TRIBUTES have been paid to a leading councillor who died in hospital after collapsing at a meeting.

Zandra Elliot - who served three terms as Hawick's Honorary Provost and was a member of Scottish Borders Council for the past seven years - died at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Saturday.

The 73-year-old Conservative councillor suffered a heart problem at a meeting of the Hawick Common Good Fund in the Town Hall on Tuesday and was taken to Borders General Hospital.

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She was transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where she had major heart surgery to repair a leaking aorta. Mrs Elliot was in the hospital's high dependency unit when she had a relapse and died on Saturday.

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Tory MSP John Lamont said: "Anyone who knows or has met Zandra would tell you not only of her innate kindness but also of her passion for Hawick. She served the town admirably over the years in many capacities, including as Provost and as one of the town's councillors.

"Zandra was a proud and passionate ambassador for the town of Hawick.

"Her contribution to the Borders has been immense and there can be no doubt that we have lost one of our most dedicated public servants."

Mrs Elliot - who had been a director in her late husband's building firm J&R Elliot - worked for Pringle of Scotland in Hawick and was seconded as a part-time model for the firm's luxury knitwear.

She was first elected to Scottish Borders Council in 2007 for the Hawick and Denholm ward, having previously served as chair of the town's community council, as well as being Provost.