It’s time for all councillors to shout for town

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It’s time for all councillors to shout for town

Councillor Stuart Marshall and I were grateful to local MSP Paul Wheelhouse for arranging our recent meeting with Marco Biagi, the Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment.

We sought this meeting in our capacity as representatives of our constituents who are fighting to have the Boundary Commission for Scotland change its proposals which would see the bulk of the Hawick and Denholm ward transferred to a new Jedburgh superward. We had to do this as individuals and not as part of Scottish Borders Council, which had, after amendment, already unanimously determined to support the commission’s proposals.

Mr Biagi listened to what we had to say and had sympathy for our cause and that of Hawick where a recent natural disaster had taken a heavy toll. We made a case for all of Hawick’s councillors to be retained rather than just focus on the ward and he thought it worth us exploring this further with the council and ultimately the commission.

Stuart and I have once again written to the commission and continue to seek a face-to-face meeting with this body to fight for Hawick, which needs stronger more effective representation, not less. There is no doubt that circumstances have changed since the commission’s proposals were first made public and now is the time for all Hawick councillors to stand up for their town and community.

Councillor Watson McAteer