Local Interest

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Two popular authors at Elgin library

Two acclaimed authors are making a trip to Elgin library next month to celebrate their new releases.

Former barrister turned crime writer, Helen Fields, is the first to pay a visit. She’ll stop by on Wednesday 6 September at 7pm, to talk about her latest novel of murder and intrigue, Perfect Prey.

Best-selling crime writer, Lin Anderson, will be joined by a forensic guest as they discuss her work, in particular the latest outing for her fictional forensic expert, Macleod, in the Cairngorms. They’ll visit on Monday 25 September at 2.30pm.

Lin’s books often feature in the list of most borrowed books from Moray’s libraries, and her 12th Rhona McLeod novel, Follow the Dead, is sure to be popular with library customers.

Tickets for both events are priced at £5 and are available from either Elgin library, or Moray Council’s online shop.

Review of schools estate in Buckie area

Councillors in Moray will consider a review of the schools estate in the Buckie area to ensure a high standard of education and facilities is available to pupils.

Earlier this year a ‘Schools for the Future’ review was carried out by Moray Council officers, who audited the sustainability of primary and secondary schools in the Buckie Associated Schools Group (ASG).

It highlighted the unsustainability of four primary schools in the ASG, which are currently operating at less than 50 per cent capacity, as well as making recommendations for streamlining the school estate and making the best use of spare capacity in primary schools.

Today, members of Moray Council’s Children and Young People's Services committee agreed to consider a future review which Chair, Councillor Tim Eagle, reassured would not focus on school closures, rather making sure all young people have access to quality education and facilities.

“We’ve carried out Schools for the Future reviews in other ASGs, and Buckie is no different. What we’re looking to do across Moray is secure best value for the council, and provide the best learning environment possible. We will continue to fully involve staff, pupils and parents in any discussions which may take place in the future.”

Councillors also agreed to consider a new-build for Buckie High School in the future, which could see a joint campus with a new-build Cluny Primary School, along with nursery provision and a community hub.

A report to the committee noted that “although the school [Buckie High School] has been well cared for it is not a school for the 21st century”, with condition of the school at B standard, suitability at C standard and safety and security rated at D standard.

Currently at 75% capacity, the number of pupils enrolled at Buckie High School is set to soar, with 94% capacity forecasted for 2024.

Community Council elections under way in Moray

Elections for Moray’s 20 community councils are now under way.

Nomination packs are available for prospective candidates looking to stand for any of the 208 seats available across the region. Larger community councils like Elgin and Heldon have up to 18 seats, while smaller ones like Dyke Landward have seven.

Community council members get involved in a range of issues from environmental projects and organising local events, to campaigning on local issues, conducting local surveys and organising public meetings.

Prospective candidates have until 4pm on Thursday 28 September to lodge nomination papers with the Returning Officer at Moray Council’s election office.

If more candidates apply than there are seats available on any particular community council, an election will be held by postal ballot during October.

Nomination papers are available on Moray Council's website, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 01343 563334.

Moray Council selected for national netball pilot

MORAY Council has been selected as one of the first local authorities in Scotland to pilot walking netball.

Working in partnership with Netball Scotland, Moray Council’s sports development team will trial this new initiative in Forres from the start of September for five weeks.

A slower version of the game, which is suitable for all ages and abilities, walking netball is tailored to the needs of each participant. Newbies are welcome and a safe, comfortable and fun environment is guaranteed, as well as an outline of all the rules.

The hour-long sessions will run at Forres House Community Centre each Monday from September 4, starting at 9.30am. Joining in is free for Fit Life? members, or £3 a session for non-members.

Approval for Portgordon icehouse development

An application to build a coffee shop, wellbeing centre and manager’s flat as part of the development of Portgordon ice house was today given the go-ahead by planners.

The proposal, which was recommended for refusal by planning officers, received 48 letters of support and seven objections.

The applicant and supporters addressed a special hearing of Moray Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services committee.

Following the submissions Cllr Marc Macrae proposed a motion to approve the application, seconded by Cllr David Bremner. Chair of the committee, Cllr Claire Feaver, proposed the application be refused and was seconded by Cllr Amy Patience.

Cllr Macrae’s motion was carried seven votes to three. Voting for approval were Councillors Macrae, Bremner, Divers, Eagle, Edwards, Laing and Wilson. Cllr Donald Gatt joined Cllrs Patience and Feaver in upholding the officer’s recommendation to refuse.