Last-minute changes to Tweedbank Fair rules spark outcry

A decision to change the selection criteria for this year’s Tweedbank Fair principals has come in for criticism.

Organisers took the decision to adjust the rules stating which youngsters can stand for election as Tweedbank lad and lass and their four attendants last week.

But that decision has been met with anger among some residents claiming changing the rules just over a week before picking night is unfair on both this year’s young candidates and those from previous years.

In a statement on Friday, the fair committee said it had received a request to consider adjusting its selection criteria.

It said: “This was an unique request which was not covered by the fair constitution and it would not be appropriate to discuss the circumstances leading to the request.

“The fair committee, with the best of intentions, agreed to the alteration, which has caused some upset on social media.”

It explained that after taking advice from Scottish Borders Council, selection for the roles this year would be open to all primary seven-age Tweedbank children at any school and also to children who have been in primary seven at Tweedbank Primary this school year, no matter where they live.

It promised to communicate those changes as widely as possible ahead of selection night.

There have been calls in the past for the committee to relax its rules, but until last week it maintained that only P7 pupils from Tweedbank Primary who live in the village could stand.

Some have criticised the last-minute change.

Kenny Syme asked: “When was an extraordinary general meeting held to discuss or change the constitution rules? Why were the residents of Tweedbank not made aware of these actions?

“You might think it’s not for one child this year, but what about all the other kids who couldn’t be part of the village fair due to the rules in the constitution?”

Picking night is this Saturday at 6.30pm in Tweedbank Community Centre.