THIS week we invited the candidates standing in the local council elections for Selkirkshire to share their goals if elected.

Read on to meet your candidates and see what they want to achieve if they get your vote on May 5.

Three will be elected.

  • Please note, Elaine Thornton-Nichol is representing the SNP (Scottish National Party) in the Selkirkshire ward. The Border Telegraph asked for a candidate profile, but has not received one.

Caroline Cochrane


Border Telegraph:

I have worked hard over the last four years to represent the people of Selkirkshire. If you feel I have helped you, your family, your group and made a difference in the community please Vote #1 Caroline Cochrane

I live in the ward and I am very passionate about making a difference to my community and would be honoured to be voted in again.

I would love to continue with the work I have done so far and will continue to work hard and see more progress and improvements within Selkirkshire and continue to work with and support constituents with any issues they have.

Leagh Douglas


Border Telegraph:

I am proud to have spent much of my life in Selkirkshire – being brought up in Selkirk and attending Knowepark Primary School and Selkirk High School, and then returning to the Lilliesleaf and Bowden area after university to bring up my three children.

I am a mathematics tutor and, having chaired Lilliesleaf Primary School Parent Council previously, I am passionate about nurturing young people’s learning opportunities.

The Scottish Conservative-led administration at the council has taken innovative action to support our young people, such as through the Inspire Learning iPad scheme. Indeed, one of the main reasons I am standing for election is because I am eager that we continue to close the digital divide and support young people in the Borders to be prepared to enter the world of work with confidence.

Having worked previously for a Newtown-based IT firm and through running my own small business within our community, I appreciate the challenges and opportunities facing our local economy.

Broadband coverage is poor, particularly in Ettrick, Yarrow and Lilliesleaf.

With local businesses emerging from a difficult two years due to COVID-19, I am keen to work with local communities and businesses to make Selkirkshire a hub of investment in the years to come.

I enjoy involvement in the local sports scene: I am a qualified assistant athletics coach and formerly chaired the local athletics club.

I also volunteer at the Lilliesleaf 10K.

I recognise the benefits of local sports and leisure facilities and events for our community’s health and wellbeing. Having worked with disabled, recreational, and internationally competitive athletes, I am an advocate of inclusion and, if I am fortunate enough to represent you, would champion this in the council.

SNP cuts to local government are putting local council delivery of services under increasing pressure.

However, if elected, I will campaign to ensure local services are protected from these cuts from the Scottish Government.

If I am given the opportunity to serve my community, listening to local residents to understand their concerns and working hard to deliver positive change across Selkirkshire will be my number one priority.

Gordon Edgar


Border Telegraph:

Scottish Borders Council provides hundreds of different services every day to the people of the Scottish Borders.

The effects of COVID-19 and the climate crisis will continue to have serious implications as to how these services are provided.

Budgets are ever decreasing and costs are rising so there is less money available to address pressures.

It has been my privilege to serve the people of the Scottish Borders, in particular those in Selkirkshire for a number of years.

I have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience during those years as to how the council services are provided.

I am confident that if elected I will be best able to influence the decisions that have to be made to ensure these services are delivered consistently, efficiently and equally to the satisfaction of all in the Borders community.

I will continue to work to ensure that resources are provided where they are needed.

Roads should be fit for purpose and safe for all to use.

Rubbish bins emptied on time.

Vulnerable people looked after.

Youngsters should have the best conditions in which to study and develop.

Our open spaces and cemeteries should be maintained with respect.

I will consult regularly within the Selkirkshire community so that my decisions and actions can be guided by the concerns and aspirations of the people of Selkirkshire.

I believe that I represent the best voice for Selkirkshire and would appreciate your support on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

Barbra Harvie


Border Telegraph:

Barbra Harvie is a semi-retired lecturer who lives in Selkirk with her family.

She has campaigned all her adult life against social injustice.

Barbra first entered university at 42 and in due course became a lecturer; a scientist specialising in climate change through restoration ecology and forestry.

Her academic background has created a passionate advocate for the natural environment but she is equally enthusiastic about promoting future food security and manages the gardens and greenhouses at Selkirk Community Shed (as a volunteer) to give others the opportunity to grow their own vegetables and improve their mental health through working outdoors.

Selkirkshire, like the rest of Scottish Borders, needs a Green recovery to combat the climate emergency and to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barbra will champion improvements to public transport and the provision of much needed short-term support for local public transport operators in relation to COVID recovery.

She will support measures to tackle fuel poverty; campaign against the bank closure, and support incentives to local small businesses and social enterprises to fill the empty units in Selkirk’s town centre.

She will also advocate measures to reduce waste and save money on landfill by committing to increasing (and improving) local recycling facilities in our communities.

She said: “As a local councillor representing Selkirkshire I will work toward a green economic recovery with sustainable employment, affordable warm homes for all and improved public transport; a recovery for the benefit of all Selkirkshire residents.”

Scott Redpath


Border Telegraph:

I’m delighted to be selected as Scottish Labour’s candidate for the Selkirkshire ward on May 5.

Born and bred in the Borders, I’ve spent most of the last two decades as a shopworker, serving my community, getting to know the problems and challenges people face.

I’m an experienced campaigner and an active member of the shopworkers union USDAW.

I successfully campaigned for changes in the law to protect my colleagues from abuse and tackle the bad practices of employers who, sought to cut corners when it came to their safety and pay.

I am neither unionist nor nationalist but a socialist and I’m standing for Labour in this election because I believe that jobs, wages and public services are key to tackling the cost of living crisis we are facing.

Prices are rising at a frightening rate for many people and a council must step up to the mark and do all that it can to protect people from the consequences of this situation.

As a councillor I would campaign for a rise in the minimum wage to £12 and look at ways the Borders council can learn from the pioneering Labour-led North Ayrshire Council ‘Community Wealth Building’ strategy which has seen it build more than 1,600 houses, invest in community energy programmes and use the power of local government spending to benefit local businesses and communities.

I’m also hugely concerned by the drop in our local education standards as 15 years of centralisation and yearly cuts in funding from Holyrood to councils have impacted negatively on our children’s life chances.

Educational inequality is particularly high in the Borders and this has to be reversed.

To do that we need councillors who’ll fight your corner rather than take their orders from Bute House or No 10.

I would bring an independence of mind to the council chamber, campaigning for action to tackle the attainment gap in our local schools and ensuring people have the quality public services they deserve including pushing for a publicly owned local bus system that better meets our needs, properly connecting our towns and villages.