1. ITV Report

Tory and Independent coalition set to run Scottish Borders Council

Photo: Scottish Borders Council

The Conservatives and Independent Alliance have agreed a coalition deal to run Scottish Borders Council.

The proposed administration was agreed today following last week's election that saw the Tories increase their number of seats from 10 to 15.

Subject to approval by full council next Thursday, the coalition could run the authority for the next five years.

“I am delighted that we have reached an agreement with our Independent colleagues on Scottish Borders Council to form the proposed administration.

“We have worked hard to ensure that our administration will use the skills of its members to deliver the best services for the people of the Borders.

“At last week’s local elections, the Scottish Borders voted for change and the new administration will bring a fresh approach to providing that change. We have a lot of new members and we are not going to be afraid to use their skills from the outset.”

– Michelle Ballantyne, Leader of the Scottish Borders Conservative Group

The partnership agreement means that Scottish Borders Council will have a Conservative Leader in Shona Haslam, a newly elected member for Tweeddale East.

Councillor Ballantyne, the Conservative Group Leader, is moving to take up her position as List MSP in Holyrood over the coming weeks but until that time Councillor Ballantyne will provide support and guidance to the new leader to ensure that she is able to transition into the post effectively.

“I am pleased that our discussions in recent days have reached an agreement which I believe will be an exciting opportunity for the council. “It is fantastic to have 18 new elected members with fresh thinking and new ideas, and all of us in the new administration are keen to make the most of the new opportunities and energy of the council.”

– Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Leader of the Independent Members