McAteer aims to pound the beat as new councillor

Watson McAteer
Watson McAteer

FORMER police boss Watson McAteer is standing for election as a councillor in the Hawick and Denholm ward.

The well-known Teri has been confirmed as the Scottish Liberal Democratic Party’s nominee to contest the ward at the upcoming May elections – with the party’s current representative Councillor Jock Houston due to retire.

Fifty-eight-year-old Mr McAteer, currently a senior leader in RBS managing security threats, said of his selection: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to represent the Scottish Liberal Democratic Party in contesting an important ward. I recognise I have big shoes to fill in taking over from Jock Houston who has done a terrific job in representing this ward and the Borders.”

Respected in the region and internationally, Mr McAteer has led a distinguished police career which saw him rise to the ranks of commander for the Borders. He has been involved in the investigation of many major incidents, including the PanAm disaster at Lockerbie, whilst in community policing he has introduced and supported many local initiatives and co-ordinated emergency situations, including the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth outbreak.

And having spent most of his life living in the area – as a successful boxer in his youth, former prop forward with Hawick Harlequins, member of the 1514 Club, Hawick Rugby Club and Quins, and former president of the Rotary Club – says he feels well qualified to represent the community.

“I am fortunate to know the area and many of the residents very well, and have a good understanding of the wide and varied social, as well as economic issues,” he stated.

Mr McAteer, who lives at Haysike with his wife Janette, says he is passionate about sustaining the future of local communities in all aspects, but specifically by ensuring that young people have opportunities through education and jobs, and that the elderly are properly respected. He added: “I remain totally committed to ensuring our area remains a safe and secure place to live and work. I am a proud Hawick man and never miss an opportunity to tell people what a great place we live in.”

Lib Dem Hawick MP and Scottish Sectretary Michael Moore has lent his full support, commenting: “Watson is a well-respected local man and I am so pleased he has been selected. As a former police commander he has an unrivalled understanding of the key local economic and social issues, and I know he will work hard and with great determination to represent the interests of Hawick and Denholm at the council. I want to give Watson my full backing and I wish him all the best in his campaign.”