Tough times; difficult decisions: Elgin & Moray’s conundrums

Another letter dispatched to the Northern Scot:,
Are we in danger of deifying libraries as sacrosanct?  Personally, as a one-time boyhood bookworm who sported glasses from age 14, due to short-sightedness, I wish I’d been encouraged to enjoy more outdoor play, exercising and team endeavours growing-up.  Surely, the school day and out-of-hours clubs, alongside quality Internet access for every home in Moray, can provide the necessary literacy support?  Every classroom and all the corridors can be augmented by the resources reallocated.  Interesting cafes can be opened (or extended) in the affected areas where books are traded and ideas discussed.
If you’re passionate about something, such as litter picking, you don’t just join a protest march but actually get out and start fixing the problem.  In fact, I read recently of a man in the Philippines (BBC News Online, 20th September) who’d turned his own home into a public library because, in his own words, “as a book caretaker, you become a full man.”
Still, I believe Moray Council do have an obligation to ensure they properly utilise any properties left vacant, whether Grant Lodge in Cooper Park or a library, which locals do not want to take into community ownership.  If nothing else is available, then at least convert the buildings into housing, rather than encroaching on more of Moray’s “green and pleasant lands”.   I was encouraged to read how this is already happening, through the leasing and private transfer schemes, from Findochty to Forres.  
Speaking of homes, I’m very pleased to note the progress Springfield is making towards finally completing the Linkwood Development in South-East Elgin.  Whilst I understand that in the past residents have complained about them, I’m very grateful to now have the luxury of a warm, cosy home and no building works out my window.    
Sadly, our local “Green” candidate (JMK) in his comment on the “link road” once again betrayed an almost criminal misunderstanding of basic finance.  Again, he confused capital investment with on-going spending, claiming the £1m p/a potentially saved in the short-term covered the long-term cuts.  The SNP seem to have fared little better in their dithering and internal bickering on this issue, which was splashed all over this paper.

Enough fantasy economics.  We’ve elected our Council to make tough choices and been given ample opportunity to present our views – personally, I’ll be praying for and supporting the democratic process, whatever the final vote.

Thinking back, what caused me to falter was a sudden spasm of fear.  When we run away from what terrifies us, I can assure you that the feeling only intensifies – until we turn back to face the giants.  We forget what is more alarming.  A Council that – after over a decade of planning – has to throw all that away: millions wasted, not least in the (thousands of?) hours spent by our paid political representatives trying to account for fluctuating opinions.  
Don’t jump on a bandwagon of populist anger, assuming the status of victim and crying loudly that your rights have been ignored. That’s what, ultimately, leads politics to becoming a constituency of one – you.  
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