Local Interest

Local news stories supplied to or wrtitten by us


Rent Rise Consultation

Council house tenants in Moray are to be consulted over the level of rent increase for the next three years.

In 2013 councillors agreed to raise rents by 4.5% over the following two years followed by a 5% increase for the eight years thereafter to help fund new house building

However, a recommendation that tenants be consulted on an increase of 3.5% or 4%, ahead of February’s budget meeting, was approved by full council on December 7th.

The consultation will run until January 13th.

Members were told that the housing service business plan could sustain investment of 50 new homes a year for the next seven years based on a 3.5% rent increase or 70 new homes over the same period with a 4% increase.

Moray currently has the lowest average rent level among Scottish local authorities.

Moray Council Elections Timetable

It has been agreed that the final meeting of the current Moray Council will be held on Wednesday, March 29th.

The date coincides with the final deadline for candidate nominations for the council elections in May.

A timetable for the elections, which will use the single transferable vote system of polling, was agreed at a meeting of the full council on December 7th.

A pre-nomination information session for potential candidates interested in putting themselves forward will take place on Saturday, March 4th, with the formal notice of election being published on Monday, March 13th.

Elections for the new council will be held on Thursday, May 4th, with the electronic count taking place at Elgin Town Hall the following day.

It will be the first time that 16 and 17-year-olds are eligible to vote in local government elections in Scotland.

The meeting was told that the budget for staging the Moray Council elections was £273,000, of which £101,000 would be reimbursed by the Scottish Government for the costs associated with the electronic counting of votes.

Further information about any aspect of the elections is available from the council elections office on 01343 563334 or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Moray Tenants Downsizing Revision

Moray tenants' downsizing incentive scheme is to be revised.

Changes are to be made to a scheme introduced by Moray Council four years ago to encourage tenants to downsize from under-occupied council houses.

They currently receive a basic payment of £1500 plus £400 for each surplus bedroom that they give up.

Since it was introduced, 64 tenants have taken advantage of the incentive scheme and transferred to smaller houses - freeing up larger properties for families who need the extra accommodation.

Today the council’s communities committee agreed to increase the basic payment to £1900 and to set an annual target of 25 downsizing transfers.

The committee heard that tenancy records suggested that more than 430 tenants were currently living in properties which were under-occupied.

“Although these records may not be wholly accurate, it does support the need for a downsizing incentive scheme,” said head of housing and property Richard Anderson.

Mr Anderson said the financial incentives offered as part of the current scheme compared favourably with those offered by other councils.

“While it is not proposed to change the basic format, the one area where tenants have raised concerns is the level of unforeseen disruption that a housing transfer can create.

“To reflect this, it is proposed to award an additional £400 per transfer to the basic payment to cover unforeseen costs.”


In line with other applicants on the housing list, downsizing applicants will continue to be given two reasonable offers of accommodation.

Council Lands Coveted Planning Awards

Moray Council has won an award at the Scottish Government’s Awards for Quality in Planning ceremony for its Creating Places in Moray initiative.

The submission, submitted by the council in partnership with Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS), explained the steps that have been taken to improve the design standards of development and promote better placemaking across Moray.

The benefits of high quality design include creating places that are attractive, safe and well connected with their own sense of identity which, in turn, helps to establish communities, promotes healthier lifestyles, and encourages inward investment.

Winning the award reflects the commitment and leadership of the council to work together with its partners to improve design standards which is supported by the three key steps of training, policy and process.

The council’s head of development services, Jim Grant, said: “The award recognises our commitment to improve design standards in new development across Moray.

Speyside Bridge Replaced

Work has been completed on a replacement road bridge on Speyside.

The C59H between Glenallachie and Edinvillie was closed to traffic for more than four months and diversions were in operation while the work was carried out.

Wider vehicles will now be able to cross the single-span bridge which also now has a footpath on one side.

The original bridge consisted of a steel frame and timber decking and was the subject of an emergency closure in 2012 when a detailed investigation found that its long-term future was not viable and that the entire structure would have to be replaced.

Moray businesses urged to enter for awards

Moray businesses urged to enter for awards.

Businesses in Moray are being urged to put themselves forward for this year’s Highlands and Islands business excellence awards.

Entries from across the region are being invited for the awards, which are organised by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

They provide a unique platform to showcase the achievements of the area’s businesses and celebrate excellence in a range of sectors.

The 2016 awards will be presented at the annual dinner on Friday, September 9 at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness in front of 350 guests.

Entries, which close on August 1, are being sought in a number of categories, including international business, marine business, outstanding business ambassador, research and innovation, business service and engagement, environmental sustainability, people development and outstanding business achievement.