TOWN councillors have attended an unofficial meeting at which the possibility of moving the library into Teviotdale Leisure Centre was discussed.
The Hawick News can reveal the shock proposal was raised during an informal chat among several local members and officers following last Thursday’s full council meeting. And although the suggestion has been played down, it was confirmed by Councillor Davie Paterson at this week’s community council.
He said: “A meeting was held which mentioned the libary moving into the TLC. And I have to say it because I’m here to represent the people of Hawick, and won’t support it at all.”
Councillor George Turnbull has since admitted that it is part of a review of the council’s property portfolio being undertaken to assess what is “surplus to requirements”, and stated: “Local members and appropriate officials will have to work up a scheme for what is surplus to requirements, and/or utilise properties to their full potential.
“Due to the severe financial climate, radical options will have to be considered and some will be very contentious.”
And highlighting such options in relation to the leisure centre site, he added: “The facility was originally to be a phased development, but with only two parts developed it begs the question how further developments could be added to ensure the long-term provision of this popular facility.”
In a statement for the Hawick News, SBC education chief Glenn Rodger said: “SBC has no current plans to move Hawick library to land at Teviotdale Leisure Centre and, furthermore, any initiative that affects the centre would have to be addressed to Borders Sport and Leisure Trust as they have a long term lease of the facility from the council.”
But he added: “A series of workshops for each town looking at the best use of facilities is taking place between our estates team and councillors as part of an on-going review into the council’s estate.“
The library was made possible by a £10,000 donation in 1904 from Andrew Carnegie, of Dunfermline, an American millionaire and philanthropist. The opening ceremony was performed by the donor himself “for the good of the people of Hawick”.