Disabled parking rumpus between councillors

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson raising concerns for disabled parking spaces being filled by able bodied drivers.
Hawick councillor Davie Paterson raising concerns for disabled parking spaces being filled by able bodied drivers.
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A Hawick councillor has defended his decision to ‘shop’ a fellow Borders politician for parking in a disabled bay at council headquarters.

Hawick and Hermitage’s Davie Paterson was infuriated when he spotted Conservative representative James Fullarton park his Mercedes sports car in the space at Newtown St Boswells car park last week.

Mr Paterson remonstrated with his fellow elected member, but claims he just “shrugged and walked off”.

In response he took a photograph of the offending parking (pictured below, right) and posted it to media outlets.

This week Mr Paterson defended his decision, describing the act as “pig ignorant”, adding: “I was fully justified. These spaces should only be used by people who genuinely need them.”

He added: “Jim was parked in the disabled bay with his door open. That stopped me being able to park next to him.

“I waited five minutes for him to shut his door. Then when I parked he said, ‘you shouldn’t be parking there’ because it was the deputy leader’s space. But there’s no deputy leader.

“I pointed to the disabled space and said, ‘you shouldn’t be parking there’, but he just shrugged and walked off. He was just being pig ignorant.”

It has emerged that the disputed disabled space is in part of the car park reserved for councillors, but Mr Paterson said members of the public sometimes use it.

Mr Fullarton, 69, who represents East Berwickshire, has dismissed the row and said the disabled space wasn’t needed as none of the councillors had a disability. He has also accused Mr Paterson of being “mean-spirited”.

He said: “It is an absolute lot of nonsense. The council car park is ticket-only and during the council there is no such thing as a disabled car park. He claims I had an altercation with him which is an absolute lie.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said that the disabled sign is advisory and not statutory.

However, a Scottish Conservative Party spokesperson added: “Jim was wrong to park in this space and we have reminded him about his responsibilities as a local councillor.”