Councillors today reversed a decision to spend more than £40,000 on the first phase of an improvement scheme on the Buckie to Keith road.
They voted 13-11 in favour of removing the expenditure from this year’s capital plan.
Only two months ago it was agreed to include £42,000 for work on the stretch of road between Ryeriggs and Reafin.
The decision was taken as part of a review of the council’s capital spending plans and within the context of the current range of council service provision being financially unsustainable.
Today councillors were told that it has since come to light that the £42,000 was to be spent on land acquisition and design work associated with the proposed road improvements.
Corporate services director Mark Palmer (pictured) reminded members that, given the council’s financial position, it was unable to commit to the entire road improvement project.
He added: “Since phase one is restricted to the purchase of land and design work associated with the project, there is a significant risk that such expenditure could be abortive.
“It is clear that the council is not in a position to commit to the road improvements and until it is in such a position it should not commit to potentially abortive costs of £42,000.”
Mr Palmer said that at their March meeting councillors had demonstrated their understanding of the council’s financial position.
“In light of this, a substantial case for increasing expenditure would need to be made to avoid such action being regarded as financially irresponsible.”
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 92,500 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.