ONE of Brechin’s prospective members of the Scottish Parliament has been accused of “scoring a spectacular own goal” after he revealed he was about to write to the Brechin Community Council - an organisation which fell by the wayside some six months ago.
The accusations came flying after Labour’s Kevin Hutchens said he was going to be “writing to Brechin Community Council,” which, like a number of its Angus’ counterparts, failed to attract enough nominations to be reformed last September.
Mr Hutchens’ political opponents have rounded on him, wasting no time whatsoever in his apparent lack of knowledge of the Brechin area.
Mr Hutchens stated: “Next year 2012 sees the International Year of Co-operatives and planning is still under way for this important year.
“It is crucial that such years are given the fullest of support and recognition ,and likewise that the vital role of early co-operators is recognised.
“I am writing to the City of Brechin and District Community Council, the chief executive of Angus Council and Co-operatives UK asking that ways be found to celebrate the important role of Brechin in Co-operative history.
“Clearly the role of the early pioneers needs to be recognised and much will be gained by the people of Brechin by celebrating their achievements.
“It may merit being a specialist area of study by local schools, or even be the subject of a play.
“Certainly it also deserves being put in the context of other developments in the history of co-operation, such as the Rochdale pioneers and the model village at New Lanark.”
North East MSP Alex Johnstone said: “This is a spectacular own goal by the Labour candidate, although I wish him well in writing to an organisation that has not been in existence for more than six months.”
“Perhaps Mr Hutchen’s letter will be sent back marked ‘return to sender’, which is what I suspect the electorate of Brechin will be saying to him at the next election.”
SNP candidate Nigel Don added: “I was disappointed to read in the “Brechin Advertiser” last year about the demise of the City of Brechin and District Community Council.
“As a Brechin resident, I feel it is unfortunate that we no longer have local representation in this way.
“I was also sorry to hear that one of the local candidates for the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary election is so out of touch with the community that he is unaware that we no longer have a have a community council.”
Sanjay Samani, the Scottish Liberal Democrat, was unavailable for comment as he is presently on a family break.
Mr Hutchens stood as the Labour candidate for Moray in the 2005 General Election and came third and also came third in the 2010 Westminster seat for Labour behind the SNP and the Tories.
Bookmakers William Hill have cut the election odds of the SNP from 4/1 to 3/1 to win most seats at the forthcoming Scottish Elections,for which Labour are 2/9 favourites, with both the Conservatives and Lib-Dems 100/1 outsiders.
“A good opinion poll showing has sparked support for the SNP but Labour are still strong favourites,” said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.