Moray Labour gathered last weekend to celebrate John Divers’ 20 years as a Moray Councillor. The surprise gathering was attended by Moray Constituency Labour Party members, local supporters, as well as current and former Moray Council colleagues.
The event also marked 20 years since Labour’s historic result in the 1999 local elections, in which Labour returned a record six councillors and held the balance of power within the Council. Labour entered administration for the first time in Moray and dominated the local agenda for the next four years.
Speaking after the event, Cllr Divers said:
“I was totally surprised. Although I knew it had been 20 years this week, I had no idea anyone had any plans to celebrate the occasion! It was great to see so many friends and colleagues.
“Representing New Elgin East and subsequently Elgin City South has been a tremendous honour. Like anyone who’s been an elected representative as long as I have, I’ve seen my share of political highs and lows – and right now we’re in a definite low. When I was first elected we had the money and the power to bring about real change in Moray – that first four years were truly transformative. We totally restructured the Council and began the total overhaul of the local schools estate we can see in Moray today. In recent years, however, Councils have been starved of cash by Holyrood and Councils have been seen as a mere extension of the Scottish Government.
“What we need is a return to that ethos that existed in 1999 – with investment in local services, and councillors given genuine autonomy over what’s best for their local areas.”
Cllr Divers was presented with a restored historic map of the area that now constitutes his ward.
John represents the best of the Labour tradition in Moray. He’s a hard-working and principled councillor, who’s highly visible in his community. John serves as a model example of the sort of service voters should expect from councillors. Jo Kirby, Moray Labour Chair