Youngsters urged to stand for council

Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker believes the gloomy outlook for sustaining local authority spending and developing projects to stimulate the economy should not deter people from standing for election on May 3.

Councillor Parker said: “There are a great many who have views about the council – and what better way to make a difference than by standing for election and making a real contribution to our region?

“The job of a local councillor is a difficult one requiring long hours and great patience. It can be frustrating, but also immensely rewarding. There has never been a greater need to encourage new people to come forward to stand. We must work around constraints from Westminster and the Scottish Government, but councils do make a difference and impact on the daily lives of Borderers more than any other tier of government.

“I would be very keen to see more young people coming forward. We have a good mix of age and backgrounds, but I am keen to encourage new people and there is no point complaining about what we do if you are not willing to come forward and try and make a difference yourself.”

Anyone wishing to take up Mr Parker’s challenge is invited to attend the courses on preparing for elected office that are running until March 14.

“These talks and interactive sessions aim to provide interested individuals with a range of background information about such topics as the roles and responsibilities of elected members, the council and its functions,” said a council spokesperson.

“Once elected, members are given the opportunity to attend an induction programme, and further training is provided to support them throughout their term of office.”

For more information visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/becomeacouncillor.