Hawick councillor confident Hornshole row can be resolved

Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer have been fighting to keep Hornshole as part of Hawick
Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer have been fighting to keep Hornshole as part of Hawick

The Boundary Commission for Scotland has contacted Hawick councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall following the Hornshole row.

Although no guarantees were given over Hawick’s future electoral boundaries or the inclusion of Hornshole, Councillor McAteer is confident that the commission is sympathetic and that a “sensible outcome” will prevail.

A letter sent to boundary chiefs from Scottish Borders Council chief executive Tracey Logan shows that it’s not only Hornshole which is in danger of becoming part of the Jedburgh super-ward, but also Wilton Lodge Park and Galalaw Business Park.

Mr McAteer said: “During discussion it was very obvious that the commission were acutely aware of the public outrage and concerns regarding Hornshole and although no commitments were being made, we formed the impression that a sympathetic and sensible position may well be adopted after the formal public consultation is completed in October.

“We emphasised that our concerns went wider than Hornshole with the communities of Denholm, Bonchester and Chesters and surrounding areas feeling completelydisenfranchised and that it was essential that a face-to-face meeting takes place to enable the evidence to be presented and the case made for these communities to remain as part of Hawick.”

Mr McAteer is keen to see national politicians and community councils taking an active role in the fight against the proposed changes.

He added: “Our MSP and Scottish Government minister Paul Wheelhouse has been asked to provide his support and influence to encourage the commission to agree to a meeting.”

Hornshole is a famous battle site commemorated with a monument in Hawick.

In 1514 a group of Hawick youths defeated an English raiding party and captured their standard at Hornshole.