Hustings showdown

THE Reverend David Sceats of St John’s Episcopal church will chair a hustings ahead of the May 5 Scottish elections in Connections, Lower Back Row, Selkirk, on Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm.

The event, organised by the Selkirk Council of Churches, will feature a panel comprising the five candidates seeking your votes in the new constituency of Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire.

They are John Lamont (Conservative), Rab Stewart (Labour), Euan Robson (Liberal Democrat), Paul Wheelhouse (SNP) and Jesse Rae (no ticket).

For the first time since the inception of the Scottish Parliament, Selkirk and its valleys have been split from their traditional county partner of Galashiels which is part of the new Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale seat.

Voters will also be invited to cast a second vote for a political party under the regional “list” system.

In the South of Scotland, seven MSPs will be returned by this method.

In addition, those attending the following local polling stations from 7am-10pm on Thursday, May 5, will have the chance to say if they are in favour of the new Alternative Vote (AV) system for the election of future MPs to Westminster:

St Mary’s Hall, Cappercleuch; Boston Hall, Ettrick; Yarrow Village Hall; Kirkhope Village Hall, Ettrickbridge; Selkirk Parish Church Hall; Victoria Halls, Selkirk; Ashkirk Village Hall; Lilliesleaf Village Hall; Midlem Village Hall and Bowden Old School.

The deadline for postal vote applications passed yesterday, but applications to vote by proxy must reach the electoral registration officer at Scott House, Sprouston Road, Newtown St Boswells TD6 0QD by 5pm next Thursday. Applications from anyone requiring a proxy vote because of physical incapacity incurred after that date must be with the ERO by 5pm on May 5.