MORAY Council is to invest millions of pounds in safeguarding essential infrastructure over the next 12 months.
Members of the council’s Economic Development & Infrastructure Committee this morning gave the green light to action plans for works in harbours, road bridges, street lighting, roads maintenance and flood alleviation schemes.
Urgent works will take place at Buckie, Burghead and Findochty harbours, and will include a diving survey, sheet pile works, cavity repairs and replacement rock armour at a cost of over £1m.
£130,000 has been allocated for bridge inspections across the portfolio of 371 bridges, with specific repairs to be carried out to 10 of these, including metal barrier and concrete repairs, kerbing and vegetation removal.
Councillors praised the progress of the replacement LED street lighting programme - which is ahead of schedule and £400,000 under budget due to renegotiating the purchase price of LED lanterns. Since 2016/17, 7,630 LED street lights have been installed, with a further 5,000 scheduled for completion this year. Significant energy savings are being made through this project, as installing each LED lantern halves the energy cost compared to traditional street lighting.
More than £8m will be spent on maintaining Moray’s roads, with £2m from the capital budget allocated for resurfacing, surface dressing and reconstruction of roads to prolong the lifespan of the council’s 1,500 km roads network, and a further £1m on maintaining footways, footpaths and drainage works. £1.7m has been earmarked for winter maintenance in 2018/19.
Almost £300,000 will be spent on flood risk management, including maintaining vital flood protection schemes in Longmorn, Lhanbryde, Forres, Elgin and Dallas.
Committee Chair, Cllr John Cowe, said despite the financial pressures facing the authority, continued investment in infrastructure was vital.
“To make sure we deliver value for money to our residents in Moray, we must maintain quality infrastructure and services. If we don’t invest now, it will cost more in the long-term to bring these assets up to standard.”
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. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.