Riddell-Carre to step down at next council election

scottish Borders Council will be without one of its most high-profile figures after next year’s Scottish local authority elections, with news that Carolyn Riddell-Carre will not be standing for re-election.

Conservative group leader Mrs Riddell-Carre, also the current Executive Member for Planning and Environment, is one of three members for Selkirkshire.

However, she told TheSouthern she had decided some time ago that this would probably be her last term as a councillor, and on Friday evening in the premises of Selkirk Conservative Club, members voted in favour of adopting Michelle Ballantyne as their candidate to fight the ward at next year’s elections.

Mrs Ballantyne is currently head of service for Face2Face, the Galashiels-based organisation providing advice, education and support on alcohol, drugs and substance abuse for young people.

Mrs Ballantyne was favoured over the other candidate, John Greenwell – the chairman of the party’s constituency association in the Borders.

Speaking of her decision to TheSouthern, Mrs Riddell-Carre, who was first elected in 1995, said she has thoroughly enjoyed her time as councillor but that next year’s elections will be the right time to call it a day. “My mother always said you’re best to leave a party while you’re still enjoying it and that’s what I am doing.

“There are other things I want to explore, as well as spending more time with the family. And I think Michelle is an absolutely fabulous candidate for us to have.”

Mrs Riddell-Carre says there has been enormous changes during her time on the council.

“I feel we now have a very good team working hard for the benefit of the Borders,” she said.

And she told TheSouthern she had put a lot of effort into trying to be a good and effective councillor for her constituents – something she would continue to do for the next year. “I read the papers, I give a lot of thought to each subject and I don’t think I have ever ducked controversy,” she said.