SBHA criticised over Hawick litter ‘blight’

Rubbish in Havelock Place
Rubbish in Havelock Place

SBHA has been asked to rethink the way it handles many of the town’s rubbish-strewn green spaces, following the revelation it does not employ litter pickers.

The call comes from Councillor Stuart Marshall, who is up in arms that grassy areas belonging to SBHA are being left in a “terrible state” for six months of the year.

Mr Marshall says SBHA only uplifts rubbish from green spaces before the grass is cut, and is urging officials to meet the situation “head on”.

In an email seen by the Hawick News, SBHA admits that it doesn’t employ litter pickers, but appears to lay the blame for the mess in Havelock Place at the door of Scottish Borders Council, suggesting that the main issues are a lack of wheelie bins and the change to fortnightly pick-ups which, SBHA claims, has resulted in overflowing bins and refuse bags being dumped at the roadside, which are being broken open by birds/animals with litter scattered over the area. SBHA also asks for “proper communal commercial-sized bins” to be provided.

However, a council spokesperson said SBC had been monitoring the area and there were enough bins on site to service all properties.

“The spokesperson added: “It is our experience that communal bins are not the solution to the problems being seen at Havelock Place as they tend to lead to the dumping of more waste and large bulky items.

“We hope that these problems can be resolved quickly.”

Councillor Marshall was joined by fellow Hawick and Denholm member Watson McAteer for a tour of the area on Monday with officials from SBHA and SBC. And following their visit, Mr Marshall told us: “The scale of the issue is huge and I was disappointed to learn that while SBHA has the majority of green space in this area, they don’t actually employ anyone to pick up litter and clear any of the land that they own, except prior to grass being cut .

“I’ve asked SBHA to have a complete rethink at the way they handle this situation. But officials have told me that budgetary constraints are to blame. This is simply not good enough.

Councillor McAteer added: ‘Those very few but persistent householders who are prepared to make life miserable for their neighbours need to be tackled and action taken to
resolve this blight on our town.”

SBHA did not respond to our request for a comment.