By-election race hots up as two more declare

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A fox hunting Tory and the Independent head of the community council joined the Hawick and Denholm by-election battle this week.

Former Buccleuch Huntsman Trevor Adams, of St Boswells, who says he plans to move into the ward if successful, and ex-SBC revenues employee Marion Short, both lodged papers to stand in next month’s by-election.

They join two previously declared candidates for the Hawick and Denholm vacancy left following the death of Councillor Zandra Elliot in February.

Other candidates include 21-year-old Craig Bryson from Burnfoot who intends to fight the seat as an Independent, and Liberal Democrat ex-cop Ian Turnbull.

Mr Adams recently retired as the Buccleuch Huntsman after 25 years. His role involved liaising with local farmers to get access for the hunt over their land. Since 2004 he has also run a fallen stock business helping local farmers following the European ban on burials.

Mr Adams was also heavily involved in the campaign against the Protection of Wild Animals Bill (2002), becoming the first huntsman in the UK to be charged under that act. He remained strongly opposed to it and along with Lothian and Borders Police he helped to create the protocol with which hunting in Scotland could legally take place again.

Second to declare this week was Marion Short who heads Hawick Community Council. She spent many years working for the local authority in the revenue department and has chaired the town’s ‘wee’ council for the last two years.

She is spearheading the current project to regenerate the High Street, and speaking this week, Mrs Short said: “For me, as an ex-council employee for around 40 years and a community council member for three years, I see this as taking things a stage further.”

And she hopes that election to Scottish Borders Council will allow her to deal with town-related issues more effectively, adding: “At the moment I have no clout but as an elected member I would be able to miss out the middle man and deal with things myself.”

Mrs Short, who lives in Weensland and is also a member of Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum and the Area Regenration Group, said she had received great support in her decision to run from family and friends, and is looking forward to the election campaign and would welcome the chance to participate in any hustings events.

The by-election takes place on May 22 and polling stations will be open at Denholm, Burnfoot, Stirches, Wilton Dean, Hawick Youth Centre, Bonchester Bridge, Southdean and Trinity Primary School.