‘No such thing as free lunch’

THROUGH your columns I would like to record a message to our two Tory, two Lib/Dem and two Independent present Hawick councillors. I say “present” as the local government elections are not far away and the electorate within Hawick have good memories.

In the council chamber last Thursday, all six of them were given the opportunity to lead by example and show restraint within our local community in these difficult times – many Hawick folk will face redundancy and others cutbacks in benefits and earnings.

During the budget proposals an amendment was moved by Councillor Donald Moffat, of Coldstream, which would have brought to an end the outdated practice of supplying the now well paid Scottish Borders Councillors with free lunches at their monthly meetings, which could have saved council tax payers more than £3,000 per year. Not one of them supported the SNP motion which was defeated 25 votes to six.

I am, however, confident that the people of Hawick will remind them at the ballot box in May 2012 about an old saying: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.


MAY I take this opportunity, through your columns, to say a huge thank-you to the wardens at Frank Scott Court for all their help during what has been a very difficult week.

Their help to residents has been invaluable and they have had no problems with going that extra mile to make sure everyone had what they needed, going for messages and even making soup.

A word must also go to Crosbie Chemists for their assistance and support. Nobody says thank you these days so I would like to put on record my sincere thanks.


nowadays we are living in a culture where we automatically put blame on individuals who behave in an antisocial manner. But with regards to the ongoing vandalism at Wilton cemetery, I would like to make the public aware that fallen headstones are not always the work of vandals, but have been pushed over by Scottish Borders Council employees.

I believe the aforementioned workers have permission to push headstones over if they are already tilting, due to health and safety concerns. However, it is unclear if the local authority is informing relatives that this is happening.

According to the council’s management rules for cemeteries and church yards, which can be obtained from the SBC website, it reserves the right to remove these fallen headstones, which can’t be put back up, to a suitable location. Also the council will not be held responsible for damage to any memorial.

This is outrageous as the council is responsible for pushing over headstones that it has deemed unsafe.

I also know of a Chay Blyth Place resident who witnessed a cemetery worker knocking over a headstone while on his grass-cutter.

More care and respect needs to be taken over what is a serious issue and one which needs to be addressed.