Leisure and Tourism
- We need to reverse the descent to a ‘no-frills’ Council.
- Tourism needs to be at the core of Moray’s economic development.
- Improvement of parks and green spaces.
- Adequate provision of public toilets.
- A modern, diverse, and vibrant Cultural Quarter for Elgin.
Moray has long been renowned for its destination parks. Despite this, Moray Council appears to be increasingly disinterested in the maintenance and improvement of parks and open spaces. Grass cutting has been de-funded in the hope that volunteers or sponsors will assume responsibility, which, in the meantime, has meant that our parks and green spaces have been left looking shabby and neglected. Neglect of these resources, in turn, reduces the attractiveness of key concessions, meaning that many tourist attractions in Moray are no longer operating. Labour councillors will pursue a parks and green spaces strategy, aimed at improving both the attractiveness and financial sustainability of these attractions.
Public toilets are essential both for Moray residents and visitors, and form a vital part of any tourism strategy. Few signs are as unwelcoming or as frustrating as a closed public toilet. Moray Labour will seek to re-open public toilets across Moray.
Moray Labour Councillors will work with Moray Tourism BID to promote tourism in Moray, and will ensure that the Tourism BID is involved in our proposed Community Wealth Building Strategy. We will also encourage the Tourism BID to adopt a Real Living Wage campaign (as Elgin BID have done), and use this as a selling point for visitors seeking ethical tourism operators.
Within the next term, Moray Council will be legally obliged by Holyrood to implement a Short Term Lets (STL) licencing scheme. This legislation was opposed by Scottish Labour at Holyrood as we believe it presents an unnecessary administrative cost when the tourism sector is trying to recover from the pandemic. Moray Council will receive no additional ScotGov funding to operate this scheme. Moray Labour Councillors will seek to minimise the administration and cost of running the STL licencing scheme.
Moray Labour helped secure Council funding for both the Gleaner Arena in Elgin and the Forres Community Football Trust. Moray Labour Councillors will continue to support community sports facilities.
Labour welcomes the proposal for an Elgin Cultural Quarter in the Moray Growth Deal. We are concerned, however, that current plans are too focused on aspects of Moray’s cultural heritage that already attract visitors to Moray, rather than diversifying Moray’s cultural community. Labour Councillors will push for the development of a vibrant, modern, and diverse cultural quarter.
The growth and development of culture in Moray requires spaces in which young people can flourish. Despite repeated community-led attempts to provide accessible facilities for music, art, and design in Moray, few have been successful. It is clear that municipal leadership is needed. Labour councillors will evaluate the Council’s existing estate to identify suitable spaces in which young artists and musicians can develop.