PROPOSED changes to Peeblesshire’s parliamentary constituency is to come under public scrutiny next month.

Boundaries Scotland has announced that a Local Inquiry will be held regarding the proposed Clyde Valley and Tweeddale constituency.

It will be held at the Peebles Hydro hotel on January 11.

There are currently two Scottish Parliament constituencies which include the Borders – the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire county constituency and the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale county constituency.

Boundaries Scotland’s provisional proposals make no changes in Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire.

But there are suggested changes proposed to the current Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale constituency.

This would be replaced by a proposed Clyde Valley and Tweeddale county constituency, comprising wards within Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and South Lanarkshire Council.

Concerns have been raised that the planned parliamentary boundary change would damage the historical and geographical links between the Borders and Midlothian, with the current constituency linked through numerous public transport routes.

SBC has also formally raised objections to the proposal and asked that a “delicate balance is struck between the necessary boundary adjustments and the preservation of the already well established community and transport links between regions”.

The local authority has suggested a change of name, for example to ‘Lanark, Tweeddale, Galashiels, and Lauderdale constituency’, within the proposed boundaries to “better reflect the strong sense of local identity, historical significance, and cultural connection within the constituency”.

In a report to this week’s full council, Nuala McKinlay, SBC’s director of corporate governance, says: “The Local inquiry is not an adversarial process –that is those who attend are not questioned nor cross examined by any person or party.

“Instead, anyone who addresses the inquiry is given a 10-minute slot and they simply present their views to the sheriff principal. While it is possible that then sheriff principal may need to clarify a matter with the speaker, there will be no questions posed beyond that.

“It is important to note that there is no legal requirement for SBC to send a representative to address the inquiry.

“However, it clearly presents as a significant opportunity to add weight to the written representation which has already been made.

“Given this opportunity, and particularly since SBC’s objection meant that a local inquiry had to be held, it is recommended that it does send a representative to speak to the inquiry.

“That representative should be an elected member since it was their decision to object to the proposal.

“It is also important to note that any person can contact the Boundaries Commission and ask for a slot to address the sheriff principal.

“It may be, therefore, that some citizens of the Scottish Borders also chose to take the opportunity to do that themselves.”

The SNP’s Christine Grahame currently represents the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale constituency.