Through your columns I would like to pay tribute to Zandra Elliot on her stance last summer against Scottish Borders Council’s move to combine our common good fund with the other Borders funds.
When I served as a councillor, my colleagues and I were looking at trying to take Hawick Common Good Fund back into local control, due to mismanage-ment and the extortionate charges levelled against the fund by Scottish Borders Council for officers’ fees etc.
Hawick councillors called a meeting with the common good fund FTSE investment managers from the Edinburgh-based firm concerned, and we discovered that in spite of charging us exuberant commission charges for fund management, they had, in fact, never looked at our fund for months and some of our FSTE shares/investments had gone down to zero (on a rising market) over a long period of time without intervention by them, our so-called fund managers. Nonetheless, their huge commission invoices kept being paid by SBC.
Hawick Common Good Fund belongs to the townsfolk, not the rest of the Scottish Borders.
The financial worth of our fund and the income derived from it should stay firmly in Hawick’s control and not be siphoned off into SBC funds to augment its past and forthcoming financial disasters.
Unfortunately, the Hawick electorate saw fit to replace five of the Hawick councillors who were all sitting on SBC’s Executive at that time, so the thread was severed, no doubt to the delight of SBC.
We can only hope that after the elections in May that Hawick will again be served by genuine local councillors who have Hawick’s interests at heart, combined with intelligence and diligence.
Not merely as a part-time hobby job to augment their huge public or private sector pensions.
Not another batch of yes-men or yes-women, full of their own self-importance, and only interested in their own personal incomes.