McAteer accused of ‘sour grapes’

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HAWICK and Denholm councillor Zandra Elliot has accused former police chief Watson McAteer of waging a “sour grapes campaign”.

Councillor Elliot was responding to a recent letter in the Hawick News and the discussion at last week’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum, where Mr McAteer called on councillors to be more open about the work they have done and are doing for the people of Hawick.

And she insisted that, just because their efforts aren’t widely reported or revealed to the general public, all six councillors continue to work tirelessly for the good of their constituents.

Councillor Elliot said: “I am not quite sure what Watson McAteer is trying to achieve with his latest epistle to the Hawick News and his fiery outbursts at the recent Area Forum, but somehow I get the impression that a sour grapes campaign is being waged.

“I can inform him however that the councillors for the two Hawick wards participate regularly and contribute fully to meetings at which they are in attendance and just as importantly handle a wide case load of public issues.

“We may not rush to the press or the area forum to tell the world of our achievements, many of which are of a confidential nature, but that does not mean that we are not working for our wards.”

Mr McAteer stood against Mrs Elliot as a Liberal Democrat candidate in last year’s council elections, missing out in the Hawick and Denholm ward after polling only 263 votes.

And Mrs Elliot believes this may have something to do with his interest in local affairs.

She added: “At last year’s election candidates all set out their pledges and policies to the electorate of Hawick and Denholm, and the voters chose the three they believed were best capable to deliver on their pledges and policies. Watson was not amongst the three.

“Those of us who have tasted defeat in the past accepted it with good grace. We did not wage a campaign of negativity, but merely applied ourselves to working harder for our community in order to demonstrate our worth.”

However, Mr McAteer hit back. He said: “If sour grapes translates into my desire to see Hawick and its people prosper and flourish then so be it.

“I, like many who contributed to the Hawick News last week, simply want to see the evidence of what our councillors are doing to achieve that goal.

“Hiding behind confidentiality does Councillor Elliot no favours in an age where transparency and openness are the very least the public of Hawick deserve.”