Councillor Brian Topping is celebrating 30 years since first being elected to represent his Fraserburgh constituents.
The long-serving councillor has spoken to the Fraserburgh Herald about reaching the milestone and his biggest achievements during his three-decade tenure.
Aged 29, Brian Topping was first elected to Banff and Buchan District Council on May 3, 1984, and was elected to Grampian Regional Council two years later.
Councillor Topping served as a ‘dual councillor’ from 1986, and even served as a ‘triple councillor’ during the phase-in of Aberdeenshire Council.
Councillor Topping told the Herald he remembers his time on Banff and Buchan District Council very fondly, recalling that at one point he was the only SNP councillor on the council.
On one occasion, Cllr Topping raised no fewer than nine notices of motion - something that was virtually unheard of at the time.
Despite enjoying his time as an elected representative, Cllr Topping doesn’t shy away from criticism of local government - in particular, saying he “detests” the system of multi-member wards. Although supportive of proportional representation for Scottish Parliament elections and even general elections, Cllr Topping cites excessive duplication of work for his opposition to the multi-member system.
Over his 30 years representing the Broch, the long-standing councillor has been involved with a wide range of local campaigns, not least in introducing wheelie bins to Banff and Buchan district.
Other highlights have included working with schools, community groups, the harbour board and the Lighthouse Museum as well as with individuals and families.
Commenting, Councillor Topping said: “It certainly doesn’t feel like 30 years.
“It has been a real privilege and a pleasure to represent my constituents for all these years.
“I was first elected to Banff and Buchan District Council in 1984 then, in 1986, I was elected to Grampian Regional Council also. I was a dual councillor from 1986. And latterly, an Aberdeenshire councillor.
“While it’s been a privilege and pleasure to serve, it’s also been an awful lot of hard work.
“I’ve put in a lot of time, commitment and dedication along the way which I was happy to give.
“During my time on Grampian Regional Council I was three times in joint administration and in that time I served as vice-chairman and chairman of the Public Protection Committee which was responsible for Grampian Police, Grampian Fire Brigade, the Consumer Protection and Trading Standards Department as well as emergency planning.
“In that time I successfully pushed for the brand new Police Station at Dennyduff Road. And another highlight was pushing for the bus turning circle at Fraserburgh Academy.
“Also, we got the first-ever CCTV cameras of any school within Grampian at Fraserburgh Academy to reduce vandalism.
“And, when the college was still under the ownership of Grampian Regional Council, I pushed for the fishing simulator, which cost something like £250,000, for the college.”
Speaking about his plans for the future, the veteran councillor says he simply wants to keep working hard for his constituents.