Councillor resigns from Scottish Borders Council

Nathaniel Buckingham was elected to the council in May 2012
Nathaniel Buckingham was elected to the council in May 2012

A by-election will be held in the Tweeddale West ward following the announcement by Councillor Nathaniel Buckingham that he is resigning from Scottish Borders Council.

Mr Buckingham, 30, a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, has been a councillor since May 2012.

He will stand down from his position from Monday, July 29.

Mr Buckingham told The Southern that this would be the end of his involvement in politics.

“It probably does draw a line under my political career. I have never had huge political ambitions and decided to stand to serve my community.

“I am sure I will continue to serve the local community but in a different role,” he said.

He added that he had been considering the move for ‘a couple of months’.

“I have taken some time to think about it but felt that if I did not do this, I would be coasting along,” Mr Buckingham told us.

In a statement released on Thursday, Mr Buckingham said: “In recent weeks it has become clear to me that I am not able to effectively balance the competing commitments of a young family, my work and my council responsibilities and therefore it is with regret that I am standing down from my position as councillor for Tweeddale West.

“Since being elected in May 2012 I have put a great amount of time and energy into the role, which I have found to be all consuming.

“I have also continued my professional career and despite trialling different working arrangements, I have been unable to find a balance that does justice to any of my commitments: my family; my career; or my constituents.

He added: “I truly appreciate all the support that has been offered to me over the last eighteen months.

“Having stood for election in good faith and with an enthusiasm for what I would bring to the position, this is not a decision that I have taken lightly.

“Moving forward my personal circumstances mean that I will not be able to give this role the time, energy and dedication that it deserves and therefore it is right to pass on to someone who can.”

Mr Buckingham became the youngest councillor in the local authority when he was elected at the age of 29.

A former pupil of Priorsford and Peebles High, Mr Buckingham is a civil engineer.

Leader of the Borders Conservative group, Councillor Michelle Ballantyne said: “I know that this was not an easy decision to make and one that was given very careful thought. “I am very disappointed that a workable solution couldn’t be found as we have lost a very able young man from council however I have no doubt that he will continue to be a strong voice for his community and we wish him every good fortune for the future.”

Council convener Graham Garvie added: “I would like to thank Councillor Buckingham for the contribution he has made while serving as an elected member of Scottish Borders Council. I wish him well for the future.”

A date for the by-election will be announced in due course.