Dispute over regeneration strategy

Fraserburgh town centre.
Fraserburgh town centre.

Councillors locked horns over the regeneration of Fraserburgh, Banff and MacDuff on Tuesday as the new strategy was unveiled.

The proposal put forward by The Council would see two local councillors nominated to sit on the Fraserburgh Development Partnership with three officers chosen by the Infrastructure Services Committee.

The division of the Partnerships between local elected officials and officers from the infrastructure committee was 
not welcomed by the majority of councillors at the Banff and Buchan Area Committee.

Hamish Partridge, Councillor for Troup, said: “This is a local issue that should be dealt with by local elected members.”

He added: “I’m not elected in Inverurie or Banchory and I wouldn’t expect to get involved in their issues.”

The councillor argued that all reports would ultimately be referred to infrastructure services for any funding required and therefor they would not need to sit on the Partnerships.

However other members of the council argued that by not accepting the new strategy there could be further delays in moving forward with the regeneration project.

Charles Buchan, Councillor for Fraserburgh and District, said: “I don’t see any point in interfering with the proposed set up because In don’t want to incur months of further delays.

“We are getting lots of comments about how regeneration good but it’s not going fast enough.”

The Council’s strategy was defeated by seven votes to three with Councillor’s Buchan, Brian Topping and Ross Cassie all voting in favour of the strategy.

Banff and District Councillor John Cox, Chair of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, was one of the seven councillors who voted against the strategy based on the proposed make-up of the Partnerships.

He said: “It just seems to be that the Banff and Buchan area is out represented by councillors outwith the area.”

The councillor said that he felt regeneration would best be served by councillors local to their areas.