Fun fair gets Common Good approval

Councillor Davie Paterson
Councillor Davie Paterson

A Selkirk showman had been given permission to hold a fun fair during next year’s Reivers Festival despite strong opposition from a Hawick councillor.

Kenny Stuart has staged the fun fair in the Common Haugh to coincide with the popular festival for the past five years.

However, last year, Mr Stuart found himself in hot water after he helped himself to twice the agreed space and was hit with an increased bill.

Speaking against Mr Stuart’s application at Tuesday’s Common Good Fund meeting, Hawick and Hermitage member Davie Paterson said: “I’m not happy about this. This fun fair has grown arms and legs and last year it took up twice the space it was supposed to, and the donation which Mr Stuart promised to the Reivers Festival did not happen.”

Council estates officer James Morission confirmed that only one complaint has been made regarding noise.

Mr Stuart’s application was for seven days in total but Common Good trustees reduced this to six days over a two-week period. Mr Paterson repeated his dissent: “This has grown arms and legs and is far bigger than we were told it was going to be.”

At the same meeting, Reivers Festival organisers were awarded £2,500 Common Good funding for next year’s event.

Voicing concerns that those behind the festival keep coming to Hawick Common Good Fund year after year, Councillor Davie Paterson said: “We decided years ago that people would not be able to come to this fund year after year for money. What is going on here?”

Councillor Stuart Marshall said: “This is a very hard-working organisation and I think we should be supportive of this application.”

Councillor Watson McAteer proposed approval of the application and this was seconded by Councillor Paterson.