Local Action Group

Local Area Group (LAG) members

Local Area Group (LAG) members

Hans Waltl, Chair of the LAG

Sector: Private Sector

Hans is a Chartered Certified Accountant. He is involved in a number of charities and social enterprises and his position as a trustee of Borders Forest Trust along with previous experience in EU projects abroad focussing on SME growth and development give him a good deal of knowledge and insight into rural matters. In addition, as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts he is involved in the annual Land Use Conference, which has covered issues including the environmental and economic impact of wind farms and assessed Land Use Programmes. Hans also holds the title of a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the City of Worshipful Company of Engineers.

Hans has been Chair of the LAG for 2 years and been a LAG member since 2015.

Pip Tabor, Vice Chair

Sector: Third Sector

Pip has a degree in ecology and an MSC in natural resource management. He recently retired from the Southern Uplands Partnership, a rural development charity which he managed for 23 years during which time it delivered a wide range of projects, many of which benefited from LEADER funding. In recent years, Pip has become more concerned with the climate and nature crises and how we can develop a more sustainable rural economy.

Hazel Smith

Organisation: Re-Tweed and International Tartan

Sector: Third Sector-Social Enterprise

Starting out in Community Education 34 years ago, Hazel set up, developed and managed organisations and projects combatting exclusion and inequality working with third sector and public sector services and economic development agencies. Much of the work has focused on children, young people and women: managing Youth Agencies and Employability Organisations Edinburgh and working with the European Commission on research projects that promoted women and young people’s participation in education, enterprise and employment.

She is a former Board Member of a number of national charities working on behalf of women, children and disadvantaged groups as well as a former Board Member of South of Scotland Enterprise. She currently holds a Public Appointment with the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration and sits on funding panels for Foundation Scotland and Local Windfarms.  Over the last year she has been developing a legacy of 125 registered Nation State, District and Commemorative Tartans, under the banner of Tartans for Social and Humanitarian Good.

Fiona Benton

Organisation: Borders Community Action -BCA is part of the national Third Sector Interface organisations

Sector: Third Sector

Fiona’s role at BCA involves supporting local groups and charities with funding and governance queries. Fiona is relatively new to the Third Sector, having joined The Bridge in December 2022 after a career in London as a legal PA, paralegal, freelance proof reader and sheep farmer.

Fiona has been a volunteer at Stable Life, the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association and as a one-to-one mentor helping schoolchildren gain an insight into the workplace. She has also been secretary of her village hall. She is passionate about agriculture & rural skills, the countryside and supporting her local community. Fiona recently joined the board of the Jedburgh Community Trust.

Lesley Forsyth

Organisation: Scottish Borders Council

Sector: Public

Lesley represents ourselves on the Scottish Borders Local Action Group. We act as the Lead Partner for the CLLD Programmes 2022-23 and 2023-24, with legal and financial responsibility for the programme. As Programmes Support Officer, Lesley provides the LAG with guidance on its legal responsibilities.

Lesley has been heavily involved with the implementation of previous EU LEADER Programmes as well as many other European funding programmes and Scottish Government programmes during her time in the Scottish Borders. 

Margaret Simpson M.B.E. M.S.C. F.R.S.A.

Organisation: Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber

Sector: Third Sector/Social Enterprise

Margaret is the Director/CEO of the Social Enterprise Chamber and also the EO/Chair of Ability Borders and the Access Panel. The Chamber has nearly 580 members and AB is growing rapidly. I am also on the LEP and nationally on the Poverty ALLIANCE, STP and the Rural and Islands Parliament,  City region deal for Employment and training and NOLB. We also have the Online learning centre and have access to free SIM and DATA cards to give out and also have a Lending library for devices. Finally I am on the HRSS for Equality and a few boards locally and nationally.

Charles Dundas

Organisation: Borders Forest Trust

Sector: Third Sector

Charles is Chief Executive of Borders Forest Trust. Originally from West Lothian, he is a graduate in History from the University of Glasgow, and has worked in banking, research, campaigning and lobbying. He has served as an elected councillor on the City of Edinburgh Council, where he chaired the Administration Group and sat on the Lothian and Borders Police Board, and the Board of the Royal Lyceum Theatre. He is currently also the chair of The People’s Postcode Lottery’s Culture, Active and Animal Trusts. Since 2017 he has been Chair of Scottish Environment LINK, the national network for environmental and conservation organisations.

Miriam Adcock

Organisation: Zero Waste Scotland

Sector: Public Sector

Miriam has worked at Zero Waste Scotland since 2009. Her role is about helping organisations and individuals to move towards a more circular economy where resources are valued and nothing is wasted.  She spends much of her time supporting community groups through running workshops, giving talks, and providing advice.  She also works on campaigns and projects such as ‘ditching disposables’ – helping organisations to reduce their use of single-use items such as coffee cups. In her spare time she is also the founder and volunteer JogLeader at JogPeebles and a trustee of Tweeddale Youth Action and regularly volunteers at cycling and running events.

Miriam has been a LAG member since 2022.

Jan Pringle

Oganisation: South of Scotland Enterprise

Sector: Public Sector

Jan Pringle is the Enterprising Communities Manager within South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and has a specific geographic responsibility for the Scottish Borders.  Jan joined SOSE in its formative months, over 3 years ago, and continues to support the growth and evolution of the Enterprising Communities function within the Place & Enterprise Directorate.  The Enterprising Communities team leads on the design and delivery of sustainable community-led development and social enterprise for the agency across the South of Scotland.

Jan has over 20 years of experience in community planning and community development, having worked for extended periods of time in both the Public and Third Sector.  Jan has held a variety of roles in service development, programme management, strategic policy, and as well as having been involved in a variety of local and national funding programmes.  More recently prior to joining SOSE, Jan was the Chief Officer for a key Development Trust/Social Enterprise in the Scottish Borders.  This experience provides important insight into the challenges and opportunities which our third sector face in aspiring to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits across the Borders and South of Scotland.  

On a personal level, Jan is a keen dog lover and enjoys nothing more than getting out into the fresh air to enjoy the region’s hillwalking with her two Vizslas Ruby and Marty!