IT’S time for change......
That was the message this week from four Buchan businessmen who have revealed they are to stand for council at the May elections.
The four - current councillor Alan Buchan, Peter Stevenson, who has a car sales business in Boddam, former social worker and leader of Bluestones youth music project, Tom Malone and entrepreneur and businessman Alan Gardiner - are hoping to win the votes of the Peterhead and Buchan public when they stand for council on May 3.
And their message is very clear - we need a change at council level if we are to save our town.
Speaking to the Buchanie on Friday, Mr Gardiner said: “We were all approached, individually, by the business community of Peterhead who are concerned about the future of the town.
“These businesses say there is a lack of investment and facilities in the town and when I was initially approached on the matter I said that in order to have change there needed to be councillors from Peterhead representing Peterhead.
“I, along with Peter and Tom, was asked if I would stand for council at the May elections, with the backing of the business community.
“The business community wants change to happen and by each of us standing independently, we feel that this can be achieved - provided we get voted in,” he said.
Mr Gardiner said the common feeling was that change could only happen at council level if there were enough people standing independently who wanted to see a change in our community.
However, he was keen to emphasise that the four men were not standing as an independent ‘group’ but as individuals.
“We will all make our own decisions on issues and if our vote is split then so be it, but at the end of the day we are all keen to see Peterhead and the Buchan community prosper rather than continue to decline,” he said.
Mr Stevenson also said that their eagerness for change was the key to a successful campaign, pointing out that politics should not have a place at local council level.
“We are not forming a party at all. We do not want the SNP or the Conservatives coming back saying that we are a party. We are independent people with a like mind who want change in our town and community,” he said.
“We are bringing a wealth of experience as we all have businesses which we run in town and therefore have a vested interest in the future economy of Peterhead.”
Mr Buchan added that the move for independent councillors was very much business-driven, but added that all four men had a common goal to try and resolve the problems of Peterhead which were becoming more and more evident.
Mr Malone added: “There’s a big move on Facebook at the moment via the Peterhead When I Was A Kid page to get our town back on the right track and support is gathering from the community as well as from businesses.
“At the recent meeting organised by Carol-anne Murphy and Judi Alexander, who created the page, there was a surge of people who are sick to death of the lack of investment and the state of the town and the fact that nothing is being done to halt this decline at local level and folk are worried about the future.
“Well over 100 people attended that meeting and there were rows and rows of teenagers - folk of all ages were represented. Peter, myself and Alan (Gardiner), stood up and declared that we were going to stand for change and we received a rapturous round of applause.
“Folk admitted at that meeting that they were guilty of voting for a party or of ticking a box rather than thinking about who the person was that they were voting for,” he said.
However, Mr Stevenson said: “We are not asking anyone to change their political beliefs, we are asking them to merely cast their vote to make a change for the better in Peterhead and Buchan.
“It’s not a war against a political party or person, it’s a battle to keep the town economical and make it a better place for us and our future generations,” he added.