Local government elections

SIR, - We would like to express our profound gratitude to all those who supported the Borders Party by voting for us at the local election, and also to those who helped with the campaign.

As a result the Borders Party vote more than doubled across Berwickshire to about 11% on average. In some areas it was as high as 25% or even more. So this was a very encouraging election.

Voters responded well to our message of an independent local party focussed on local issues, excellent schools, and taking more care to maintain and enhance our landscape and way of life. We’ll do even better next time.

The vagaries of the voting system meant that we won no more council seats, despite some near misses and retaining our existing councillors with an increased vote.

Our congratulations go to those of our opponents who won and commiserations to those who didn’t.

Across the Borders three more independents won seats, and the national parties’ share of the vote fell substantially.

Independent local politics is on the way back in the Borders, which is healthy for local democracy.

The Borders Party will play a full role contributing ideas and expertise to make the council work better over the next five years.

NICHOLAS WATSON, TOM MIERS and CAT MACDONALD-HOME,

Borders Party candidates in Berwickshire.

SIR, - As a freshly elected SNP Councillor, I really want to say a huge and genuine thank you to the voters of East Berwickshire Ward for their support and for believing in our message.

I have really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to meet and speak with so many of you during the past few months.

Now I look forward to providing service and help to you as we meet again during the next months and years.

Campaigning in East Berwickshire has given me an understanding of the sheer size and complexity of the Ward and the challenges that we face together. Working in partnership with the SNP-led Scottish Government, I relish the opportunity to contribute to East Berwickshire’s progress.

I am proud to be part of a team that has Scotland at its heart and will always put the people of Scotland first.

JOAN CAMPBELL,

SNP Councillor for East Berwickshire.

SIR, - May I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported my candidacy and voted for me in the local elections.

Despite the disappointment of not being elected the experience of visiting many far flung homes and communities in East Berwickshire and meeting so many of its residents was one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

It has convinced me of the variety and vibrancy of life in the ward, as illustrated, for example by the new St Abb’s community centre opening shortly and the support for the first stage of the Lammermuirs to London Bridge sponsored cycling, running and rowing event over the past weekend.

During my campaign it was my privilege to meet people in the fishing, agricultural, artistic, leisure and tourist industries as well as those involved in running charities and voluntary organisations.

The people of Berwickshire clearly have much creative energy and I am convinced, given the right support from local and national governments, of the potential we have to prosper.

My hope is that, as different parties and the independents meet with each other with the aim of forming a coalition administration, the focus will not be on gaining power or party politics, but on policies that best serve the interests of the Berwickshire area.

KEN WEBB,

Liberal Democrat candidate,

Duns.