Marshall’s fire appliance ‘concern’

Hawick councillor Stuart Marshall spoke this week of his “extreme concern” that a vital flood-fighting vehicle has been moved to Alloa.

Mr Marshall learned of the move at Monday night’s meeting of Hawick Community Council and he’s convinced it weakens the town’s flood defences

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, he said: “I’m extremely concerned at learning of the removal from the Hawick station of our high-volume pump.

“This is a very critical piece of equipment in terms of shifting high volumes of water away from flooded areas and has been in the town for some time now. By moving it away to Alloa, I fear not only Hawick but that the Borders has lost a very important tool in dealing with flooding issues. “

Fire brigade spokesperson Andy Girrity said: “We have undertaken a special appliance review and this is now at the public consultation stage. It has been proposed to transfer the high-volume pump to Alloa. This will not disadvantage Hawick where this appliance has been used very few times. If we did need to call on equipment of this nature it could be brought from Alloa in little more then an hour and there is also one in Carlisle.”

Mr Marshall has also raised concerns that flood group volunteers are operating without insurance.

He said: “I have been in touch once again with SBC to express my anger and frustration that this group cannot be covered by SBC insurance until such time as a resilient plan is put in place in the town.

“I have tried repeatedly to get insurance privately for our members, but I’m afraid the quotes were just too high. But with or without Insurance, the volunteer flood group will be on hand day or night to respond to any issues.”

Those affected by flooding or are registered with the Volunteer Flood Group have been informed that the council has commissioned RPS Environmental Management LTD to undertake a survey around the River Teviot.

The team require access to the doors of properties but will not need to enter any buildings. They will carry identification cards with their name, photograph and company name RPS. The survey will start on Monday, January 5, and will last two weeks.