“People won’t want to invest in the Borders, visit the Borders or live in the Borders if we trash our surroundings.”
That is the mantra of Borders Party leader Nicholas Watson as he leads an 11-strong team of candidates into battle for the May 3 poll.
The party was founded ahead of the 2007 election, fielding five candidates and returning two councillors – Mr Watson in Leaderdale and Melrose, and Sandy Aitchison in Galashiels and District.
“We are often dubbed the anti-railway party and it is true we were sceptical and remain so that a single-track passenger line to Tweedbank, rather than a full restoration to Carlisle, will, given the huge costs and planning issues involved, be the answer to the serious economic problems we face,” said Mr Watson. “Our message this time around is that the Borders must build on its strengths to attract jobs, investment and prosperity, and make the best of the fantastic assets we have, rather than painting the rather pathetic picture of our region as having to hang onto the coat-tails of Edinburgh.
“This requires a positive vision for the Borders and recognises the key role played by our landscape, quality of life and good schools in persuading companies and individuals to invest in the region.
“We want the Borders to become a magnet for investment and jobs.”
The party’s manifesto commitments include measures to improve broadband provision, enhance bus links and expand opportunities for local businesses to work with the council.