THE Borders Party has unveiled an action plan for Hawick which has been designed to reinvigorate the town’s economy and improve local services.
The party has this week revealed a policy manifesto which focuses on Hawick – and aims to improve the town’s assets and how decisions are made which affect it.
Borders Party leader Nicholas Watson told the Hawick News: “We get fed up with people talking Hawick down and I’m sure the people of Hawick do too. Hawick has been spared the same fate as Galashiels in not having the heart ripped out of it, and still retains its strong community and identity, and is an important part of the Borders. We think that with our range of measures we we can make a difference.”
Having liased with local businesses and residents, the newly-launched Hawick action plan comprises six initiatives to improve Hawick’s economic prospects and create a better future. With one of the party’s fundamental values being more power for the people, the plan includes more influence for the community council, and the return of Common Good cash to local control.
The party also wants to encourage a new way of promoting Hawick’s cashmere industry, with Mr Watson stating: “There’s a lot of potential here.”
Also part of the plan is the need for closer links between the town’s businesses and education sectors. “We would work with Hawick’s schools and Borders College to promote technical skills, work experience and apprenticeships to match Hawick’s labour force requirements,” said Mr Watson.
And the party has also pledged to boost transport links to the town, including an express non-stop bus service to Edinburgh, and the improvement of the A7. The final measure is to support the development of the park.
Mr Watson added: “There are some serious economic problems to be overcome, but a dynamic and innovative approach could empower local people to promote Hawick as an economic powerhouse for the region.
“None of these proposals involve significant extra expenditure. The aim is about making the most of Hawick’s particular strengths and qualities.”
The Borders Party is planning to field council candidates in every ward in the Borders, including Hawick, at the election in May.