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PIPER LETTER SPARKS HOPE THEN DISAPPOINTMENT

>> 26 January 2009

ABOYNE COUNCILLOR'S COMMITMENT FALLS FLAT ON FIRST DAY

Responding to Aberdeenshire councillor Peter Argyle's claim in last week's Piper that "the Saltire will fly during the Homecoming" and that the council will "continue to fly the Saltire the Aberdeenshire way", SNP councillors have been quick to highlight the reality of Cllr Argyle's claims. Today, the flagpoles at Woodhill House remained empty on the first working day of the Homecoming.

Cllr Rob Merson, who proposed the Saltire should be flown as part of the Homecoming, commented:

"I was heartened when I read Cllr Argyle's remarks in last week's Piper, given that he is one of the remaining senior Lib Dem councillors in the administration group.

"However, the reality was a sore disappointment to those who thought that, at last, some common-sense had prevailed as the flagpoles stood empty in silent testament to another lost opportunity.

"Cllr Argyle is quick to drag politics into this issue but the truth of the matter is that if the plan is to attract overseas visitors to Scotland to boost the tourist economy as part of the Homecoming then most people feel that it's a good idea to let them know they have arrived by putting out the national flag. It was a very disappointing response from someone whose responsibilities within the council include tourism and economic development."

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