Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 15:27 UK

MSP defends council role record

Jim Hume
Mr Hume has defended his attendance record at council meetings

A South of Scotland MSP has defended his attendance record as a councillor in the Scottish Borders.

Lib Dem Jim Hume was successful in his campaign for both positions at elections in May last year.

Tory party representatives in the Borders produced figures showing he had attended 58% of council meetings.

Mr Hume said the statistics seemed to have been "conjured from thin air" and said he believed he continued to serve his council constituents well.

Local Tory party chairman John Greenwell said he believed Mr Hume was struggling to cope with the demands of the two roles.

"The people of Galashiels and district deserve a full-time councillor to represent them on Scottish Borders Council," he said.

Being MSP for the area means I'm able to raise the profile of Gala issues at a higher level and as such get things done quicker
Jim Hume MSP

"It seems they are not getting this service."

That view was echoed by Conservative Westminster hopeful Chris Walker.

"I'm not sure how Jim Hume manages to give his full attention to his role as a councillor for Galashiels as well as being an MSP for the whole of the south of Scotland region," he said.

"Councillors are supposed to commit a significant amount of time to their council duties and it appears that Cllr Hume is not managing to do this."

However, those claims have been dismissed as "negative campaigning" by Mr Hume.

He said he had attended all council planning committee meetings and 92% of Eildon area committees.

He added that he had only missed three major council meetings due to unavoidable circumstances.

'Local issues'

"My job is to serve my constituents and I've been doing that well through close contacts with Gala Community Council and individual constituents through my surgeries and home visits," he said.

"As a result I have been working on a number of local issues in the town in my capacity as councillor and MSP.

"Being MSP for the area means I'm able to raise the profile of Gala issues at a higher level and as such get things done quicker."

He also invited Mr Walker to work shadow him to show him how he managed to successfully do both jobs.


SEE ALSO
Concern over MSP's double duties
24 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Continuity the key in the Borders
17 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Council coalition sets out aims
17 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Council leader set to retain role
11 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Independents suffer heavy losses
04 May 07 |  South of Scotland

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