Re-elected councillors in disabled parking row at HQ

Independent councillor for Hawick and Hermitage, David Paterson, photographed East Berwickshire Tory councillor Jim Fullarton's Mercedes parked in a disabled parking space outside Scottish Borders Council's headquarters in St Boswells.
Independent councillor for Hawick and Hermitage, David Paterson, photographed East Berwickshire Tory councillor Jim Fullarton's Mercedes parked in a disabled parking space outside Scottish Borders Council's headquarters in St Boswells.

A row between two Scottish Borders councillors made national headlines this week when a Tory councillor was criticised for parking his Mercedes sports car in a disabled parking space.

Jim Fullarton, councillor for East Berwickshire, was caught parking his car in the space reserved for disabled badge holders only at the councillors parking area of Scottish Borders Council’s headquarters last Thursday.

Councillor Jim Fullarton

Councillor Jim Fullarton

Independent Hawick councillor, Davie Paterson, photographed Fullarton’s car in the spot and claimed that the pair became embroiled in an argument.

He told The Southern: “I asked him politely several times if he could please shut his car door and saw that he was actually parked in the disabled space at St Boswells.

“I had to wait several minutes before Mr Fullarton shut his car door and let me in to park my car. I found his attitude to me to be very ignorant and, in my opinion, extremely arrogant to be parking in a disabled space before trying to blame me for not being able to park because of his selfishness.

“I suppose this is par for the course the way that the Tories nationally are clobbering the disabled.”

Councillor David Paterson

Councillor David Paterson

However, Cllr Fullarton described the parking space as “not needed as all the councillors are fit”, before making reference to Cllr Paterson’s “mean spirit”.

He said: “It is an absolute lot of nonsense. The council car park is ticket only and during the council there is no such thing as a disabled car park.”

He added: “He claims I had an altercation with him which is an absolute lie.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said that the disabled sign is advisory and not statutory and confirmed that there are no councillors that currently require use of the space.

However, a Scottish Conservative Party spokesperson added: “Jim was wrong to park in this space and we have reminded him about his responsibilities as a local councillor.”