Marshall and McAteer to meet boundary minister

Councillor Stuart Marshall.
Councillor Stuart Marshall.

Hawick councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall are set to meet government minister Marco Biagi in Edinburgh to discuss proposed changes to Hawick’s electoral boundary in 2017.

Also on the agenda will be plans to cut the town’s quota of councillors from six to four.

Mr Biagi is the man responsible for rubber-stamping the changes, and speaking this week, Mr McAteer says the December 15 meeting is vitaly important.

He said: “This is a great opportunity and follows a request from both myself and Councillor Marshall Stuart to Paul Wheelhouse, our local MSP, to meet face to face with the minister who will make the ultimate decision to split our historical and local ties to Denholm, Bonchester, Chester and the communities east of Hornshole.

“While Scottish Borders Council have already made the decision to support the proposed split, we are
acting directly for those impacted who have asked us to try our best to have this
illogical decision overturned.”

Mr Marshall said: “We are looking forward to meeting Mr Biagi and sharing the concerns of local residents.

“While the Boundary Commission will make recommendations to split our wards and remove two councillors, the final decision will be made at a political level and and it is important that we have the opportunity to influence that process.”