Dumping of rubbish ‘a disgrace’

A rubbish-strewn area of Beattie Court.
A rubbish-strewn area of Beattie Court.

The amount of rubbish being dumped at Beattie Court is a “perfect disgrace”, according to local councillor Watson McAteer.

And in a bid to tackle the long-standing Burnfoot issue, a meeting has been called between representatives from Scottish Borders Council, registered social landlords and private landlords, as well as local councillors .

Councillors Stuart Marshall and McAteer first brought the problem to the attention of the Hawick News back in April, 2015. However, as the properties are rented out by private landlords, it remains unclear who is responsible for cleaning up the mess.

Despite regular visits from officials from SBC’s environmental health and recycling departments and officers from Landlord Registration Scotland, the ground is still covered in rotting household waste, dumped furniture and litter.

Councillor McAteer said: “This area is a perfect disgrace and those living nearby and indeed those in Burnfoot should not put up with it. The landlords and owners must take responsibility and put this right as soon as possible. I have absolutely no doubt that those renting out these properties would not live here if they had to endure such conditions.

“The Burnfoot community is being let down by a small number of folk who just don’t care.”

Councillor Marshall said: “It’s appalling to see how this area has deteriorated in recent months and, to be perfectly honest, I am disappointed that SBC seem so powerless because as they say ‘the issues are on private land’.

“We are also aware of a tree that has twice been struck by lightning and is in danger of falling. Local residents are fearful for their safety.

“I have called for council officers to arrange a meeting with landlords, owners and officials as soon as possible to explore responsibilities and to ensure action is being taken tackle this absolute mess once and for all.”

An SBC spokesperson told us: “It is always difficult with these types of issues to establish who has been responsible and there is no clear evidence to suggest that in this case it is local private landlords or their tenants.

“The council always welcomes any approach that would help resolve this type of issue and a round-the-table discussion where all rele-
vant parties can come together to discuss this issue in detail sounds a good way forward.

“We would therefore look forward to this being set up as soon as possible in order to identify and agree a joint
solution as a matter of priority.”