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Scottish Borders Councillor resigns over code of conduct breach

A Scottish Borders councillor has resigned from his role as Chairman of the Planning Committee after a hearing found he breached the code of conduct.

Ron Smith stepped down from that role and also the role of Executive Member for Planning and Environment.

He failed to declare a non-financial interest in relation to a planning application during a meeting.

"I very much regret the decision of the Standards Commission but this seems to have arisen from differing interpretations of the councillors' code of conduct.

"At all times, I have sought to represent the best interests of my constituents and of Borderers.

"Reflecting on the Commission's decision however, I have decided to step down as Chair of the Planning and Building Standards Committee and as Executive Member for Planning and Environment.

– Councillor Ron Smith, Scottish Borders Council

"Ron Smith is a hard working councillor and works tirelessly for his constituents.

"I accept but am naturally disappointed with the Standards Commission decision; I believe this stemmed from a genuine difference in interpreting the Councillors' Code of Conduct.

"I fully respect Ron's decision and look forward to continuing to work with him on the council and to his playing a significant part in council business in the future.

"I and other elected members across the political spectrum have a very high regard for the work that Ron does."

– Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council


Scottish Borders Councillor resigns

Councillor Nathaniel Buckingham, who represents the Tweeddale West ward, has announced his resignation from Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

Councillor Buckingham, who is a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, became a Councillor in May 2012 and will stand down from his position on Monday 29th July.

“In recent weeks it has become clear to me that I am not able to effectively balance the competing commitments of a young family, my work and my Council responsibilities and therefore it is with regret that I am standing down from my position as Councillor for Tweeddale West.

“Since being elected in May 2012 I have put a great amount of time and energy into the role, which I have found to be all consuming.

"I have also continued my professional career and despite trialling different working arrangements, I have been unable to find a balance that does justice to any of my commitments: my family; my career; or my constituents.

“I truly appreciate all the support that has been offered to me over the last eighteen months. Having stood for election in good faith and with an enthusiasm for what I would bring to the position, this is not a decision that I have taken lightly.

– Councillor Buckingham