Conservatives launch candidate search

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Local Tories started their search for a successor to Councillor Zandra Elliot this week.

In a letter fired off to likely candidates and other political players, Hawick-based MSP John Lamont writes: “I am writing to you as we are about to begin an open selection process to choose out council candidate for the by-election in the Hawick and Denholm ward.”

Clearly hoping to steal a march on political opponents, the Westminster bound Lamont added: “I believe being a local councillor is a real opportunity to help people and improve local communities, as well as bringing Conservative values to the deliberations of Scottish Borders Council and ensuring it has the right priorities.” The closing date for expressions of interest is Monday, March 24, and the successful candidate will be chosen at a selection meeting two days later.

Mrs Elliot died in Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary on February 22, and her funeral was held in Teviot Parish Church the following Friday.

Last week, Scottish Borders Council announced the date of the by-election to fill the gap in her Hawick and Denholm seat. The poll will take place on Thursday, May 22 with polling stations at Denholm, two at Burnfoot, Stirches, Wilton Dean, Hawick Youth Centre, Bonchester Bridge, Southdean and Trinity Primary School.