Provost Smith throws his hat in the ring for May re-election bid

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RON Smith is due to fight for re-election to the Hawick and Hermitage ward in May.

The councillor and honorary provost has annnounced that he has been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate at the upcoming Scottish Borders Council elections.

He told the Hawick News: “It’s been a real privilege to have represented the people of the Hawick and Hermitage area for almost five years. There’s much more to be done, however, and I hope the voters will give me the chance to carry on.”

Mr Smith’s additional roles following the retired geography teacher’s election in 2007 have included being appointed the vice-convenor of the council at that time. In 2010 he took on the post of executive member for children and strategic services – which includes housing, welfare and criminal justice – in the social work department. And last May, the provost council unanimously elected him as the town’s civic head.

Mr Smith, a former deputy head at the high school, says his place on the council’s executive gave him the benefit of being involved in Borders-wide issues as well as more local ones. But highlighting his contribution in Hawick, he went on: “I value teamwork. The group of six Hawick councillors has, more or less, worked together as a team for several years for the benefit of the town. We have supported each other.

“I have also established a good working relationship with council officers at all levels, and am able to turn to them for advice and for assistance in pushing projects forward.”

Ron has been the chair of the Area Tourism Partnership, the Ancestral Tourism Forum, the Working Group on Foster Carers, the Strategic Corporate Parenting Partnership and is also amember of the Flooding Advisory Group, the Timber Transport Group, and the planning committee.

He added: “I’ve been particularly pleased to have had success in promoting environmental issues in the Millers Knowe’s area, and in the use of the Waverley Walk from Weensland Road through to Liddesdale Road.

“But I feel the main challenge for Hawick and Hermitage councillors has to be the High Street.”

The ward is currently also represented by Davie Paterson (Independent) and George Turnbull (Conservative).