High Street talks put on New Year agenda

FINANCE Minister John Swinney has been made aware of several issues affecting the town’s High Street following a recent meeting with Marion Short, chairperson of Hawick Community Council.

Mrs Short said she was “very grateful” that Mr Swinney, who was in town last Monday for a South of Scotland Alliance event at the Heart of Hawick, agreed to sit down with her for private talks.

She told the Hawick News: “This invitation was as a result of the intervention of John Lamont MSP who contacted me about a slot he had been given.

“Mr Swinney was in Hawick for another matter but gave John Lamont and I the opportunity to meet him to discuss High Street issues.”

SNP South of Scotland MSP Paul Wheelhouse also attended the meeting, which was a direct result of Mr Lamont raising the issues relative to Hawick in the Scottish Parliament.

Mrs Short says Mr Swinney had carried out research on local business rates and provided statistical data, including rents and assessments relating to Hawick businesses.

She revealed: “He then suggested John Lamont and I could have a further meeting with a civil servant who deals specifically with such issues, and I have contacted his secretary and am
now waiting for a date for the meeting.

“I am very grateful for the intervention of Mr Lamont and Mr Swinney.”