Complaints come to a head over Howegate litter blight

Some of the dumped items at the rear of Howegate.
Some of the dumped items at the rear of Howegate.

Residents and businesses in the Howegate are calling for more to be done to combat antisocial litter louts who are spoiling the area.

And one middle-aged disabled man says he won’t come out of his house when the street is packed with schoolchildren and he feels intimidated by the noise from weekend drinkers.

The Hawick News paid a visit to the Howegate area this week to see the extent of the mess and found public walkways clogged up with overflowing wheelie bins – which according to one local businessman haven’t been emptied for two weeks – carpets and tyres dumped near a communal drying green, burnt underwear, a television lying on a path and numerous bags of rubbish and discarded food wrappers which have been thrown away feet from rubbish bins.

One local business owner told us: “I have been complaining about this for years. It is a total disgrace. No one cares. The council come along and clean it up when it gets out of hand but it’s just as bad hours later. Something needs to be done about this and my fear is that the new food waste collections will make it worse and will attract vermin. This television seems to have sprouted from nowhere. Nothing surprises me. It’s shocking.”

And one passer-by added: “It’s always like this. I have seen beds and mattresses and all sorts just dumped. No one takes any pride at all anymore. It’s so sad. These houses here were initially meant for older people but they’ve moved all sorts in here and it is getting worse.”

Another resident sent photographs in an email saying the mess was ridiculous and that police should be doing more to deal with litter louts.

He added that he had contacted the high school but was told it is a police matter.

Speaking to the Hawick News yesterday (Thursday), high school rector Kevin McClory said he took criticism of pupils seriously and was happy to visit the Howegate area at lunchtimes to remind schoolkids of their responsibilities.

He added: “I am concerned about this but to be fair we do not get a lot of complaints. I do speak to the children regularly and I am keen to make sure this does not escalate.”

And a middle-aged disabled man said he will not venture out at lunchtimes as he’s intimidated by high school youngsters who line the Howegate.

He said: “I just avoid going out at that time of day and have even arranged doctor appointments around this. It really is intimidating and the mess they leave is a disgrace. At the weekend it’s just as bad and I would never be out late on a Saturday night. You also don’t know what you are going to find in the morning.

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Councillor Davie Paterson said the problems are long-standing and he’s regularly in touch with the council to clean up the mess.

He said: “This is an ongoing issue and one there is no easy answer. As soon as the council come along to take rubbish away there is more.

“On Sunday I had a complaint from a constituent and I emailed the council straight away and it was dealt with. But I do sympathise with them. It’s about people taking pride and sadly some folk have none. If anyone has a problem they should contact myself or the council.”