Council row over street naming

The Merryhillock site at Fraserburgh where a new housing estate will be built
The Merryhillock site at Fraserburgh where a new housing estate will be built

A row broke out at a Banff and Buchan Area Committee meeting over street naming at the Merrihllock Residential Development site.

At the meeting on Tuesday, September 29, 15 names were chosen for the new housing estate.

However, Councillor Brian Topping was angry at the way Councillor Ian Tait conducted himself during the consultation.

It was acknowledged that councillors Topping, Michael Watt and Charles Buchan had worked together to compile a list of suggestions.

Cllr Topping told the Herald that Cllr Tait was contacted ‘numerous times’ but refused to collaborate with his fellow Fraserburgh councillors.

Cllr Topping said: “I am very disappointed with Cllr Tait because the four councillors (Topping, Tait, Buchan and Watt) were supposed to sit down and discuss it.

“The fact is he ignored repeated calls .”

According to Cllr Topping, Cllr Tait was in contact with his fellow councillors at the beginning of the process, when it was unanimously decided that Merryhillock Road be one of the names.

And it is alleged that he then urged the other councillors not to talk to the press about the street naming, before approaching the Herald over his assertion the street names were ‘nonpolitical’.

Cllr Tait then composed his own list of proposals to the committee. Cllr Topping claims to have ‘no problems’ with the names themselves, but that he is ‘greatly disappointed that he hasn’t played ball’.

At the meeting Cllr Tait repeated his disdain for political naming, singling out Wallace Way as political and having nothing to do with Fraserburgh. He also suggested that, as the country’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II should have been honoured in some way.

The names chosen for the development, near Boothby Road, are: Merryhillock Road; Bruce Circle; Saltire Crescent; Ferguson Drive; Wallace Way; Bittockie Way; Whaleback Road; Mizzen Crescent; Fleshner Circle; Bosie Band Gardens; Mythcowie Place; Scaw Road; Ferme Court; Wast Shoal Avenue. and Corbet Close.

Despite the fiasco, Cllr Buchan was pleased that street names have been chosen.

He said: “I was delighted that the street names for the development has been decided.

“There was a feeling in the community that fishing, our most important industry, was not well represented in our street names.

“We sought views on suitable names from the public, all sections of the fishing industry, Heritage Society historians, Fraserburgh Harbour and the Community Council.

“We also recognised the increasing interest and fondness for the Doric speech of Fraserburgh and came up with a series of names reflecting these views,” he added.

Cllr Tait was contacted by the Herald but did not wish to make a comment.