THE Scottish National Party has unveiled its two candidates who will contest the forthcoming local authority elections in Tweeddale.

Stuart Bell, who has represented Tweeddale East for the last five years, will stand for re-election on May 4.

A widower, living in Clovenfords, Stuart has 35 years of experience in operations management and consultancy in a wide range of manufacturing businesses.

He has degrees in Business Administration and in Physics, and has never lost his love for issues on the edge of our understanding.

As the Scottish Borders Council's executive member for Economic Development, he has been able both to drive forward the public's demand for development in the region to bring more jobs, and deal on a day-to-day basis with the hundreds of issues which constituents raise.

Stuart told the Peeblesshire News: "Roads and schools are basic services provided by this council but housing is a basic need.

"Many people are rightly concerned lest their community is swamped with new houses, whilst at the same time there is a real need for affordable homes in Tweeddale.

"This council has over delivered on its affordable housing target including recent completions in Innerleithen and Peebles, where those that were rented out were many times oversubscribed by prospective tenants.

"The Tweeddale SNP team support significantly more affordable homes. We must ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, but build a proportionate number of the houses people really need."

Heather Anderson will stand for the SNP in Tweeddale West.

The local organic farmer graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in English language and literature.

Running an upland farm in Tweeddale has taken Heather a long way from her student days and she and her husband Pete have now diversified their business by investing in an on-farm butchery and shop to sell beef, lamb and pork direct to the local community.

Before farming Heather and Pete established and ran an organisation which campaigned to improve the rights and life opportunities of people who relied on public services for support.

Heather said: "This council has completed the £4.8m sports complex at Peebles High school and the new primary school at West Linton.

"Our SNP team will ensure that the current school estates review presents the public with a comprehensive proposal to bring all Tweeddale schools up to modern standards.

"We also welcome the awarding of £200,000 of Scottish government money direct to head teachers in Tweeddale schools. This new funding could really help to bridge the attainment gap of socially disadvantaged pupils."

The SNP will also be represented on May 4 by John Mitchell and Andy Anderson contesting Galashiels and District, Jim Brown hoping for re-election in Jedburgh & District, Donald Moffat in Mid Berwickshire, Helen Laing in East Berwickshire and Elaine Thornton-Nicol in Selkirkshire.