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Community Council elections offer opportunities to contribute to the area you live in


By Garry McCartney

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The local watchdog's logo.
The local watchdog's logo.

THE community council elections are being held and candidate nominations must be in by 4pm today (Thursday, September 30).

Forres Community Council meetings are forums for public issues usually held in the Tolbooth on the third Thursday evening of each month.
Forres Community Council meetings are forums for public issues usually held in the Tolbooth on the third Thursday evening of each month.

Forres Community Council (FCC) secretary Jo Lenihan confirmed members are elected every four years and get involved in issues from environmental projects and organising local events, to campaigning, conducting surveys, organising public meetings and helping make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent.

She said: “I became a community councillor in April, 2020.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to give something back to the community I live in. The main purpose is to act as a voice for the community with Moray Council to address issues raised within the community.”

Forres Community Council meetings are sometimes held downstairs at the Tolbooth.
Forres Community Council meetings are sometimes held downstairs at the Tolbooth.
Local Moray Councillors including George Alexander attend Forres Community Council's meetings.
Local Moray Councillors including George Alexander attend Forres Community Council's meetings.

Local authorities are required to consult community councils about matters such as planning applications and licensing.

Jo said: “The community council is constantly raising local issues with Moray Council, Scottish Water, Forres Health and Care Centre, among others.

“Current local activities and issues we are focused on include Mosset Burn flooding, a new mountain bike track on Cluny Hill, dog waste issues, and gull problems across Moray. FCC’s most recent main achievement is supporting local families who experienced greater need during the Covid lockdown with an award of grants from SSEN.”

Former Forres Community Council Graham Hilditch (left) was instrumental alongside current community councillor Graham Murdoch in getting the community asset transfer of Leanchoil Hospital from NHS Grampian.
Former Forres Community Council Graham Hilditch (left) was instrumental alongside current community councillor Graham Murdoch in getting the community asset transfer of Leanchoil Hospital from NHS Grampian.
Former chairman Shaun Moat helped Forres Community Council make grants to people in need using £1000 the group received from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Former chairman Shaun Moat helped Forres Community Council make grants to people in need using £1000 the group received from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Community council members are elected by the public and must be on the electoral role.

For more information contact communitycouncil@moray.gov.uk or 07976 494 878.

Forres Community Council meets on the third Thursday of every month, usually in the Tolbooth courtroom at 7pm. Recent meetings have been held virtually.

Lesley Edwards joined FCC around four years ago.

She said: "I was interested in serving our community. I'm most interested in local issues around social care and the elderly who make up a high percentage of our population. I represent their interests at the meetings."

Forres Community Council members welcome visiting students from Mount Florida every year.
Forres Community Council members welcome visiting students from Mount Florida every year.

Fellow community councillor Ken Shand believes the watchdog is an important link for the people of Forres to the local authority.

He said: "FCC gives us a voice and connection to numerous organisations and groups for help and support.

"I would like to continue as a community councillor by listening to people and trying trying to address any problems they have.

"I was born and bred in Forres but made in the army. My veteran background, knowledge gained and the fact that I am a disabled wheelchair user means I can bring a lot to the table!"

Forres Community Councillor Frank Byrne is calling for more dog bins to be installed around Forres to reduce the mess left in public spaces.
Forres Community Councillor Frank Byrne is calling for more dog bins to be installed around Forres to reduce the mess left in public spaces.
Forres Community Councillor Fiona Graham asked Moray Council to level the uneven path at Nursery Lane.
Forres Community Councillor Fiona Graham asked Moray Council to level the uneven path at Nursery Lane.


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