Local government elections

SIR, - Our newly elected and re-elected councillors on Borders Council should be applauded, not only for their success at the polls, but also for their stated resolve to face up to the challenges in the tough years ahead.

Like small businesses, the council may not have caused the economic crisis, but they will have to adapt to the new realities it left behind.

However, the administration can only improve local service delivery and get a fair deal for our communities if we have a strong, growing Borders economy – the bedrock of which are our local small businesses.

Quick fix measures, which might look to solve a short-term problem but hurt the Borders’ long term economic interests, must be avoided. Instead, if the small business community is going to create the jobs and growth the region needs, all council departments need to work together to develop and support the local economy.

GRAHAM BELL,

Scottish Borders Branch Chair

The Federation of Small Businesses.

SIR, - I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to so many Labour supporters in the local government elections last week.

Despite the party having been absent from Berwickshire for nearly 30 years, together we ran a tremendous campaign.

We met so many local people with genuine needs, grievances and a desire for change in Berwickshire. It would have been an honour and a privilege to have served you.

Thanks to your votes last Thursday we gained recognition and respect by winning double the vote of the Liberal Democrats, and finished just three per cent behind the SNP in the battle for the third sea.

There can now be no doubt that ‘Labour is back in Berwickshire’ and stands as the only party providing a credible alternative to the Conservative and SNP voices.

As chair of the Berwickshire Branch of the Labour Party, I will be looking to grow our membership over the coming months

If anyone would like to join us or find out more about our vision for Berwickshire, my contact details are below.

I should also like to congratulate the newly elected councillors, who often face a thankless task and a challenging role, in which there is much still to be done.

KENRYCK LLOYD-JONES,

Chair Berwickshire Branch Labour Party,

Coldingham.

SIR, - Following the Local Government elections last Thursday, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Returning Officer Ian Wilkie and all his election staff, Lothian and Borders Police and all the other hard working staff who ensured a safe and efficient count on Friday at Eildon Mill, Tweedbank.

I would also like to thank my loyal and dedicated election agent and campaign manager Craig Wood for his efforts which were greatly appreciated.

But above all I would like to thank the people of Mid Berwickshire who have put their faith in me and given me the privileged opportunity to represent their interests to the best of my ability over the coming five years.

I also look forward to working hard with my fellow Unionist colleagues to campaign tirelessly to preserve our United Kingdom and to send a clear signal to Alex Salmond that the majority of Borderers do not want to see Scotland torn out of the Union.

JOHN GREENWELL,

Councillor for Mid Berwickshire,

High Street,

Coldstream.

SIR, - Through your column may I take the opportunity to thank the residents of Mid-Berwickshire for the support I received at the Local Government elections last week.

I believe the local Conservative Association were over ambitious in trying to get two candidates elected.

The consequence was that we were both working on only half of the ward. Although I was unsuccessful, I was very pleased and grateful for the support I received from what was the most rural half of the ward.

My sincere thanks to the hundreds that voted for me.

Considering the experience I have gained over the past five years I will, as usual, be more than happy to help any residents with issues or problems they may have with SBC. Just contact me.

Again many thanks.

TREVOR JONES,

Twin Law Cairns,

Westruther.