£4,000 windfall resolves dispute over recycling bins

Hawick Councillor Watson McAteer at Hobkirk village hall next to the recycling banks at the centre of a discussion with British Telecom as they have fitted a telegraph pole above where the banks should be housed inside the fencing.
Hawick Councillor Watson McAteer at Hobkirk village hall next to the recycling banks at the centre of a discussion with British Telecom as they have fitted a telegraph pole above where the banks should be housed inside the fencing.

A health and safety disagreement which has been frustrating residents in Bonchester Bridge for over a year is set to be resolved, thanks to a windfall of more than £4,000.

A purpose-built shelter and concrete base for recycling containers will no longer be left lying empty come mid-May, according to Scottish Borders Council.

That is thanks to the approval of £4,047 funding from its neighbourhood small grants schemes kitty.

The cash will be used to re-route overhead telephone cables away from the shelter after containers had to be relocated in the car park of the village hall due to health and safety fears.

Telephone lines run across the shelter to a pole sited near the riverside, and there are overhead power cables nearby too.

That led to contractors having to use a crane-type attachment to lift and empty the containers.

Hawick and Denholm’s three councillors have been involved in a year-long debate about the ownership of the land on which the recycling shelter originally sat.

BT originally quoted the cost of re-routeing its cables at more than £8,000 but has since halved that bill.

Funding for the work was approved at the latest meeting of the council’s Teviot and Liddesdale area forum.

Hawick and Denholm councillor Watson McAteer said: “An agreement has been reached with the landowner, and funds have been made available from the Hawick and Denholm portion of the Teviot and Liddesdale area forum quality of life fund to have the BT poles repositioned.

“This will allow the recycling compound to be brought back into use.

“This is good news for the village and will improve the area greatly by also freeing up parking spaces next to the hall”.