Councillor not surprised that critic is having another go

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‘silly letters’

Councillor not surprised that critic is having another go

I’m not going to lose any sleep over Jamie Batten’s rather silly comments (Hawick News, November 27). Over the years, Mr Batten has backed a lot of opponents who have stood against me at council elections, so, to be perfectly honest, it comes as no surprise that he should try and rubbish me once again.

I sometimes wonder if Mr Batten is being put up to writing these silly letters to the papers by others, or does he think up all these ideas on his own, even though he wasn’t actually at the [Common Good Fund] meeting. He is obviously being spoon-fed selective information from his source.

As a councillor on Scottish Borders Council, either as part of the administration or opposition, you are expected to go on to committees and try and get the best deal possible for the people you represent. That’s what I always strive to do, but, of course, two of our councillors in Hawick chose not to sit on any committees at the council and just turn up for the full council meeting approximately every six weeks, and can just criticise everyone else for making the decisions. But I have to ask, is that really being an effective councillor – just sitting back and letting everyone else make the real decisions that effect their wards.

To be an effective councillor you have to make hard choices that will not please everyone. It’s part and parcel of the job and if those elected are not prepared to do this they should stand down and let someone stand who has a bit of bottle and isn’t afraid to make difficult decisions.

Regarding Mr Batten’s comments on my stance on the possible acquisition of Hornshole, I make absolutely no apology whatsoever. Hornshole has served the people of Hawick and the Common-Riding the way it is at the moment for over 100 years, and even when it was part of the Denholm and Ancrum ward in the 1980s and 1990s we still had fantastic Common-Ridings.

My argument was that we shouldn’t be rushing in and buying this land without getting a good look at how much it is actually going to cost the Common Good Fund. To do a search we were given quotes of between £400 and £500 and possibly more if there is to be an extensive search. And, at the end of the day, if the boundary commission wants to change the ward boundaries it is legally entitled to do so and the town may have shelled out thousands of pounds in the process.

Councillor Davie Paterson

railway line

Campaign’s call-to-arms for Teries

From its inception in 1998, Campaign for Borders Rail has been consistent in the pursuit of its primary objective: To right the injustice of complete closure of the Waverley Route between Edinburgh Waverley and Carlisle Citadel on Monday, January 6, 1969.

I read with interest your report, Councillors on right track (Hawick News, November 20). In particular, I was greatly encouraged by words attributed to Councillor Stuart Marshall regarding the Borders Railway “creating opportunity” and of it convincing him “that we must

do all possible to have it extended to Hawick then on to Carlisle”.

If Councillor Marshall and his five elected colleagues, who represent the electorate in Hawick and district on Scottish Borders Council, wish to demonstrate serious commitment to reconnecting Hawick to the national rail network, I strongly urge them and anyone who shares their conviction to join Campaign for Borders Rail.

So far, CBR has conducted one of the most successful campaigns for rail in the United Kingdom. To build on its success and enhance the chances of extending the Borders Railway south from Tweedbank to Hawick (then on to Carlisle), CBR is eager to attract new members living or, in the case of organisations, operating at TD9 postcodes. Ever-increasing numbers supporting a sustained, concerted campaign is the best way to achieve its objective.

When you join Campaign for Borders Rail, you will receive regular online or print newsletters; have more opportunity to get involved in CBR’s projects and events; and be supporting the restoration of rail services through the Borders, boosting regional prosperity and improving social inclusion.

Individual membership is £5 (or £7 for delivery of print newsletter) per year or £50 for life. Institutional membership is £12 per year or £120 for life

Contact David Adams, CBR membership secretary, The Station, Long Marton, Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6BJ. Telephone 01768 362022. Email dgma.talktalk

Cheques should be made payable to CBR.

John K. Elliot

CBR, Hawick area representative