Tories make first move in Tweeddale by-election race

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October 10 has been picked as the by-election date for the Tweeddale West seat – with the Conservatives quick to name their candidate for Nathaniel Buckingham’s former seat.

With the civil engineer resigning last month due to work and family commitments, Peebles businessman Keith Cockburn has been chosen by the Tories to replace him.

Despite being the managing director of family company Caledonian Colour Printers, the father of three says he would work tirelessly if elected.

He said: “I now feel I am at a stage in my life, with my business running well and my family growing up, where I believe I can take on the commitment to the people of Tweeddale West to serve you as your local councillor.

“My campaign has already hit the ground running and I look forward to meeting as many local residents as possible over the coming weeks and months and discussing the important issues and opportunities we face here in Tweeddale West.”

Tweeddale’s Tory MP David Mundell backed the choice of Mr Cockburn.

He said: “Keith has all the skills and experience to provide Peebles, West Linton and the communities of Upper Tweed with a strong voice and make sure that local concerns are heard and acted upon.

“As somebody who has lived, worked and chosen to raise his family locally, he knows the concerns of people throughout the ward and I am sure that if elected to the council he could make a real difference for this area.

“I look forward to joining him out and about on the doorstep over coming months and talking to as many local people as possible.”

As yet, no other party has announced its candidate. The Liberal Democrats will name their choice next week, with Nancy Norman representing the party during last year’s elections.

An SBC spokesman said there will be 10 polling places in the ward on October 10 - Carlops, West Linton, Newlands, Eddleston, Skirling, Stobo, Broughton, Tweedsmuir, Manor and Peebles.

The location of count, which is expected to be electronic, is to be confirmed. It is scheduled to start at 10am on Friday, October 11.

SBC’s chief executive Tracey Logan is the designated returning officer for the by-election. The remaining Tweeddale West councillors are Catriona Bhatia (Lib Dems) and Willie Archibald (SNP).