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About Us

The Borders Party is the only party dedicated solely to the well-being of the Scottish Borders and its people.

We are not affiliated to any national party as we believe that national politics have no place in local government. Because we do not contest Westminster or Holyrood elections, there is no conflict of interest between supporting the Borders Party locally, and the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats or the Scottish National Party nationally. Our supporters come from all walks of life across the Borders.

Our Founding Principles

Rather than work to a set of constraining ‘rules’ which may not be appropriate in every situation and may not be the best decision in every case – we work to a set of principles which underpin everything we do and everything we fight for.

Our Founding Principles clearly hold us to openness and accountability.

The Borders Party

  • will put the best interests of the Scottish Borders first
  • is committed to the principle of consulting with and representing the interests, views and ideas of Borders residents
  • is committed to supporting local communities and consulting with them in an open, honest and comprehensible way on all matters which are of concern to them or which might affect their lives
  • supports the drawing up and implementation of environmentally responsible policies
  • supports sustainable development
  • supports development that improves the quality of life of Borders residents and provides better educational and job opportunities
  • recognises the importance of Borders heritage, including social, cultural, environmental and man-made legacies and will encourage building on past strengths and the natural resources of the Borders
  • will oppose all proposals which will threaten or destroy the Borders way of life and diminish the quality of life for Borders residents.

Words from our Founding Members

Jim Smith, Founding Party Secretary “The Borders Party is not affiliated to any national party. National politics have little place in local government. We must engage with local people and listen to what they have to say. It is no good forcing on communities what has already been decided elsewhere.”

Nicholas Watson, Leader 2006-2013 “Over-centralisation can be very damaging to a rural region. Development must be related to local needs and local employment, and must help the economy without damaging the environment. For example, the proposed Borders railway is a politically-driven project whose real implications – huge cost and a massive housing explosion – have not been thought through or made clear to the public. Its cost could cripple the Borders. The proposed scheme is not the return of the real Waverley Line, it can only serve a tiny part of the region, and it’s not about helping the Borders.”

Nicholas went into local politics when he led the successful Save Scott’s Countryside campaign against a new commuter settlement on Sir Walter Scott’s land at Abbotsford: “While fighting to stop that one development we were surprised to be contacted by people from across the Borders worried about closing schools, bins and even bus services. Looking back it is clear they simply didn’t know where to find a voice. Now we hope to be able to give them that voice.”

Violet Baillie, Founding Member “We are tired of negative comments about an ageing population. Quite apart from what they offer socially, older people bring with them a breadth of experience and interests, their money and their needs, all of which stimulate local employment. We are also blessed with strong, distinct communities in which people know and look out for each other. These are rare strengths and we must resist proposals which threaten them.”

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