Local Interest
Moray-Life

Local news stories supplied to or wrtitten by us

 
 

Temporary closure of Wards level crossing

A busy section of road in Elgin will be closed to traffic for two days at the end of this month.

The closure of the level crossing at the Wards will apply from 8am to 8pm on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30.

Diversions will be in operation via Wards Road, Station Road, New Elgin Road and Edgar Road.

Vehicular access to business premises at the Wards will still be possible from Edgar Road, but not from Wards Road.

The closure of the level crossing will enable Network Rail and their contractor BAM Nuttall to install services in connection with new signalling.

Find Your Polling Place Online

An online tool has been developed to help voters in Moray find their assigned polling place.

The search facility is up and running ahead of the Moray Council elections on May 4 and the General Election on June 8.

The easy-to-use tool – which can be accessed at http://www.moray.gov.uk/pollingplace - enables voters to identify their polling place by entering either their home address or the elector number on their polling card.

There are currently 58 polling places across the Moray Council area and voters should be aware that changes to ward boundaries for the council elections may mean their polling station has changed.

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 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.

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.

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.