A chain reaction was triggered as Kelso voted in its new town provost and community council chairman.
Dean Weatherston has taken over the town’s the gold chains after John Bassett stepped down at last week’s community council annual meeting after four years in the post.
At 32, Dean is the town’s youngest ever community council chairman, but he is more than ready for the role, having been a member of the council for 10 years and serving as deputy provost for the last four of those.
Dean said: “I have always preferred to work behind the scenes rather than at the front, but it was the right time.
“The main thing that I want to do is just create more engagement with the public.”
Dean, father to Eden, five, is a former Broomlands Primary and Kelso High School pupil, and he has worked as a quality assurance coordinator at the town’s John Hogarth mills for the past six years.
He said: “I feel that now is the time for someone to have a strong voice to speak up for the town. Although all of our meetings are open to the public, people don’t like to come to meetings, but it’s important to get their feedback somehow.
“I want to encourage more people to give their opinion, so that there is more of a voice in the town. That is what the community council is here for.”
Dean was instrumental in setting up the community council’s Facebook page and was a founder member of Visit Kelso, the town’s marketing group.
VisitKelso now has a busy online presence, with more than 2,700 Facebook followers and a new website going live next month.
Among Dean’s duties as provost over the coming four-year term will be chairing monthly community council meetings and taking pride of place at official civic week receptions.
Dean’s last engagement as deputy provost earlier this month was to sash Kelso Laddie Craig Logan.
“I have always followed civic week from a very young age,” Dean added.
“I have ridden before, as have both my parents, but there will be additional duties that I will have to learn for this year.
“I’ve known Craig since he was a wee laddie, so it’s great that he’ll be my first Kelso Laddie.”
Mr Bassett, though still a community councillor, chose not to stand for the post of provost again, having just had a full knee replacement.
“It would make things quite difficult for me especially this year,” he said. “It’s best to pull away and let a younger man take the helm.
“Dean is the right man for the job. He really is a very talented man.”
The community council also welcomed new members Matthew Bolton, Ian Brown, James McCombie and Kerry Yule last week, taking its total count to 12 councillors.