Hope calls time as chairman of town’s community council

John Hope
John Hope

The chairman of Hawick Community Council tendered his resignation this week after deciding he could not continue to do justice to therole.

John Hope left his position with a heavy heart, saying that he now lacks time to dedicate to an organisation he has served for more than a year.

The 70-year-old told Tuesday night’s meeting that he “never had a night without a meeting” during the working week and that he had “thoroughly enjoyed working with everybody and appreciated the effort from all of you”.

He continued: “I feel I can’t do it justice any more and that the community council could reap the benefits of someone with more time to concentrate on things.”

He told the Hawick News that he was satisfied with the progress the community council has made under his leadership.

“We haven’t made huge achievements, but we’ve niggled away at things, got things happening, influenced people, and tried to bring people to account,” said Mr Hope, of Mayfield Drive. “At the end of the day, we are volunteers working for the people of Hawick. I’ve had a good life out of Hawick, and I wanted to put something back in.”

Mr Hope explained that the role of chair, and the responsibility of attending meetings of the community council and sub-groups, simply became overwhelming.

“I was reluctant to stand down but it wasn’t just for my sake, it was for the sake of the community council,” he said. “These last six months, we have become involved in different things – far more than ever before – and I can’t give the time needed. It would be better for the community council to have someone there with the time to work on things.”

While he will continue in other various roles, including Master of Ceremonies at Hawick Common-Riding, Mr Hope, who retired six years ago, is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Lilian and family. “It’s going to give us some time together,” he said.

“My family has been neglected, and my daughter has a couple of bairns. They’re at the age where my daughter needs a wee bit of help running them here and there.”

Top of the agenda at next month’s community council meeting will be the election of a new chairperson.