Smith stresses timber fears

Councillor Ron Smith has
again highlighted the “very big issue” of forest extraction in Hawick and Hermitage.

He told last week’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum: “I cannot attend a rural community council [meeting] without hearing about the timber lorries and the degradation of roads and the verges, and the convoys which cause alarm.”

Mr Smith also relayed concerns about what he emphasised was the “perceived speed” of wagons coming through Newcastleton and down the Borthwick Valley”.

Alluding to the recent Scottish National Timber Transport Conference near Perth, which he attended with fellow ward member George Turnbull, Mr Smith added: “There was one very significant point – the need for stakeholder engagement. And I’m afraid that Councillor Turnbull and I cannot see stakeholder engagement taking place in our area. What we’re needing would be a meeting where we have a representative of the Forestry Commission, a representative of the hauliers, someone from the local community, and from SBC’s roads department.”

Councillor Watson McAteer said: “I think our next stage should be to try to bring these people together under our [the forum’s] auspices.”

Councillor Smith said he would be “hugely supportive” of Mr McAteer’s proposal.

Last week, Mr Smith told us timber transport was a “running sore” among rural community councils.