A HUSTINGS for Tweeddale East candidates standing at the forthcoming council elections took place at the Burgh Halls in Peebles on Tuesday.

The event was organised by the Peebles Community Council and hosted by Father Tony Lappin of St Joseph’s Church. Around 30 members of the pubic attended.

Four candidates took part, Robin Tatler (independent), Marshall Neil Douglas (Scottish National Party) Julie Pirone (Conservative) and David Pye (Liberal Democrats).

Each candidate was given three minutes for an opening statement. Mr Douglas opened by listing his three priorities as the cost of living crisis, parking and traffic issues and improving how Scottish Borders Council is run.

He was followed my Ms Pirone who listed roads and pavements, support for businesses and green spaces, along with providing state of the art schools and ensuring the SBC is "fit for purpose".

Mr Tatler brought up the climate challenge which he described as "critical", and also mentioned the cost of living crisis. He aims to ensure the community gets the services they need and is a passionate supporter of well maintained paths and pavements and is determined to help improve grass roots sports facilities.

Mr Pye talked of a lack of planning and poor infrastructure with regard to roads, bridges, potholes and housing. He also mentioned the lack of parking and charging facilities for tourists and the community.

The quartet were then given pre-prepared questions on potential conflict between the council and constituents, the management of the Chambers Institute and what they would do to improve facilities.

Father Lappin then allowed questions from the audience and the candidates were probed on potential new housing without improved infrastructure, place planning, the use of social media to get their message across and how to save money.

Anti-social behaviour in the town and the value for money from the SBC police Community Action Team was discussed at length with a general acceptance that the CAT team should be reviewed.

The four were then given two minutes to sum up and all thanked the Peebles Community Council for organising the event.

Les Turnbull, the chairman of Peebles Community Council, said: “We in the Peebles Community Council felt that it was important that all the candidates standing for election in the May council elections were given the opportunity to answer questions from the public.

“I was pleased to see four candidates respond to our invitation for the Tweeddale East hustings and delighted with the attendance from the public who asked some very pertinent questions of the candidates.”

In addition to the four candidates who attended the husting, Tweeddale East residents can vote for Calum McEwan Watt (Vanguard Party) Ellie Clarke (Greens) and Robert Bon (Labour).

The Peeblesshire News will be running candidate profiles in next week's edition.