Councillors welcome project

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A PLAN to erect statues in honour of three nation-shaping sons of Arbroath has been welcomed by town councillors.

The proposal by the Arbroath Guildry Incorporated to raise statues recognising the influence of David Dunbar Buick, Thomas Moonlight and William Small on the formation of the United States of America received cross-party support.

Buick was the founding member of America’s oldest car manufacturer, Small is credited with influencing the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and Moonlight helped to shape the Wild West.

Independent Councillor David Fairweather was pleased to see Arbroath add another string to its bow.

He said: “I think it is an absolutely superb idea. These people from Arbroath’s past have shown what someone can do using their initiative and entrepreneurial skills, which is fantastic and that will continue to stand Arbroath in great stead.

“I raise money for charity and I am sure that we can get together like the people of Arbroath did in the Second World War when they raised money in many different ways for the Spitfire.

“I’m quite hopeful that the councillors, organisations and people of Arbroath will get together to see how we can raise this money and show some of that Arbroath spirit.”

Conservative Councillor Martyn Geddes was also keen to see Arbroath’s contribution to modern America recognised.

He said: “I think the Buick statue project is a brilliant idea. To have the first statue in the world of a son of Arbroath who left a great mark on the automotive world, by creating the innovative valve engine and helping to found the Buick Motor Company while also developing a cheaper way of permanently enamel coating cast-iron, would be a great way and place to honour the man.”

Councillor Geddes also believed that he and his colleagues could help with raising the money for the project.

He said: “The best way the councillors could help is by having a meeting of relevant people along with members of the Arbroath Guildry, finding out what plans they have in place and finding various ways the council could support them.”

Crucially however, financial backing from Angus Council looks unlikely according to convener of the corporate services committee Councillor and Depute Provost of Angus, Alex King.

Councillor King added Angus Council might be able to support the project with a land allocation. He said: “There may be opportunities for the council to help in other ways, but currently there’s no firm proposal put forward and I cannot comment further at this time.”