There are unfilled vacancies for teachers in key subjects in both the Arbroath secondary schools.
Richard Moore said: “This is a serious concern. Under-staffed departments mean overworked teachers and less contact time for pupils.
If subject choices are limited and exam results suffer, opportunities are affected for a pupil’s lifetime.
We are already facing shortages of certain skills, such as in the trades, and this needs to be addressed.”
Richard is also worried by cuts in courses at the Arbroath campus of Dundee & Angus College.
“When part-time courses are not on offer in Arbroath,” he says, “it’s people with family caring obligations who miss out most.
Travelling to Dundee or Perth is just not an option for them.
Further Education should be within reach for all who want it, regardless of their stage of life or responsibilities.”
Richard Moore wants to see more affordable housing built in rural communities.
The ongoing development in Friockheim should have provided 16 affordable homes but instead, the Council is letting the developer provide funds for housing elsewhere.
Only the immediate neighbours were consulted – no site notice, no press notice – so hardly anybody knew what was happening.
Richard said, “For rural communities to stay alive, they need housing for young families, and for people wishing to downsize.
‘Commuted sums for development elsewhere’ sounds reasonable, but where is ‘Elsewhere’? Not a rural community I suspect.”
“When local people can’t afford to buy or rent houses in their villages, they have to migrate to the towns. Housing should be built where people choose to live.”
Residents near schools have complained to Richard about “school run” parking.
Richard said, “Residents are annoyed at their drives being blocked and road restriction markings being ignored.
Of course parents want their children to get to and from school safely, but we have to make sure that other children are not put at risk by thoughtless parking.”
“There are solutions to address the problem. For example, there are walking buses, ‘Park and Stride’, using a local car park as an assembly point.
We have to raise awareness of the dangers and educate parents about the risks of careless parking.
My aim is to address the problem sensibly without resorting to draconian measures such as parking fines.”
Richard Moore is the Scottish Liberal Democrats candidate for Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim.
Arbroath West, Letham, & Friockheim candidate Richard Moore is committed to protecting the environment for future generations and has criticised the recent cuts to recycling.
“The attack on recycling is counter-productive,” he said. “If recycling centres are only open when people are at work, the centres will be less used and more recyclables will go into landfill. Has the charge for green bin emptying covered the cost of the service? Or are we in for another service reduction this summer?”
“The council has to pay £86 for every tonne that goes to landfill,” he added. “Collecting recyclate and garden waste is the sensible way to reduce that cost. I hope the administration has learned from the monumental blooper last July, when thousands of households opted out of the garden waste collections. Or must the taxpayer continue to pay for dumping recyclable material at the tip?”
“The council has chosen to reduce the number of household amenity sites, creating less opportunity to recycle. Did the administration not realise that it has to work with residents to improve recycling rates? People need to be able to access the site in the evenings, longer at weekends, and in locations that are local and sensible.”
Richard Moore is worried by the direction Angus Council is taking. He sees the SNP in Angus following the Scottish Government’s austerity agenda as the First Minister moves toward IndyRef2.
Richard and the Scottish Liberal Democrats are against the idea of a second independence referendum. “There are many issues requiring the urgent attention of Angus Council – job shortages, especially teachers and NHS staff, but also road and footpath repairs and the need for affordable homes – which should take priority. Where is the will to address these issues?”, he said.
Richard understands that a nation can achieve whatever it wants. He simply believes that it can achieve more by not working in isolation. “The practical way to achieve more for Angus,” he added, “is to concentrate on delivering effective local solutions.”