Scottish Borders Council executive roles to be agreed tomorrow

Council leader Shona Haslam.
Council leader Shona Haslam.
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The new Conservative-independent ruling coalition at Scottish Borders Council has unveiled the councillors set to take up enhanced-salary positions of special responsibility at its Newtown headquarters.

At its first meeting since the May 4 local government election, the 34-member council will be asked tomorrow, May 18, to approve an 11-strong executive committee.

It will be chaired by Conservative Shona Haslam, of Tweeddale East, in her role as leader of the council and will be dominated by her party.

Conservatives taking over executive positions are Tom Weatherston, of Kelso, for adult social care; Carol Hamilton, of East Berwickshire, for children and young people; George Turnbull, of Hawick and Hermitage, for finance; Mark Rowley, of Mid Berwickshire, for business and economic development; Simon Mountford, of Kelso, for transformation and human resources; Euan Jardine, of Galashiels, for culture and sport; and Tom Miers, of Leaderdale and Melrose, for planning and environment.

There will also be places at the top table for three of the seven independents who have agreed to share power with the 15 Tory councillors.

Selkirkshire’s Gordon Edgar will continue as executive member for roads and infrastructure, and Sandy Aitchison, of Galashiels, will switch from education to neighbourhood and locality services.

Ex-divisional police commander Watson McAteer, elected as an independent in Hawick and Hermitage, will take the final executive position as police, fire and rescue and safer communities board chairman.

Also due to be rubber-stamped today are those chairing the five new locality committees replacing the current area forums – Messrs Edgar and Mountford, along with Jim Fullarton, Robin Tatler and Stuart Marshall.

Messrs Edgar and Mountford, besides holding executive roles, will preside over the Selkirkshire and Cheviot bodies respectively.

Heading up the other committees, but not on the executive, will be Jim Fullarton for Berwickshire, Robin Tatler for Tweeddale East and Stuart Marshall for Teviot and Liddesdale.

There will also be no place on the executive for an opposition comprising nine SNP and two Lib Dem elected members or for Davie Paterson, returned as an Independent in Hawick and Hermitage.