Council leader Haslam steps down

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam is stepping down from the role she has kept for the past four years to head up a new national “think tank” which will look at forming strong communities.

Councillor Shona Haslam is stepping down as council leader.
Councillor Shona Haslam is stepping down as council leader.

Mrs Haslam, who represents the Scottish Conservatives, was elected to serve the Tweeddale East Ward and was appointed as leader in May 2017.

She said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as council leader over the last four years.

"We have achieved so much including the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, the launch of South of Scotland Enterprise, destination play parks, and iPads to all of our learners through the award-winning Inspire Learning programme.

“It has not been an easy four years either with serious floods in our towns, a fire at Peebles High School and of course Covid-19.

"Our communities have joined forces and pulled together in all of these challenges and to see how this has happened has been one of the best things about this role.

“I am not leaving the public sector, or politics, and will be leading a new think tank in Scotland that focuses on how we build a stronger community in Scotland for the future.

“I am excited about the future and the opportunities it holds and know that the Borders is going to continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Elected members will choose a new leader at the full meeting of Scottish Borders Council on November 25.

Mrs Haslam will remain an elected member for Tweeddale East until the local government election in May next year.

David Parker, council convener, said: "I would like to thank Shona for her work as leader over the past four years and congratulate her on all she has achieved.

"She has made an enormous contribution to the Borders.

“The focus she has placed on mental health and the huge amount of work she carried out on Inspire Learning in our schools are just two of the things I think she deserves great credit for.

“As the first female leader of this council, she will have a special place in its history.

“I look forward to welcoming and working with the new leader after the council meeting later this month."