Cranston’s scrutiny role

Hawick Rugby Trust's Alastair Cranston
Hawick Rugby Trust's Alastair Cranston

Councillor Alastair Cranston was appointed to the council’s scutiny committee last week despite the fact that the investigation into his expenses claims is still ongoing, writes Colin Purvis.

Mr Cranston, who admitted to the Hawick News last year that he had claimed expenses for “daft things”, joined the St Boswells scrutiny body weeks after his three-month standards watchdog suspension ended.

The nine-man group gathered yesterday (Thursday) for a meeting which was scheduled to last little more than 12 minutes.

A source close to SBC said: “This appointment is totally bizarre and gives a terrible impression. This man claimed expenses he was not entitled to. The council are dragging their feet with the investigation and then he’s appointed to the scrutiny panel. It’s all a bit of a joke really and shows how out of touch some of these elected members are.”

When asked about the ongoing investigation into Mr Cranston’s expenses claims, an SBC spokesperson said: “A report is still being finalised. We should be ready to send on a statement next week.”

Commenting on Mr Cranston’s appointment, a council statement said: “Councillor Cranston has now resumed his full role as councillor. It is entirely proper that he participates fully in the work of the council including the scrutiny committee.”

Mr Cranston did not respond to our request for a comment.