Common Good war of words takes new twist

A BITTER row has escalated between Councillor Zandra Elliot and local authority leader David Parker over the controversial Common Good Fund plans.

It is understood Councillor Parker has demanded an apology from Hawick’s former honorary provost over accusations that he bullied her in discussions about SBC’s single investment strategy proposals.

But Councillor Elliot, who has been ordered to meet with SBC chief executive David Hume and legal boss Ian Wilkie about her remarks, this week remained defiant.

At a meeting of thecommunity council, she said: “David Parker shouted me down and I reported it to the press that he bullied me, but you could call it sexism, anything like that.

“He wants a public apology, but I can say I’m not a liar. I don’t believe in telling lies, it gets you nowhere and I’m sticking to my guns.”

However, Councillor Parker told the Hawick News: “I have said all along that Councillor Elliot’s comments were grossly unfair and totally untrue and at this time I wish to make no further comment on this matter.”

The angry exchange comes amid further discussions on the plans to pool the revenue from Common Good Funds into one single investment strategy – and news that neither Councillor Parker nor Councillor Carolyn Riddell-Carre – chairperson of the Common Good Working Group – will be attending Tuesday night’s public meeting on the subject due to prior engagements.

Councillor Stuart Marshall said: “I’m obviously very disappointed that the people who are trying to drive this through can’t take the time to come to Hawick.

“They should have been there to listen to the views of the townsfolk and at the same time explain their reasons behind their proposals.”

It was also revealed that a meeting between the community council and their counterparts in Kelso, Galashiels/Langlee, Duns and Peebles was held on Monday night in the Tower Mill.

Organised by Hawick, local representatives included chairman John Hope, vice-chairman Rob Brydon, Andrew Farquhar and secretary Lesley Fraser.

“There has never been a coming together like this before and it was quite interesting because the same problems, comments and questions cropped up,” said Mr Farquhar.

“If this goes through it would be a democratic disaster.”

A petition has been launched against the plans and has been distributed throughout the town.

The consultation period into the proposals is set to run until July 15.