Hawick councillor planning to switch wards at next elections

Councillor Watson McAteer.
Councillor Watson McAteer.

A Hawick councillor is planning to switch wards at next year’s local elections.

Watson McAteer currently represents the Hawick and Denholm ward alongside fellow independent Stuart Marshall and Scottish National Party member Alastair Cranston.

Now he has announced his intention to stand as a councillor for the neighbouring Hawick and Hermitage ward, that being where he lives, next May.

Mr McAteer won his current seat at a 2014 by-election called following the death of ex-provost Zandra Elliot.

As it stands, the Hawick and Hermitage ward is represented by independent David Paterson, Liberal Democrat Ron Smith and Conservative George Turnbull, but Mr Smith has announced his intention to step down at next year’s poll.

Mr McAteer said: “I plan to stand in the Hawick and Hermitage ward rather than my existing Hawick and Denholm ward. The reasons are fairly straightforward.

“I live in that ward and will be more accessible to constituents.

“I don’t believe the single transferable voting system is truly representative of the wishes or expectations of voters and, as a result, I may well be disadvantaged.

“I am also providing constituents with the opportunity to consider a business professional who has elected member experience at Scottish Borders Council to represent them.

“I am not at all complacent, however, and fully recognise that election will be in the hands of Hawick and Hermitage residents.”