Moray (Flood Alleviation)

Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 21st June 2007.

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Photo of Mary Scanlon Mary Scanlon Conservative 11:40 am, 21st June 2007

To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Moray flood alleviation schemes will be implemented in full. (S3O-275)

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

It is for Moray Council to determine whether it will implement its own proposed schemes in full. Once the council decides its plans and submits them to the Government, we can consider them for the purpose of confirmation by the Scottish ministers and, in turn, I hope, grant support.

Photo of Mary Scanlon Mary Scanlon Conservative

I thank the minister for that and a previous written reply on the subject.

Given the increasing costs of and delays to the flood alleviation schemes in Moray, and bearing in mind the Government's proposed freeze on council tax, will the minister advise members how councils such as Moray will be able to find the additional funds to pay their 20 per cent share of the increased costs of the schemes?

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I thank Mary Scanlon for that pertinent question. I know that she, the local member for Moray, Richard Lochhead, and the previous member for Moray have been active in ensuring that the council can find those moneys.

As Mary Scanlon knows, the two schemes that are presently under consideration—the Burn of Mosset and the Rothes flood alleviation schemes—are nearly there. In terms of objections, we are almost at the stage at which we can move forward, and grant will be available. The larger schemes to which the member referred are still under discussion, and finding the balance in funding will be an issue as the question of flood prevention continues. My friend sitting in front of me, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, will say more about flood prevention this afternoon.