McAteer confident of ‘sensible outcome’

Councillor Watson McAteer
Councillor Watson McAteer

The Boundary Commission for Scotland has contacted councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall following the Hornshole row.

And although no guarantees were given over Hawick’s future electoral boundaries or the inclusion of Hornshole, Councillor McAteer is confident that the commission is sympathetic and that a “sensible outcome” will prevail.

And the Hawick News can reveal this week that a letter sent to boundary chiefs from Scottish Borders Council chief executive Tracey Logan shows that it’s not only Hornshole which is in danger of becoming part of the Jedburgh super-ward but also Wilton Lodge Park and Galalaw Business Park.

Mr McAteer said: “During discussion it was very obvious that the commission were acutely aware of the public outrage and concerns regarding Hornshole and although no commitments were being made, we formed the impression that a sympathetic and sensible position may well be adopted after the formal public consultation is completed in October.

“We emphasised that our concerns went wider than Hornshole with the communities of Denholm, Bonchester and Chesters and surrounding areas feeling completelydisenfranchised and that it was essential that a face-to-face meeting takes place to enable the evidence to be presented and the case made for these communities to remain as part of Hawick.”

And Mr McAteer is keen to see national politicians and community councils taking an active role in the fight against the proposed changes.

He added: “Our MSP and Scottish Government minister Paul Wheelhouse has been asked to provide his support and influence to encourage the commission to agree to a meeting. We have also contacted the community councils and will work with them to compile a community response.

“It is critical that everyone makes their voice heard by contacting the commission. The weight of public opinion is the best hope we have of influencing the current divisive and completely unnecessary changesbeing proposed for our area.”

Readers can write to: Mr Ronnie Hinds, Chairman, Boundary Commission for Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5HD email