THE row over Moray’s stopped clocks has turned political.
The SNP have accused the Independent/Tory administration in Moray of "making time stand still".
This follows a decision by the administration to remove money for town clocks maintenance in February’s budget.
Only weeks into the new financial year clocks in Keith, Cullen, Newmill and Dufftown are either no longer working or not working properly and the council has refused to fix them.
Councillor Gary Coull, who is also a councillor for Keith and Cullen, said: "This is one of the most bizarre decisions Independent and Tory councillors took in this recent budget.
"It only saves the Council £1000 a year less than £100 per clock – yet are ignoring big savings like management restructuring.
"This is sheer penny pinching from the administration and blows the cover of Independent councillors.
"They claim every election that they will stand up for the communities and their communities alone but here is just one example of where they have utterly failed.
"Moray is tourist hot spot with a huge amount of tourist attractions and events which attract people from all over the world but Independent and Tory councillors are making it look as if time stands still in Moray."
Theresa Coull, SNP candidate for Keith & Cullen, said:
"As someone who works on Mid Street I know how much people who work there, local shoppers and visitors rely on the Institute clock.
"I constantly see people looking up at it to find out the time.
"The Institute is an iconic landmark of Keith and even features on the inKeith logo.
I know the clock hands on the logo might not move but folk do expect the actual clock to tell the real time."
"It really is shocking that Independent and Tory councillors took this decision. It seems to me that they see the cost of everything and the worth of nothing."
Fellow SNP candidate for Keith an Cullen, Iain Grieve, said:
"Instead of saving £1000 and stopping us being able to tell the time Independents and Tories should have been looking at much bigger savings that could be made.
"The administration keep going on about how much of a dire state the council is in financially, but they obsess about saving tiny amounts of money like this that have detrimental effects on our communities, all the while ignoring places where big money could be saved.
"The communities of the Keith and Cullen ward deserve better than this. That is why we need to ensure our council is led by the SNP so that more decisions are made using common sense rather than penny pinching."