A ROW which erupted on the Border Telegraph's social media pages has led to a Galashiels councillor leaving the local authority's ruling administration.

Harry Scott blasted a decision by Scottish Borders Council to move its BorderCare control room in Galashiels to East Lothian with the loss of around 20 jobs.

The Independent Galashiels and District member was one of only two councillors who fought the SB Cares plans during private meetings.

Councillor Scott was also vociferous in a decision allowing for a waste transfer station to be built at Easter Langlee.

The internal rows spilled onto the Facebook page of the Borders Telegraph after we broke the BorderCare story - both Councillor Scott and Shona Haslam, leader of the authority, posted their sides of the argument.

Just a week later, following a meeting at Newtown St Boswells, the former policeman left the Conservative/Independent Administration.

Councillor Scott told the Border Telegraph: "In any Administration there has to be a commitment to collective responsibility, and that is what I have had difficulty with.

"My first loyalty is to the people who voted for me and what is in their best interests, and if that clashes with the policies of the ruling administration so be it.

"I have had two fundamental disagreements over the Waste Transfer Station and the proposed closure of BorderCare and its move to East Lothian.

"It puts Shona Haslam in a difficult position as leader of the Conservative led Administration, who rightly expects loyalty from her administration, and shackles me to some extent in what I can say in public.

"It was therefore thought best that I leave the ruling administration to give me that freedom.

"I would like to emphasise that there is no animosity associated with my departure, and I have made it clear that if I deem it in the interests of my constituents I will support any policy brought forward by the ruling group, however by being outwith I will have the freedom to scrutinise and challenge issues as I see fit."

In a statement from Scottish Borders Council, the departure was blamed on "irreconcilable differences with regards to policy and direction" between Councillor Scott and the Conservatives.

Leader Shona Haslam said: "I have always encouraged members of the Administration to give their views on issues and it is right and proper that we hear all of those views. But, at the end of the day, we all have to be working towards the same goal.

“While Councillor Scott has always taken a strong and principled line, in the six months since the election, it has become clear to us both that we wish to move in different directions.

“As a result, Councillor Scott and I have agreed that he would be best placed to do this outwith the Administration.”