Published: Tuesday, 5th December 2017
Councillor Michelle Ballantyne, who represents Selkirkshire, has announced her resignation with immediate effect.
Councillor Ballantyne was first elected in 2012 and served as Leader of the Conservative Group until she became list MSP for the South Scotland region in June 2017, following re-election to the Council in May 2017.
By-election date to be confirmed
A date for the by-election in the Selkirkshire ward will be announced in due course by the Returning Officer.
“It has been a true privilege to serve the people of Selkirkshire on Scottish Borders Council. Since being elected as an MSP, I have endeavoured to continue in that spirit of service. But now, after several months as both Councillor and MSP, I feel the time is right for me to step down from Council and to focus on my responsibilities as South Scotland MSP.
“I am committed to standing up for South Scotland as a strong, vocal parliamentarian, and I will continue to work closely with Conservative colleagues on Scottish Borders Council to ensure the best possible representation for everyone in the Borders.
“I have loved being a Councillor and I hope that I have served Selkirkshire well. I was honoured to be given your trust again at the last election and it is with sadness that I have made the decision to resign, but rather than let you down I feel it is time to stand aside and let someone else who can give the role the attention it needs take over.
“I want to thank everyone for the support and willingness to work with me over the last five and a half years; it has been a fascinating, busy job and one I would highly recommend to anyone who loves their community and is willing to take on the challenge of trying to make things better.”
Councillor Tom Weatherston, Leader of Scottish Borders Council's Conservative group
“I know this has not been an easy decision for Michelle, but it has been an impossible challenge for her to fulfil the demands of being a Councillor while also serving as an MSP.
“Both as a ward councillor since 2012 and as a former leader of our Conservative group, Michelle has had an enormous impact. She will be greatly missed and we all wish her the very best for the future.”