David Parker (and wife) take the plaudits

David Parker, with wife Ruth, accepts his 2015 Scottish Local Politician of the Year award from council convener Graham Garvie.
David Parker, with wife Ruth, accepts his 2015 Scottish Local Politician of the Year award from council convener Graham Garvie.

A rousing ovation greeted Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker when he returned to the Newtown chamber last week as Scottish Local Politician of the Year for 2015.

The honour had been conferred on the Independent member for Leaderdale and Melrose at a ceremony hosted by the Herald newspaper in Edinburgh last month.

Mr Parker was one of three out of 1,200 councillors in Scotland who had been shortlisted for the accolade.

At the start of Thursday’s full council meeting he was joined by wife Ruth at a short ceremony to mark his achievement.

Before “re-presenting” the award to Mr Parker, SBC convener Graham Garvie told him: “As well as your 20 years service to local government and nearly 13 years a leader of this council, the judges were very impressed by your involvement in the Borders Railway project over the last 17 years.

“National awards of this nature to local politicians are very rare and it is testament to your dedicated hard work over all these years.

“I know many people, not least those in this chamber, both within and outwith the Borders are truly delighted at this well-deserved recognition for you.

“As we all know, behind every achieving man or woman lies an even more important wife or husband and, in this case, that is David’s wife Ruth who I am delighted to see is here with us today.”

David Parker, with wife Ruth, accepts his 2015 Scottish Local Politician of the Year award from council convener Graham Garvie.