Borders council by-election date set after Nicholas Watson resignation

Nicholas Watson Mr Watson has been a member of Scottish Borders Council since May 2007

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A by-election date has been set following the resignation of the leader of the Borders Party from Scottish Borders Council.

Nicholas Watson's letter of resignation was received last week and takes effect on 22 February.

It leaves a vacant seat in the local authority's Leaderdale and Melrose ward.

SBC confirmed that a by-election would be held on 2 May, with nine polling places in the ward.

They will be at Blainslie, Darnick, Earlston, Gattonside, Lauder, Melrose, Newstead, Oxton and Tweedbank.

The count, which is expected to be electronic, is planned to take place at council headquarters in Newtown St Boswells on 3 May, starting at 10:00.

SBC's Chief Executive Tracey Logan is the designated returning officer for the by-election.

Mr Watson has been a councillor since May 2007.

He announced his plans to resign last year as he is moving out of the region for business reasons.

He set up the Borders Party in the wake of a campaign which successfully halted housing plans near Abbotsford House.

Mr Watson has also been a prominent opponent of plans to reopen the rail line between the Borders and Edinburgh, describing it as "environmental and economic folly".

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