Why we must not take foot off common good pedal

Judging by the corres-pondence I have received and comments that have been made to me over the weekend, it would appear that Jock Houston’s letter in last week’s paper has caused consternation to many, so as Chair of the Hawick Common Good Working Group, let me put down a few facts.

Firstly, this issue is about the future of the Hawick Common Good Fund and the way it will be managed and run, and as many have pointed out, the present proposals are only the thin end of the wedge, and could affect more than our current investments.

Those who attended the community council meeting will recall that officials in attendance advised that any amount of the considerable monies in our various accounts could be invested in the proposed strategy, and at present that decision could be made by all 34 Scottish Borders councillors – not just the Hawick six.

No-one has yet told us what the actual savings would be to Hawick in investing in the “one pot” strategy, nor I suspect are we ever likely to get that information.

Hawick has already paid over the odds compared to other funds for the cost of investigating the new strategy, and would continue to pay a lion’s share of the management costs. That, I suspect, would outweigh the few hundred pounds extra we would gain from investing.

The area committee meet-ing did agree to put alternative management proposals to Scottish Borders Council, but there are no guarantees that these will be accepted by the full council.

Jock seems content to adopt a wait-and-see stance, but I have never been a fence-sitter, especially when it comes to the affairs of our town. As councillors we cannot indulge in a cavalier attitude to investing money which rightfully belongs to the people of Hawick.

If we are to secure the future of our Common Good, it is essential that we do not take our foot off the pedal. As a community, we must con-tinue to make representation. Hawick Common Good Fund should be run for the benefit of Hawick.

COUNCILLOR ZANDRA ELLIOT

we hAVE recently been the victims of crime, with items stolen from our greyhound kennels including 60 5ft boards of wood, two new rolls of chicken wire and two greyhound leads and collars, as well as several small items.

We have informed the police but they told us because we don’t have two witnesses they can’t charge those concerned, even though we told them who the perpetrators were and where they live.

These thefts are going to cost us around £300, while those who stole from us walk away scot-free.

NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD BY REQUEST

MY NAME is Christine Mc-Ternan (nee Elder) and I’m looking for Kim McDonald, who married Chris Blagden – a cook in the army – and their daughter Samantha, who lived in Hawick.

If anyone has any inform-ation on the aforementioned people, I can be contacted on 0131 669 1169.

CHRISTINE McTernan

The Nan Lyle cairn and walk committee extends its grateful thanks to all who helped make the unveiling of the cairn such a success, and to the great many people who worked hard to produce this lasting legacy to a great Hawick stalwart.

Many thanks also to all the people and groups who donated money, without which the cairn could not have happened – Keith and Ruairaidh Riddell, Thomas Riddell Builders; Forrest and Mary Irving, Buccleuch Est-ates; John Beattie & Son; Borders Exploration Group; Ali Graham; Hawick Scouts; Scot- tish Borders Council; Judith Murray; Murray and Maggie Watson; Morrisons; and St Mary’s and Old Parish Church.

We still have a few bills to pay, but once they are all settled the remaining funds will be divided between Nan’s charities, the CuCu Nan Lyle Academy in Kiawaithanji, Kenya and the community hospital in Mulamba, Zambia. The final total will be posted on the Nan Lyle website at www.nan-lyle.org

LINDSEY KNOX

(on behalf of the Nan Lyle tribute committee)

I AM writing to express my thanks to all those who contributed to the fund-raising efforts of myself and Colin Paxton recently. We completed the three separate routes to the summit on Mount Ventoux in the course of one day, involving a distance of 140km and more than 15,000ft of ascent.

The event was a thrilling success and we have already raised several hundred pounds for Parkinsons UK, for which we are both exceptionally grateful.

Thanks again to all those who contributed to this worthwhile cause, and donations can still be accepted at the offices of Bannerman Burke, 28 High Street.

JOHN P. HUNTER

On behalf of the group who organised the high school battlefields trip to Ypres and the Somme in the last week of term, I would like to thank all the pupils.

They represented their town and school wonderfully whether it was at a formal occasion (Bailleul/the Menin Gate), an emotional pilgrim-age (‘Bottler’ Wilson’s grave) or an impromptu one (a sing-along with Evelyn Armstrong on the Chunnel train!).

I would also pay tribute to our friendly and informative guides, Iain and Trevor, and to the very supportive parents who helped to make this tour such a resounding success.

DUNCAN TAYLOR

High schol history dept