monumental U-turn" on business rate rises.
Council leaders have been accused of playing "political games" to push through a budget which will mean residents pay more for fewer services.
The leader of Moray Council is bracing himself for "fiery" scenes when the authority sets its budget for the new financial year today.
Moray Council's administration plans to raise charges across the board and slash spending on gritting icy roads to help make ends meet.
The leader of Moray Council has warned that without drastic changes the authority is on course to go bust in about 18 months.
Vital Moray services which were once deemed "untouchable" could face the axe this year - despite the authority receiving millions more in government funding.
Moray Council hopes to capitalise on promoting the region as a creative haven - despite cutting its entire arts budget.
A cross-party group has been formed in Moray to prevent chaos following next year's council elections.
Improvements made to clamp down on a bullying culture at Moray Council have been hailed as a step forward.
The key to securing the long-term future of Kinloss army barracks could lie in transforming it into a "multi-use" site with space for businesses.
Moray's political and economic leaders breathed a sigh of relief last night as the UK Government confirmed the long-term future of Kinloss Barracks.
The Scottish Government has told Moray Council to take lessons from local authorities in other parts of the country to plug the gaps in its finances.
Union bosses have claimed morale at Moray Council has been shattered as staff wait to find out if their jobs will be axed.
Crunch talks between the leader of Moray Council and the Scottish Government about the authority's perilous financial position have been postponed at the eleventh hour.
Crisis-hit Moray Council is bracing itself for a mass exodus of elected members before the next local election. It has emerged that two thirds of the 26 councillors that serve the region are expected to stand down ahead of the vote next spring. The region's SNP opposition group aims to take advantage of the clearout to win control of the body and form a ruling administration. Both council leader, Stewart Cree, and convener, Allan Wright, will exit their posts. But the pair maintain that the region would be best served under the guidance of a coalition of councillors holding different beliefs rather than SNP members. During a full council meeting yesterday, Mr Wright predicted that "about 50%" of the serving councillors would choose not to stand in May, but a council source later estimated that number at "two thirds". The revelations come amid grim warnings about the council's financial future - which elected members who intend to remain in place fear will deter people from standing for the vacated roles. The authority has been warned that it faces bankruptcy unless a series of radical - and inevitably unpopular - service cuts are made. Deputy SNP group leader Graham Leadbitter confirmed that he would seek re-election, and said that the SNP would put every effort into gaining control of the local authority. Mr Leadbitter said: "The SNP fights every election to win, and we will be approaching the 2017 council election with that aim. "We believe we have strong policies, which will win support in Moray, and will be able to offer the council a strong leadership." The group will release a detailed manifesto as the election approaches next May. Council leader Stewart Cree will draw an end to 10 years on the authority. Mr Cree, who represents the Keith and Cullen ward as an independent councillor, stressed his belief that party politics should not intrude on council affairs. He said: "An independent administration is run by people bound together not by a cause or a manifesto, but because they believe independence is important to local government. "We don't want politics to be prominent." He also expressed hope that some younger people may inject some "fresh blood" to the authority by securing some of the empty seats. The other administration councillor confirmed to be departing is tenured Keith and Cullen representative Ron Shepherd. Mr Cree did not rule out the prospect of other members of the administration following him out the door. He added: "There are a number who are a long way from making any decision." The SNP group's leader, Keith and Cullen member Gary Coull, is among the councillors readying to leave the chambers. Other Nationalists poised to call it a day include Speyside Glenlivet veterans Pearl Paul and Mike McConnachie, and long-serving Elgin City North member Mike Shand. Mrs Paul joined the council in 1999 and helmed the local SNP group between 2003 and 2015, when she resigned from the leadership post for health reasons. Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor, Douglas Ross, said he would not seek re-election after being installed as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands constituency during the Holyrood election this May. But both members of the council's Labour group, Fochabers Lhanbryde's Sean Morton and Elgin City South's John Divers, said they hope to return to their seats after the upcoming council vote. Mr Divers said he feared years of budget cutbacks would put people off standing. He added: "There will be difficult decisions ahead."
Cash-strapped Moray Council has been warned it faces bankruptcy unless "radical savings" can be made to its budget.
Three business units in Elgin have been leased rent-free to a Moray group who are supporting the refugee crisis.
An Elgin councillor is "ashamed" of Moray Council's approach to tackling poverty and social inclusion in the region.
Two thirds of council buildings in Moray are no longer "fit for purpose" - and would cost more than £69million to bring up to scratch.
The leader of Moray Council has revealed the authority could resurrect plans to increase council tax - with the public's backing.
Moray Council yesterday agreed to spend nearly £200,000 on five new jobs - while progressing with "hair-raising" plans to slash public services.
As many as 80 employees in Fochabers are facing the prospect of losing their jobs at Baxters.
Moray's rural schools could face a fresh closure threat following public talks on how to resolve the council's budget crisis.
A historic Moray landmark will be mothballed by the local authority after attempts to secure its future failed.
Developers whose commitment to expanding Elgin was thrown into question when a major roads project was scrapped say they remain dedicated to creating new homes in the town.
Moray Council's leader has faced down calls for his resignation and vowed to stay in his job until at least next year.
Speculation is mounting that the leader of Moray Council could stand down after a controversial roads project championed by the ruling group was axed.