Residents hit out at ‘war zone’ housing scheme

Pensioners are living in fear at Howdenbank
Pensioners are living in fear at Howdenbank
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ANGRY residents living in Howdenbank have this week described the area as ‘like a war zone’.

And they claim the continual antisocial behaviour is leaving many householders, pensioners in particular, living in fear.

At Hawick Community Council on Monday there were allegations of fighting in the area as well as solvent abuse and environmental health issues.

Speaking on behalf of other residents, Audrey Lyall, who has lived in her flat for four years, said: “Howdenbank is like a war zone.

“There’s been people at the end of the buildings fighting.

“I’ve even had to phone environmental health to get rubbish cleared and last year there were tampons and all sorts found in my garden. It’s absolutely disgusting.

“It’s like a ghetto at times.”

Mrs Lyall and her husband Eric, who was also at the meeting, have so far filled in two of the council’s antisocial behaviour diary sheets, which keep a record of incidents – and they are currently on their third.

Mrs Lyall added: “We’re pensioners. I’ve worked all my life and paid my taxes and there’s these people coming in, getting their rent and council tax paid for them. They’re getting everything for free and making lives a misery.”

Scottish Borders Council’s antisocial behaviour unit confirmed that it is in the middle of dealing with a complaint regarding Howdenbank.

A spokesperson said: “Residents in Hawick can be assured that if incidents are reported to the relevant agency, that action will be taken.”

Local councillor Stuart Marshall (pictured), who has been heavily involved in dealing with the issues, said: “This couple and others living nearby have had a nightmare of a summer and the issues have included the police attending on several occasions.”

When contacted by the Hawick News, Police Scotland said they had no record of any incidents at Howdenbank.

Local councillor Zandra Elliot said: “I just think you should get a block of flats and put all these problem tenants in there.”