Turnbull’s construction industry motion kicked into touch

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A HAWICK councillor’s bid to stimulate the construction industry in the Borders has been rejected.

Tory member George Turnbull put forward a motion at last week’s full council meeting for developer contributions to be cut by a quarter, however, it was rejected by 19 votes to six.

Mr Turnbull said: “A 25 per cent reduction in developer contributions would go a long way to helping our local builders and show that the council are doing all we can to create more apprenticeships and give a much-needed blood transfusion to the local building industry.”

However, Councillor Alec Nicol said reducing the contributions, which go to various schemes including the Borders Railway and local schools, would result in hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment being lost.

Council leader David Parker said there was no evidence to suggest that reducing the contributions would help the local economy.

He added that a “whole range of issues” were holding back the housing market, including Chancellor George Osborne’s policies.

Mr Parker said: “I think it is a bare-faced cheek for the Conservatives to come up with this suggestion which would mean less money for schools, play areas and the Borders Railway, and other things that will start to drive the Borders economy forward.”

Mr Turnbull criticised Mr Parker for using the issue as a “political football”, and added: “I think it is very important to get 75 per cent of something, not 100 per cent of nothing.”