A FAMILY carer from Peebles is standing for the Scottish Borders Greens in the forthcoming local government elections.

Catriona Hamilton, who is also a Forest School project leader, is pushing for change in the way Scottish Borders Council operates with more power to the people as she contests the Tweeddale West ward.

The mum of two, who has been a trustee and a committee member of several charities, has been politically active since joining her local peace group at 17 years old.

She supports shopping locally as well as sustainable and renewable energy, and is strongly opposed to fracking.

Catriona told us: "Right now we're in a time of change and uncertainty, globally, nationally and locally with Trump, Brexit and the local authority budget cuts.

"I am a strong supporter of grass-roots politics and believe local people should be able to make the decisions that affect their day to day lives and should be actively encouraged to do so on issues such as transport, education, health, social care services, housing and protecting the environment we live in.

"We live in a beautiful part of Scotland - the area has so much going for it and has wonderful flourishing caring communities but I believe it could be fairer, greener and healthier for those who live here and I would work collaboratively with others to make Tweeddale an even more desirable place to live, work and visit if I was to be elected."

The Scottish Borders Greens, standing on a platform of a fair, just, more sustainable Borders, are fielding seven candidates in the local elections in May - more than three times the number who stood in 2012.

Beth Landon, co-convener of the Scottish Borders Greens, expressed her delight at this unprecedented situation. She said: "Not only have we seven candidates but four are women.

"We have more than met our gender balance target and we have outstripped the national trend."

As well as Catriona, Pauline Stewart is standing in Mid Berwickshire, Kate Duncan in East Berwickshire, Barbra Harvie is standing in Selkirkshire, Charles Strang in Jedburgh & District, Colin Shaughnessy will contest Kelso & District, and Kevin Ferguson in Hawick & Denholm.

Maggie Chapman, co-convener of Scottish Greens, visited the Borders Greens in Jedburgh last week.

She said: "All our candidates are local campaigners and strongly believe in putting power in the hands of local people."