Council leader is slammed for failure on health questions

Councillor Wright – accused of avoiding questions.

The leader of Moray Council was today accused of inventing new methods of avoiding difficult questions.

During an exchange at the health and social care committee in the council chamber this morning, Labour’s spokesman on health issues, Councillor Sean Morton, asked if the Tory/Independent administration had expressed concerns over “worrying events” at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin in recent months.

However, the Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor was told by the leader of the council, Allan Wright, that he was not entitled to ask question of the administration but could only put his questions to council staff.

That, according to Councillor Morton, was in stark contrast to the Council’s own procedures.

He said:  “The questions Labour Councillors asked today were not exactly difficult questions to answer – people in Moray will rightly wonder whether Tory councillors here will try to copy Tory councillors down south by introducing heartless policies like charging children for their social care.

“They will also understand us asking whether the administration has been expressing its concern over some of the worrying events that have happened at Dr Grays in recent months.

“These should be easy questions to answer, but Councillor Wright simply made up rules on the spot to try to avoid answering them.

“Labour’s health team may be relatively young but we are certainly well aware of what is in the rule book and have had it confirmed that Councillor Wright’s rules are non-existent

“If he spent more time answering questions than inventing ways to avoid them Moray would be a lot more confident in his leadership.”

At the same meeting a new strategy on the care of those suffering with dementia was approved, an initiative welcomed by Councillor Morton who said:  “People know that when I have concerns about council initiatives that I don’t hold back in my criticism.

“It is only fair that when I see great work happening that I give it my full-throated support.

“We in the Labour Group are fully supportive of the new dementia strategy that was unveiled by the Council today.

“It includes all the best ideas of organisations like Alzheimer’s Scotland as well as the knowledge and experience we have in Moray and should hopefully lead to greater prevention of dementia and better support for those living with it and those who support them.”