Decision flies in face of A7 plan

It is unusual for a decision by the planning committee of Scottish Borders Council to have an effect on people who live 35 miles from where it relates to. This is exactly what happened when members of that committee recently “approved” the go-ahead for the insertion of a dog-leg bend with two roundabouts at Falahill on the A7 road.

Those of us who travel the A7 regularly have experienced the frustrations of ever-increasing journey times over the years, and the inclusion of unnecessary road diversions and two extra roundabouts is most unwelcome. This is even worse as there are other options that were not even considered.

The circumstances surrounding this decision can only be described as somewhat bizarre as it was made when three members of the planning committee were on holiday, while two abstained from voting as they took umbrage at being refused a deferral, and one failed to vote as he had taken a toilet break during the debate. All in the name of a railway to Tweedbank.

I have never had a problem with this railway as long as it was not at the cost of existing transport arrangements or road improvements. In economic terms the railway does not provide all the answers since it will not remove one goods vehicle from our roads and will not always take us where we want to be if we do get round to using it. The A7 will remain very important to us and indeed will be our lifeline for years to come, long after the trains arrive at Tweedbank.

There has been no consultation with the affected community bodies along the A7 corridor and this flawed and undemocratic decision is totally contrary to the plan for shaping the future as outlined in SESplan Main Issues Report Package for strategic development along the A7 corridor which anticipates improvements, not impediments, to our transport and environmental infrastructure.

ANDREW FARQUHAR

AS A founder member of Teviotdale Bowling Club I ask Scottish Borders Council to think again about closing our leisure centre.

Would they be able to sleep at night knowing they had deprived hundreds of Hawick people of this excellent facility which is essential for the wellbeing of residents and visitors to our town.

Our young mothers bring their children regularly to relax in the cafe, sharing life’s problems, while the infants enjoy the play area. Children of all ages learn to swim and go on to achieve recognition for their ability. Our bowlers have also put Hawick on the Scottish, and indeed the world, map. The more active make good use of the fitness suite to keep fit and healthy.

What would our retired members of the community do without our bowling hall? It gives us a purpose in life, gets us out the house to socialise. Our oldest member, at 95, is a regular, enjoying his games. It keeps us mentally and physically fit, and if we lost our leisure centre most of us would end up sitting in a chair in a care home, vegetating at greater expense and burden to SBC and the National Health Service.

JIM McCRONE

We, the organisers of the petition to Scottish Borders Council objecting to any suggestion of the possible closure of Teviotdale Leisure Centre, would like to thank the following businesses who supported us: Burnfoot Co-op; Burnfoot paper shop; Campbell’s newsagents, North Bridge Street; Corries, Myreslawgreen; Gibson’s Insurance; Gilroy’s, Howegate; Londis, Sandbed; Sheil’s, Drumlanrig Place; Spar, Dickson Street; The Little Shop, Silverbuthall; The Green Hut, Weensland Road; and Smail’s, High Street.

And most of all, many thanks to all the people who took the time to sign the petition in an effort to save the Leisure Centre for the benifit of all the people of Hawick, and visitors to our town. If you have not signed but would like to, there is still time at any of the above shops.

OLIVER GIBSON AND GEORGE BROWN

Teviotdale Indoor

Bowling Club

I booked, co-promoted and compered the ‘Ha Ha Hawick’ comedy night at the Heart of Hawick last Friday which has to be seen as a great success. Bang on 70 attended and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

I booked two comedians from Tyneside, Al Dawes and Andy Fury, and booked two from Glasgow Jay Lafferty and Keir McAllister. They gave great value for a £9 (£7) ticket price, and many have commented on how impressed they were with Fury, the youngest of the lot and my personal tip for bigger things. Al Dawes actually drove from Wolverhampton to be there.

We were made very welcome, Susan and Alistair looked after us, and the Heart of Hawick has facilities that make you the envy of the Borders. Several have said that it’s refreshing to see this type of entertainment coming to the town.

With consistent support, I can bring many such nights to the town and I’m looking at dates and bookings with a view to making this monthly. I hope to be back soon, possibly early April.

ERIC SCARBORO

Hale and Ha Ha Hearty Comedy