Hawick’s councillors claimed £120,229.69 in salaries and expenses in the last year, and overall, the region’s 35 members claimed almost £750,000.
Hawick and Denholm Councillor Alistair Cranston tops the list in Hawick for travel expenses claiming £2,861.10, and fellow ward councillor Stuart Marshall claimed the most for phone calls, which are paid direct by Scottish Borders Council, with £1,133.68.
Environmental services portfolio holder Davie Paterson, pictured, is once again Hawick’s highest-earning councillor with combined salary and expenses of £25,400.59, and in second place is Hawick and Hermitage member Ron Smith with a total of £22,925.75.
And according to Mr Paterson, he represents value for council tax payers: “I think I am good value for money. I work an average of 50 hours a week on council-related business and would be able to make far more than this working for other organisations.
“My ward covers a huge area and I am unable to claim travel expenses for visiting constituents. If I travel to Newcastleton to see someone I can’t claim for this.
And he added: “No-one comes into this job to make money that’s for sure. If I wanted to make money I would be doing something else altogether.”
And Councillor Marshall added: “I really do hope people think they are getting value for money from me. There are many times when you are left out of pocket in this job. But no-one should come into this position to make money. What matters is representing the folk who elected me.”
Hawick councillors salaries and expenses claims are as follows: the late Councillor Zandra Elliot, Hawick and Denholm claimed a total of £15,378.65 which included a basic salary of £14,736.85, and travel amounting to £641.80; with Alistair Cranston claiming £19,871.73, including a basic salary of £16,395.96, as well as £2,861.10 for travel and £614.67 for phone calls.
Stuart Marshall’s basic salary was £16,395.96 alongside £644.30 for travel and £1,133.68 for phone calls, giving a total of £18,193.94; while Davie Paterson’s total claim for salary and expenses was £25,400.59 and this included his basic salary of £22,200.04, £2,206.80 for travel plus a phone claim of £973.75.
Ron Smith’s salary of £20,466.56 was topped up with £1,490.40 for travel and £968.77 for phone calls; and George Turnbull claimed a basic allowance of £16, 395.96 as well as travel claims amounting to £2,006.00 and £1,028.94 for phone calls.