Councillor’s outrage at Howegate ‘bin-raking’

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Local Councillor Davie Paterson says he is outraged this week following reports of folk “bin-raking” for food in the Howegate.

Councillor Paterson said that several residents have complained to both himself and the council, and that it is an issue which has really “knocked him for six”.

“I just can’t believe that in this day and age folk are scavenging from bins to find something to eat. This has really affected me,” he stated.

The Hawick News visited the Howegate area, pictured, late on Tuesday and Wednesday night. After about an hour on Wednesday night we saw two young men removing packages from a bin at the rear of the street.

We approached the pair who made it clear they did not want to talk to us.

They made off towards the Sandbed area and continued over Albert Bridge. We stayed in the area for a short while but saw no other activity.

We also visited the Howegate area on Thursday and one resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us: “It has been going on for a while.

“I have seen several people take food from bins and eat it. The mess they leave is terrible.”

He went on: “I think these people are incomers to the town. I don’t recognise them at all. But it is a shame if people are having to resort to this.”

Mr Paterson added: “It has been suggested to me that these people may not be local and have had their benefits cut as they were part of a group working some
sort of scam. I am looking into this.

“Having said that, I still think it is a disgraceful situation to be in that someone is having to go into a bin and get disused food out of the bin and eat it.”

He added: “If it isn’t people working a scam and some poor individual has fallen through the net there is help out there.

“Their first port of call would be the Citizens Advice Bureau, social services or their local councillor who will take up their case for them.”