>> 3 November 2009

Broch SNP councillor Brian Topping has ridiculed the attack in last week's Fraserburgh Herald from the Conservative candidate for Banff & Buchan saying that it had boomeranged on the Tory councillors who are in coalition running Aberdeenshire Council.

The candidate had claimed in last week's Herald that an SNP manifesto pledge to provide schoolchildren with two hours per week of PE and access to a swimming pool had not been adhered to. However, Councillor Topping has pointed out that the candidate's attack is a recycled version of the same comments used by Annabelle Goldie in Parliament a month ago and which were comprehensively rubbished at that time.

Speaking to the Fraserburgh Herald , he said:

"This is utter nonsense from the Tory candidate. Firstly, his Tory leader Annabelle Goldie used this attack in Parliament a month ago and was shot down in flames at that time. Secondly, as of last June, all councils – including Aberdeenshire which the Tories control with the Liberals – had signed up to the delivery of the curriculum for excellence and, as part of that, to making progress on providing at least two hours of physical education to every child every week.

"The Tories then go on to attack Fraserburgh Swimming Pool but I have been campaigning with the local community and groups in the Broch for years now to get a new pool for Fraserburgh. I was delighted when we managed to persuade the council to finally commit to this but I don't remember getting any help from the Tories to achieve that.

"It's all very well to sit on the sidelines and make cheap political points by attacking the current pool, but the provision of a new swimming pool will be the culmination of many years of hard work by local groups and individuals - and I pay particular tribute to FISSH in this – and it is unfair to come in now and knock the Broch for the sake of getting into the papers.

"The Tory councillors in Aberdeenshire must be very embarrassed by these ill-informed comments."

Councillor Topping has also been supporting FISSH in their fundraising efforts in his other role as a Kinnaird Radio DJ and was officiating at their fundraiser on Sunday.

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