Councillor defiant as common good row rumbles on

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Zandra Elliot is continuing her war of words with local authority leader David Parker.

The Hawick and Denholm councillor has stood by he accusation of bullying tactics by Councillor Parker as Scottish Borders Council looks to centralise all Borders Common Good Funds in one pot.

Councillor Elliot told the Hawick News: “What Councillor Parker said to me at a recent meeting was ‘Zandra Elliot, I will lobby all thirty four councillors to ensure this proposal goes through’ and this was before the proposals have even gone to public consultation.

“He may consider this to be a very constructive comment but in my book it amounts to bullying and shows a complete lack of respect for the people of Hawick, and indeed the rest of the Borders.” Councillor Elliot also revealed that further investigation had shown that, contrary to Carolyn Riddell-Carre’s comments in last week’s Hawick News, there would be no waste of Hawick’s Common Good resources in maintaining the present investment strategy.

She added: “Hawick is currently part of the Roxburgh Fund along with Jedburgh and Kelso. If Jedburgh and Kelso choose to leave then all that would be required is a change of fund name. There would be no cost involved, and if the Hawick councillors wished, we could increase the amount of our investment in the fund rather than leave so much in our SBC loan account.

“Carolyn seems to think we want to set up a separate entity, but she’s got it wrong again, all we want to do is maintain our current arrangement.”

However, Councillor Parker again refuted the allegations of bullying and said it would be up to the region’s 32 councillors whether the proposals were given the go ahead or not.

He said: “Councillor Elliot’s comments are totally untrue and grossly unfair. I made no direct comment to Zandra at all at the meeting, and I most certainly did not say what Councillor Elliot claims I said.

“I do believe that there is merit in the proposals that the working group have come up with, and that these should be given a fair hearing.

“I fully support the public consultation and would have no difficulty in it being extended if that is what members want.

“I will most certainly not be lobbying any member about the implementation of these proposals as my colleagues on Scottish Borders Council are well able to determine what they wish to do regarding these matters without any guidance from me.”