Scottish Borders agrees Conservative/independent coalition
The Conservatives won 15 seats last week, with the SNP on nine, eight independents and two Liberal Democrats
Scottish Borders Council headquarters: Picture credit - Scottish Borders Council
A new independent/Conservative coalition administration has been agreed at Scottish Borders Council.
The Conservatives won 15 seats last week, with the SNP on nine, eight independents and two Liberal Democrats.
The council’s previous administration was an SNP/Lib Dem/independent alliance.
The move is subject to formal approval by the council next week.
Michelle Ballantyne, leader of the Scottish Borders Conservative group, said: “I am delighted that we have reached an agreement with our independent colleagues on Scottish Borders Council to form the proposed administration.
“We have worked hard to ensure that our administration will use the skills of its members to deliver the best services for the people of the Borders.
“At last week’s local elections, the Scottish Borders voted for change and the new administration will bring a fresh approach to providing that change. We have a lot of new members and we are not going to be afraid to use their skills from the outset.”
Sandy Aitchison, leader of the independent members, added: “All of us in the new administration are keen to make the most of the new opportunities and energy of the council.”
Newly elected Conservative councillor Shona Haslam is set to become council leader while Ballantyne moves to become a list MSP in Holyrood, replacing Rachael Hamilton who is standing as a candidate in the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire by-election.
Ballantyne has yet to decide if she will remain a councillor.
Former leader and independent councillor David Parker will become council convener, with responsibility for health.
Under the plans, the LEZ will only cover 20 per cent of buses and will not include cameras to catch offenders
Sarah Gadsden will succeed Colin Mair, who retires at the end of this month
Long-term action that extends beyond the oscillation from left to right requires a dialogue with people we wouldn’t normally align with politically
How the Conservative Party can build on its gains to present an alternative Scottish Government