Fraserburgh & District candidates have their say

Aberdeenshire Council
Aberdeenshire Council

Candidates standing in the Fraserburgh & District ward for Aberdeenshire Council have submitted short pieces to the Herald in a bid to get your vote on May 4.

They are as follows:

Ian Tait (Independent)

It has been a privilege to serve my constituents in the Fraserburgh and District area as their councillor. Here are a few thoughts. I work hard at it from one election to the next and do not suddenly pop up just before an election. I pledge to do the same if re-elected. Actions speak louder than words. From the start, I was instrumental in getting the Fraserburgh area to be the sole focus of the regeneration effort until the new Council Administration took that away and shared the council’s resources and money between Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff and Peterhead. I support the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland coming to Fraserburgh and will ensure lets to our local Arts groups are protected. I went to the council about the regeneration of the Barbour’s garage site and work was started. As a councillor and Feuars Manager, I was instrumental in getting the old wooden pavilion beside the tennis courts passed across to a football group and it has been a great success for people in the whole area. I have been totally supportive right from the start of the football, running, all-ability cycling facilities on the South Links and was the first councillor to write back and say so. Again this will benefit the whole area. As a councillor and Feuars Manager, I supported the installation of the Power cable to the harbour for the benefit of the harbour users employment. I always kept the Fraserburgh pool and Community Centre on the council agenda and kept putting the case forward and the Council built it. We have a beautiful beach which needs to be developed – I will seek to revitalise it and exploit its potential by trying new things such as bringing back the Beach Trainy but this time making it mobile enough to be used in Galas and Hop on Hop Offs.​

Charles Buchan (SNP)

I’ve been your councillor for the past five years, and good things are coming to Fraserburgh.

I’ve spent my working life here, and am married with three children. After being a fisherman, I took degrees in physics from Aberdeen University and London, and taught at Fraserburgh Academy, becoming head of physics. I was twice convenor of the Scottish Science Panel, and received the 2009 UK Institute of Physics Award.

I’ve been a hardworking councillor, with a second to none record, attending 137 community or council meetings in the last six months. My work has been recognised, being made a Senior Councillor, Chair of the Fisheries Working Group, and Vice-Chair of the Education Committee.

Some of the initiatives I have been involved with, were the harbour pontoons, the £2M electricity cable to harbour industries, and the mackerel quota uplift to sub-10m boats. I led on attracting the world-famous Royal Conservatoire, against strong competition, to place its Northern Hub in Fraserburgh, and setting up the Doric and Traditional Music initiative. As an steadfast backer of the Conservation Area, I supported getting outside grants of £5.7 M. I have not forgotten the villages, working hard for improvements to their roads, amenities and cemeteries. I am leading on the consultation for the much-needed replacement school for the centre of Fraserburgh, to give our children the best chance with Curriculum for Excellence.

I pledge to continue my hard work, getting the best for Fraserburgh, Cairnbulg, Inverallochy, Memsie and Rathen.

Doreen Mair (Independent)

I am a local ‘quine’ with a background in the oil and gas industry; volunteering in schools, youth organisations and as Chair of FISSH, the charity instrumental in realising the dream of the Fraserburgh Sports and Community Centre.

I am a candidate in the local elections because I believe in this area, its future, and that it is time for change in our representation on the council.

We need new ideas, new blood, people who will do their best, focusing on their responsibilities locally, not in promoting and prioritising centrally based/biased political party agendas. They need to work together with other local councillors as a strong team to ensure the interests of the area are promoted at all times.

This is a great place to live but we are all aware of the issues which need addressed within the ward and that it has, for far too long, been portrayed in a negative light locally and nationally. I strongly believe it is the responsibility of our councillors to promote the area in a positive, welcoming manner to encourage inward investment. Individuals and companies have to believe they will succeed here or they simply will not come.

We also need to inspire the community to self-help our regeneration by spending/investing locally as often as possible, keeping the money in the area, encouraging local businesses both new and existing.

David Donn (SNP)

A born and bred Brocher, living in Fraserburgh. Aged 50, I’m married with two daughters and two grandsons.

Educated in Fraserburgh, I left school at age 16 to go to the fishing on board our family seine netter ‘Fidelia’, eventually becoming skipper. I left the fishing industry after 15 years and found work in the offshore oil industry, becoming senior barge supervisor, in charge of a rigs marine department before finishing as offshore installation manager.

A member of Fraserburgh Community Council and other local groups, I’m already active in the town and being part of these groups has shown me the great community spirit that lies at the heart of the area. One of my main priorities will be in championing the many and varied voluntary community groups in Fraserburgh and District and supporting community empowerment.

Local issues important to me are more social/ affordable housing in the area, working with local businesses to bring in more visitors and new business, supporting the regeneration in Fraserburgh town centre, ensuring that children in all areas get the best possible educational facilities, and working with emergency services to keep the area safe with a low crime rate.

A sense of community is very important to me. I believe local government should stand for local communities and issues. I also believe that local people can make all the difference.

Andrew Kille (Scottish Conservative & Unionist)

I retired from the police after 30 years and moved to this beautiful area with which my wife, Marion Buchan, and I have had a long and very happy association.

However, I have become increasingly frustrated about the state of Fraserburgh town centre and the effect that the SNP’s centralising programme is having on the North East. That’s why I am standing as a candidate to represent Fraserburgh and District.

I do so as a Scottish Conservative and Unionist because I believe that division and uncertainty in recent times has contributed to the decline we are seeing. High taxation only exacerbates the situation. It deters growth and inward investment. Fraserburgh desperately needs regeneration, more jobs and better opportunities for our young people through education and apprenticeships. Our fishing industry deserves the opportunities that Brexit brings.

My previous career means that I can engage knowledgeably in issues relating to crime and anti-social behaviour. I don’t stand alone. I have the backup of the Scottish Conservative party to get things done when local issues overlap with national ones. Two examples are: our forcing the SNP U-turn on their raid on mandated Council tax rises; and causing them to rethink the shambolic business rates rises.

We need decent public services and I firmly believe that means doing the ‘day job’. Priorities should be pupils, parents, patients pensioners and policing – not Independence.

Brian Topping (SNP)

I am as passionate and committed to Fraserburgh and our neighbouring communities as when first elected 33 years ago.

Like town centres across Scotland, Fraserburgh feels a change in buying habits – more bought on the Internet, people travelling further to shop – and the added issue of having fewer neighbours because of where we are.

I’ve worked hard with SNP colleagues, especially since we gained control of the Council two years ago, to take action – grants to upgrade business premises – double the grants to community groups – better street lighting – and more.

Our successes as a community – fabulous new sports centre and pool – new pontoons at the Broch and Cairnbulg harbours – more homes on gas – the highly successful Super Saturday initiatives which bring people to our town – and more.

Everyone knows someone I’ve helped. It is helping people that motivates me.

I am fortunate to be part of an SNP group of supportive colleagues within which it is possible to take a different view if needed, provided you do it in a proper manner. When Tory, SNP, LibDem and Labour Parliamentary candidates wanted you to vote ‘Remain’ last year, I campaigned for ‘Leave’.

I am involved in so many things – chair of Fraserburgh FC supporters – chair of a safety group that’s provided defibrillators, arranged beach cleans, and more.

Our town has a long and proud history, 400 years ago a university town, always a fishing town. A long established motto – Deo Fidens (Trust in God) – and with me as a SNP Councillor you will all – whatever your politics– have me as your strongest supporter.

Michael Watt (Independent)

I hope and pray Fraserburgh and District will elect four councillors who can and will work together, setting aside politics and personal opinions.

We all have the same objectives and ambitions, to build the best education for our children and grandchildren, build a safer and attractive community for everyday living, improve our healthcare, provide well for our ever increasing elderly population, to create the best environment for our families, and enjoy a good quality of life in retirement.

I do not approve the squandering of tax payers’ hard earned money, I have and will campaign to reduce and eliminate inflated expenditure within Aberdeenshire Council. With modern technology much of the cost can be reduced or eliminated totally.

Our area, Fraserburgh and District is the best in the UK. We have it all, we need to let the outside world know.

Let us work together, encouraging the promotion of our hame toon, building an image of the place we are all proud of and have worked together to produce.

Should I be re-elected, I will continue to work with you, for you, in order to make Fraserburgh and District a better place to live, work and retire in.