WILTON Church Boy’s Brigade officer Tommy Stevenson has been announced as the Scottish National Party candidate for the Hawick & Hermitage ward.
The retired council officer, who moved to the area from Ayrshire seven years ago, is the latest hopeful to be unveiled ahead of the Scottish Borders Council elections in May.
The SNP candidate, who lives with his wife Margaret in Teenside Cottage, near Newmill, has a wealth of experience of working within a council, and is a member of Upper Teviotdale and Borthwick Water Community Council. He is also an elder at Teviothead Church, and chair of the village hall committee.
And as an active member of the local community, he has a clear vision of the issues he hopes to be able to tackle if elected.
Mr Stevenson says he would work to increase the number of affordable homes, continue increasing police numbers in the Borders, and find ways to attract people to stay in or move to a newly-thriving Hawick by encouraging trade and other employment.
“I want to get Hawick up-and-running again by helping to boost local industry, the number of shops, and the general quality of life for residents,” he said.
“I love the area and get angry when I look down the High Street and see so many empty shops.
“We need to get the rates down and encourage more local industry, which has sadly disappeared, which will, in turn, attract more people to the town.”
And with previous experience on the Children’s Panel, Mr Stevenson commented: “I have an interest in the crime side and the young people of our society, and tackling the vandalism which Hawick experiences will also be high on my agenda.
“I think the problems start in the home with the parents, and that needs to be looked at. I want parents to make sure they know where their youngsters are at night.”
Mr Stevenson, 71, says he also wants to push for more affordable housing in the area.
A keen family man with a daughter in Kelso, granddaughters and great-granddaughters, Mr Stevenson is an enthusiastic gardener and a fan of boxing – and even wrestled professionally for 12 years.
The Hawick and Hermitage ward is currently served by Councillors Ron Smith (Lib Dem), George Turnbull (Conservative) and Davie Paterson (Independent).