Portlethen councillor is Alba's finance spokesman

Portlethen councillor Alastair Bews has been named the new Finance spokesman for the Alba Aberdeenshire group.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 1:34 pm
Alastair Bews

Mr Bews (pictured), who owns Leathan Accountancy and has been a councillor since 2007, joined Alba alongside colleagues Leigh Wilson and Brian Topping in March this year.

Now that the group has fully established itself they have outlined their proposals for now until the election and aim to tackle the major issues in Aberdeenshire. A Back to Basics plan with three key themes - increased maintenance of roads, additional spending towards public places such as parks and cemeteries and a commitment to providing free school-meals for all primary school pupils – will guide the group’s proposals.

Councillor Bews said: “I have spent decades in the finance business and I have my own company with over 200 clients, so I am delighted to take on the role of Finance spokesman for the group. All councils are in a challenging position with reduced revenues and a loss of some of our usual income streams, but if we are creative enough then we can prioritise areas that are most crucial to communities.

"Put simply, people want the basics: they want roads that are maintained properly, they want their loved ones to stay in well-kept cemeteries and they want they want to know that children are being fed and watered. If we get these things right then people will be content that we are doing our job properly.”

Last week Cllr Leigh Wilson was named the group’s deputy.

It has been a week of political manoeuvrings with Brian Topping becoming leader of the Alba group in Aberdeenshire while Mearns councillor, Leigh Wilson, has taken on the dual mantle of group’s depute and media strategist. The latest instalment means that the most fledgling group on the council now has filled all of its positions and is ready to become a political force in Aberdeenshire.

Group leader Brian Topping welcomed Alastair’s new role. “Alastair is a very successful businessman and we are absolutely delighted he has taken up the finance portfolio for us. We have a team of real talent in this group and we are ready to deliver for Aberdeenshire. In our group we respect those with expertise in certain fields and that’s why it makes absolute sense for Alastair, the most experienced accountant in the council, to take up this role. Alastair will have a leading role in putting together our Back to Basics plan.”

Alastair’s colleague and Alba’s national Local Government Convenor also welcomed the move. “Alastair is a close personal friend of mine but, that aside, he’s undoubtedly the right man for this job. We have a bold vision for Aberdeenshire with three key themes which are more ambitious than anything being offered by the other parties, and now it’s down to us to work with other groups to deliver our Back to Basics package and ensure that we show that Alba councillors are making a real difference in Aberdeenshire.”