A TORY-RUN council has expressed disappointment at being left unable to sack council employees in order to save money.

Councillors in Moray voted to adopt a no compulsory redundancies policy put forward by the SNP late last month.

It means that Moray Council cannot terminate the contracts of employees “due to business circumstances”.

Supporters of the policy say it provides job security to council workers during  perilous financial times. 

However, all Conservative councillors voted against the policy. Regardless, it was approved by 13 votes to 12.

In a statement released on Wednesday the Moray Conservatives group fumed at being left unable to sack council workers to cut costs.

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“We’re extremely concerned the irresponsible No Compulsory Redundancy policy put forward by the SNP will hinder efforts to create a more sustainable Moray Council as it takes away the option to make services more financially efficient through restructuring,” it read.

“This is pure politicking from the SNP at a time the council needs every option available to us.

“Between this and the council tax freeze they did not consult councils on, the SNP have obstructed our efforts to transform Moray Council.

“Of course we recognise the value of our staff and are grateful to them all for their hard work. The existing policy was that compulsory redundancy was a last resort.

“But with millions of pounds to find thanks to continuous underfunding from the SNP’s Scottish Government, savings must be found somewhere and this now makes it even more difficult to do so.”

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Leader of the Moray Liberal Democrats, Neil Alexander, called for councillors who do not believe they’re up to the job of managing the council to resign.

“I’m in shock at the anger from the Conservative administration,” he said.

“Just because they’ve been told they can't sack council employees without good reason. We should be protecting families during the cost-of-living crisis, not taking away their jobs.

“What is clear from their statement is that they do not believe themselves that they are up to the job of running Moray Council.

"They are the ones who should be facing a compulsory redundancy

“It is their own party that has caused the cost-of-living crisis we are facing.

“If they do not think they can run a council because of this, they should all resign and let in people who actually want to help the people of Moray through the cost-of-living crisis.”

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Meanwhile SNP councillor Jérémie Fernandes, who initially proposed the policy back in June, said the Tories' reaction suggests they view employees as “expendable”.

“Moray Council is one of the biggest employers in the region, so ensuring workers’ job safety is crucial to the local economy,” he said.

“This policy means 5000 employees and their families will not have to worry about being made redundant in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s a shame that Tory councillors see employees, particularly those on a lower salary or a part-time contract, as expendable.”

In a bizarre outburst Tory councillor and deputy council leader Donald Gatt said the decision to prevent compulsory redundancies as “akin to the railways after converting from steam engines to diesel and electric still employing firemen”.