THE man in charge of Scotland’s purse strings is meeting up with Moray councillors later this month.
A cross-party delegation will travel to Holyrood to discuss the local authority’s long-term monetary position with Derek Mackay, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance.
Moray’s MSP Richard set up the meeting for Thursday, March 22.
Commenting, Mr Lochhead said: "Throughout the recent budget process I have always been very clear that I recognise that Moray Council is facing tough financial challenges, just as the Scottish Government also has difficult financial decisions to take.
"In these very difficult times every pound invested in local public services matters
"When there is a case to be made for Moray to receive a greater share of the local government settlement, then I will not shy away from arguing for a better deal.
"There are different opinions across the political groups on the recent budget decisions and where cuts were made.
"But when it comes to the local authority’s long-term finances it is important that we agree to work together to get the best deal for Moray.
"The political leadership in the council must also raise the funding formula for local councils with COSLA – who are the body that agrees the share each local authority receives – as a matter of priority."
Amongst the delegation making the journey to Edinburgh will be the leader of the council George Alexander (Independent, Forres).
He said: "I am pleased that, with the help of our local MSP Richard Lochhead, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay has agreed to meet with me as part of a delegation from the Moray Council.
"I appreciate he is a busy man, but I hope we can discuss with him how we can best secure the region’s financial future."