More women councillors than ever before

Scottish Borders Council now has more women councillors than at any point in its history, following last week’s local elections.

By Paul Kelly
Friday, 13th May 2022, 12:05 pm
Updated Friday, 13th May 2022, 2:08 pm
Netta Meadows, chief executive at Scottish Borders Council.
Netta Meadows, chief executive at Scottish Borders Council.

Out of the 34 successful candidates, 14 were women.

This significantly improves the gender balance in the council chamber and is the highest ratio ever – at 41 per cent.

When members of Scottish Borders Council meet on Thursday, May 19, they will receive a report from the authority’s chief executive Netta Meadows, in her capacity as returning officer.

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Over 86,500 ballot papers were printed, with 23,319 postal ballot packs issued, to ensure that the 94,198 electors in the Scottish Borders were able to cast their votes.

There were 80 staff at the count at Springwood Park in Kelso registering and verifying ballot boxes and papers.

Scottish Borders Council also had the distinction on count day, Friday, May 6, of declaring the first ward result in Scotland, the report notes.

It adds: “There were 109 polling places, containing 150 polling stations, staffed by over 350 presiding officers, poll clerks and information clerks.

“All staff received training on their roles, including the completion of a ballot paper account completion exercise.

“The layout of the polling stations was the same as those used during the Scottish Parliament selection in 2021 to minimise the risks around Covid.

“All polling stations were visited by polling station inspectors at least once during the day to ensure that the polling process ran efficiently.”