Banff & Buchan

Here are our candidates for the Banff & Buchan area.

Banff & District

Alistair Mason

Banffshire and Buchan Coast Liberal Democrats are delighted Dr Alistair Mason has agreed to contest the Banff and District ward in the forthcoming Aberdeenshire Council elections.

Alistair Mason was Jack Mair’s agent when he won back the Durn ward, and again when Jack became one of the Banff and District ward councillors on Aberdeenshire Council 5 years ago.

A lifetime Liberal, he was active in politics before he came back to the north-east of Scotland. But politics is only a small part of his life. In 2001 Alistair took early retirement, after 25 years teaching at Leeds University, and settled in Banff. He has steeped himself in the history of the town and district. As Secretary of the Banff Preservation and Heritage Society he has organised Doors Open Days, been on the editorial committee of the Book of Banff, and willingly gives talks on local history. He is also Secretary of the Banffshire Field Club, and was Chairman of the Friends of Duff House.

Alistair is a Christian, his home church is St Andrew’s in Banff. He is the training co-ordinator for the diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, and on the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He is an officer of Banff Churches Together, and on the local committee of Christian Aid, and one of the readers on the “Talking Banffie”.

Alistair was also on the committee of the annual Deveron Festival, and is Secretary of Deveron Music, which organises concerts. He is a lively and well-trained Scottish dancer, and was Secretary of the Banffshire Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Before he got an energetic dog, he went to the gym, and was secretary of the users’ club there.

He loves Banff and the surrounding district, and wants to help the area in any way he can. Dr Mason firmly believes in cooperation rather than confrontation. He feels his gifts and interests would probably complement rather than overlap with those of the other candidates standing for the ward at this election.

Alistair Mason is a real campaigner and has put leaflets through most doors in the ward during all the recent election campaigns, always on behalf of other candidates. He is Secretary of the local Liberal Democrats and is now committed to ensuring a strong Liberal Democrat voice continues to be heard for Banff and District on Aberdeenshire Council after the elections on May 3rd.


Sandy Leslie

Sandy Leslie was brought up in South Africa, and learnt his politics there. He became a member of Helen Suzman's Progressive Party that had the honourable distinction of being the only party in the South African Parliament to oppose apartheid in the days before Nelson Mandela was freed and then came to office.

Sandy is liberal in principle. He knows from experience what a country loses when it forgets to be liberal and more tolerant. In his youth he was active in politics in South Africa, and came to Britain in 1986, and home to Scotland in 2002.

Sandy is a Scot of Aberdeenshire extraction. His father’s family came from Folla Rule near Oldmeldrum, and his mother came from the Glasgow area. He has now lived in Rosehearty for several years.

Sandy has a great deal of business and administrative experience. His professional qualifications are in insurance, where he was an underwriter. He did other jobs in his youth, like being stage manager of a travelling theatre company.

Although now retired, Sandy serves on various central committees of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He is also a hard-working and loyal member of the local Banffshire and Buchan Coast Lib Dems, is Treasurer of the local party, and has probably walked every street of the ward leafleting in earlier election campaigns over the years.

The coastal Troup ward runs from Macduff extending to the outskirts of Fraserburgh. The local party are very happy to have such a well-qualified candidate living in the Troup ward and look forward to helping with his campaign to be elected to represent the area on Aberdeenshire Council where he would be immediately useful as a member of the strong Lib Dem council group.

Sandy says –“I’m looking forward to adding a more liberal voice to the Troup ward. If elected I will endeavour to work hard together with all other councillors from the Banff and Buchan area to help ensure this part of Aberdeenshire is better represented on the new Council after 3rd May.”

In his spare time, he and his wife Francoise are keen Scottish Country dancers.

Fraserburgh & District

Ann Bell

Ann Bell MBE is delighted to be a local candidate for her native town and the local villages of Inverallochy and Cairnbulg. Born and bred in Buchan, Ann has very strong family connections in the area.

Ann is involved in many local community related activities that include her roles as:
  • Present Chair of the Crimond Practice Equipment Fund. A Founder member and for the past 34 years she has been actively involved with fundraising to benefit patients;
  • Past Chairman of the Riding for the Disabled for over nine years, helping to bring together a group that fund raise and volunteer to work with disabled riders;
  • Vice President of Rotary Club of Fraserburgh - whose motto is “service above self”;
  • Director of Fraserburgh Development Trust - works with community to improve Fraserburgh & District;
  • Member of the Board of Governors of Banff and Buchan College.

Mrs Bell’s professional life includes her work as a Training Manager helping people who were unemployed or disabled find work; a Fishing Industry co-ordinator, which included several roles amongst which were:
  • North Sea Commission Marine Resources Advisor – an organisation that represents regional and local authorities from all the countries around the North Sea
  • Manager of the North Sea Commission Fisheries Partnership – this was a partnership of fishermen and scientists from the North Sea Countries;
  • Director and Executive Secretary of North Sea Advisory Council – EU organisation of fishermen, NGOs, fishing ports, processors, women's network.

One of her main roles was to ensure that everyone worked together to deliver the best outcomes for the fishing industry and communities around the North Sea.

In 2003 Mrs Bell was honoured with an MBE in recognition for services to the fishing industry and communities. Her work included bringing fishers and scientists together to resolve conflict and ensure they work together to ensure the long-term viability of an industry that’s crucial to the Broch. She is currently working to develop a North Sea Maritime Forum that will bring together, fishing industry, oil and gas, renewables, port, NGOs and local authorities. Again her main role as facilitator is to insure that everyone works together to deliver the best long-term outcomes for the local industries and our communities.

Ann is keen to stress her belief in community involvement at local council level and stresses she will not indulge in petty party politics. She states – “I believe in positive politics. If we are privileged enough to be elected to serve the community we have, as local politicians, to be able to work together to maximise benefits for our communities. Engaging in a negative election will be detrimental to achieving consensus when local decisions need to be taken for the wider benefit of all affected. I believe working together is the only way to ensure that Banff and Buchan's future is developed and secured within a strong Aberdeenshire. I will not make promises to you that I may not be able to keep however I will promise you that I will try my very best.”

Ann Bell believes her experience both in the local community, the key industry sectors and Europe will bring a rare mix of knowledge to ensure Fraserburgh and District is better represented in Aberdeenshire Council after May 3rd.

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