Marion Short stood down from the council she’d been a member of since 2011 and chaired since 2012 earlier this month, saying she felt pressured into doing so as a result of struggling to work happily with an individual she declined to name.
The former local government worker of 41 years told the Hawick News: “My decision to stand down was not quite such a shock for me personally and some of my closest colleagues on the community council as they all knew I felt I had no other option rather than continue in a role which I had thoroughly enjoyed for six years.
“I had not been comfortable at working with one person for well over a year.
“Other people who know me are somewhat surprised as I am seen to be a strong influence on local community life, but there is just so much any person can accept.
“It was not an easy decision as the community council has many projects under way, and I was at the forefront of most and would have loved to have had an ongoing presence on them all.
“It has not actually been a nice time for me and my family, and it’s actually been quite stressful, but very reluctantly I had to make the decision to take a step back.”
Ian Turnbull, an unsuccessful Liberal Democrat candidate for Hawick and Denholm at the recent Scottish Borders Council election, was voted in as interim chairman until the council’s annual general meeting in July, when all office-bearers’ positions will be up for election.
He said: “Marion Short’s resignation came as a shock to all of the members of the community council. Marion has done a great job as chair of Hawick Community Council and will be a hard act to follow.”
Marion’s passion for Hawick remains undimmed, however, so she is refusing to rule out working for its community again in the future.
The 65-year-old, originally from Eyemouth but a resident of Hawick since 1975, where she lives with her husband Gordon, added:“Since the decision has been announced, I have to say that what has helped are the phone calls, emails and personal support not just from friends, family and colleagues but from people in the street.
“One even suggested that I should not have resigned but, rather, attempted to continue to be the thorn in the side of our local councillors and ensure that work is ongoing for Hawick.
“One thing is for sure – I remain keenly interested in all things Hawick, and once the boredom has finally set in, all other avenues for other community work will be explored.
Watson McAteer, the town’s new honorary provost, wished her well for the future, saying: “Marion Short has worked tirelessly for Hawick in her role as chair of Hawick Community Council and in her various local committee memberships.”
Former provost Stuart Marshall added: “I was saddened to hear of Marion’s decision to resign from the community council. Along with her council, she has worked hard, and I know that she has been instrumental in many projects including the Christmas lights .”
That leaves the council’s membership at 12 out of a possible 15. Anyone interested in joining up should email it at [email protected]