Teenager sets sights on a seat

Craig Bryson
Craig Bryson

IT REMAINS to be seen if calls for new blood on Scottish Borders Council on May 3 are successful, but for Craig Bryson and Robbie Tatler, hope springs eternal, writes Andrew Keddie.

In recent weeks, both current SBC leader David Parker and former maverick Lib Dem Norman Pender have stressed the need for a more youthful contingent of elected members to better represent the region.

robbie tatler

robbie tatler

Craig, 19, below, and Robbie, 21, right, are taking up the challenge, having been named by the Scottish Labour Party as its candidates for the Hawick and Denholm and Galashiels and District wards respectively.

If Craig is successful he will become the youngest ever councillor at local government level in the Borders – he is half the age of the current most junior elected member – Mr Parker.

A party activist for the past three years, Craig told us: “I may be young and inexperienced, which may stand against me, but I’m confident that, given the chance, I can be a real asset to the people of Hawick and Denholm.

“I will not promise the world because we live in tough economic times, but I do promise to fight 110 per cent for my constitutents.”

Craig’s agent will be his father William and Craig told us: “My dad suffered a stroke when I was young and he has not only been an inspiration to me, but he is also one of the reasons I got into politics – to help the disabled and elderly.”

In Galashiels, Robbie Tatler is taking the unusual step of organising his own public meeting ahead of the polls.

It will take place in Langlee Community Centre on Tuesday from 6.30-7.30pm.

“I’m keen to hear about what concerns people locally and what they would expect from me if I am elected,” he told us.

Another candidate in his 20s was formally introduced in Peebles yesterday. Nathanial Buckingham, a 28-year-old civil engineer who lives in the town with his wife and two young children, has been selected by the Conservatives to fight the Tweeddale West ward.

His candidature, along with that of Tweeddale East incumbent, Gavin Logan, was endorsed by Tweeddale, Clydesdale and Dumfriesshire MSP David Mundell.

Meanwhile, the Borders Party, which hopes to contest all 11 multi-member wards, has announced that Diana Miers will stand in Kelso and District.

A self-employed marketing consultant working with local businesses, she is aged 35 and lives with her family at Makerstoun.

She told TheSouthern: “I am really excited about this opportunity of work with a party dedicated to local issues and serving local people.

“Through my children, I’m involved with all sorts of different activities, including Edenside parent council, sports clubs and play groups. I hope to give something back.”

Borders Party leader Nicholas Watson said: “There are not enough councillors with young children at the moment and I think she will make a great contribution.”

Also announcing his candidature in Selkirk and District is former councillor Gordon Edgar who will stand as an independent.

Selkirk born and bred, Mr Edgar, who runs his own electrical contracting business, was SBC’s portfolio holder for technical services before being defeated at the 2007 polls.