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‘I remain 100% committed to the Broch’: Brian Topping loses council seat after 38 years

Brian Topping at the Scottish local elections.
Brian Topping. Picture by Scott Baxter/DCT Media.

Brian Topping said he is “totally devastated” after he lost his seat within Aberdeenshire Council after 38 years.

Mr Topping had been hoping to return as Fraserburgh and District as an Alba councillor, after resigning from the SNP last year.

However, he bagged just 274 of the public’s votes – half of his 2017 tally.

The successful candidates for the ward are James Adams (Conservatives), Ann Bell (Lib Dems), Seamus Logan (SNP) and Doreen Mair (Independent).

‘I remain 100% committed to the Broch’

Speaking to The Press and Journal following the declaration, Mr Topping said he remained committed to the Broch.

“I’m totally devastated,” he said. “I’ve been a councillor for a long time and now I’m going to have a hole in my life.

Brian Topping has been championing Fraserburgh for nearly 40 years, and says he will continue to do so, despite today’s result. Picture: Kami Thomson/DCT Media

“But the good thing is I’m going to be able to spend more time with my family and friends, who have sacrificed so much for me during my career as a councillor.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of projects and so many folk over the years have said ‘everyone knows someone that Brian has helped’ – and that’s what’s given me the greatest satisfaction from all the big things I’ve achieved.”

Mr Topping added one of the highlights during his career has been the installation of CCTV in Fraserburgh, which has so far proven very successful at tackling crime.

He has overseen and participated in a number of projects  – including the ongoing regeneration of Fraserburgh, which was recently hailed as “the most improved town in Scotland”.

Was changing SNP for Alba the reason for today’s vote?

This was the first local election Mr Topping stood as an Alba candidate after he decided to break ties with his long-standing SNP colleagues last year.

While he said he doesn’t regret switching his party allegiance, he admitted the change of rosette – along with low turn out – might have played a part in the result.

He said: “I don’t know what happened, but I’ve had many people come and tell me ‘you should have won today’.

Brian Topping is looking forward to spending some more time with his family. Picture: Chris Sumner/DCT Media

“I’ve always said that when you stand for councillor, you can be totally unknown, but if you’re wearing the right colour of rosette, people will always vote for you.

“I’m delighted that there are still people who vote for the person, not the rosette – and I know that I have people who voted for me and everything I’ve done for Fraserburgh.

“But if you don’t have the right colour of rosette, that can affect you.”

He added: “I congratulate and wish all the best to the winners today and I want them to know that I will always be here if they need any help or support.

“I want to thank my family, all my helpers that supported me through my campaign and all my voters – each and every one of them. I remain 100% committed to the Broch and to my community.”

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