I am writing to your paper to register my utter dismay at the recent leadership from Scottish Borders Council during our extended cold spell. I must declare an interest as a full-time trade union official, but feel I am able to comment as I cover five local authorities.

As the snow was forecast well in advance for the Borders it seems that the lessons of last winter have not been learned, and that the leadership at the top has been found out again. I have spoken to GMB conveners in other authorities, and they told me that private contractors were used a lot earlier to complement the hard-pressed council employees in clearing snow in priority areas, which did not happen here.

As a resident of Weensland Park I can speak for our area and Heronhill Crescent in which, as I write on Sunday, December 5, both the pavements and road are an absolute disgrace. You can add Weensland Road to that too.

I am full of admiration for our council employees who have worked long hours in sometimes horrendous conditions and I think that the public should back them. It is our leadership that has let us down again.


REGARDING taking grit from Scottish Borders Council bins to treat private footpaths. It seems a false economy to prohibit people from using the grit and thus ending up in Borders General Hospital with broken legs, wrists etc.

I would also like to thank all those who worked so hard in terrible conditions to keep our roads open. And also Dave and Duncan for keeping my path clear.


in his letter last week, Richie Brown claimed that at the recent Scottish Borders Council meeting at Newtown St Boswells the six Hawick councillors “were given the opportunity to lead by example and show restraint within our community in these difficult times” by voting to end free lunches for councillors who attend the monthly SBC meetings. He claimed that not one of the Hawick Councillors had supported the SNP motion to end the free lunches.

I do not know if Mr Brown was at the meeting but if he was he would have observed that I was not there due to family reasons: my daughter, her husband and children were emigrating to Australia that day. And therefore I did not take part in the vote.

In the various discussions about free lunches over the weeks before the vote at council, I made clear my position which is that councillors should pay for their lunches and that is what I will be doing in the future.


I am very saddened to hear of the death of my good friend Jim Dunlop.

I first met Jim in 1995 when he invited me to join him in planning a jazz festival for Hawick. In due course, this emerged as – at Jim’s prescient insistence – the Borders Festival of Jazz and Blues.

The event brought enjoyment and enlightenment to many musicians and many more fans, and 12 years’ hard labour for Jim. His behind-the-scenes administrative work was crucial to the Festival’s success and his untangling of legal niceties and grant applications was as accurate as it was tireless.

Jim was also a master at negotiating his way through the social situations that often arise in a fractious and polarised community. And all this with a geniality of spirit and grace of expression that, at times, transcended belief. He had a lovely singing voice, too.

Quiet and unassuming, wise in the ways of men, Jim was truly a terrific Teri. He will be missed by more than he knew.


Following our hugely successful Halloween party at the Volunteer Park clubrooms, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it possible.

To Colin Spalding and Linden Rugby Club who let us use the venue and decorate it however we wanted! Also thanks to the rugby boys who helped out with the decorations at the start of the night. We would also like to thank everyone who bought a raffle ticket and everyone who donated raffle prizes, including local businesses Libby’s Pet Shop, G. Harrow & Son, Eden, Teviot Wines, La Gemz, Touch Wood, TD9, Base, Diesels, Hoops-A-Daisy, Shanti, The Drumlanrig Bar and Thinkfitness.

Thanks to CLIC Sargent for sending down balloons and posters, and to Jamie Richardson, at Richardson and Son Printers, for designing and printing the tickets and posters! They were fab!

Another thank you to everyone who took part in the Halloween anagram quiz, and to Margaret Wilson for organising it. The winner was Maisie Weir who has already received her Halloween hamper.

The event was extremely stressful to organise and a lot of hard work but definitely worth it now we know how much effort everyone put in.

An extra special huge thank you to everyone who attended the party and made it the success it was and to all our friends and family for helping out.