Having read your recent letters and stories on the Great Tapestry of Scotland, I feel that the days of Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker and co are numbered.
No one else is interested in the tapestry, apart from East Lothian, and similar projects have proved a financial drain on communities who are already struggling. It’s not that I would not welcome the tapestry in different circumstances, but not in such a remote location and certainly not at such a cost [up to £3.5million].
While we are all having to suffer cutbacks on essential everyday services, how on earth can SBC justify this debt? As I have stated in a previous letter, those responsible will be long gone with their gold-plated pensions before the full reality of this hits us and future generations.
I feel, as I am sure thousands of others do, that this is a gross misuse of taxpayers’ money and surely there must be some legal way of stopping the tapestry going ahead? Parker and co are running SBC like a dictatorship: they do as they like and we are just supposed to accept it.
The council has also brought in a lot of extra perks for staff which, to my knowledge, no other employees are lucky enough to receive in any job. This again at a time of cutbacks to essential services. I would gladly see the employees get these perks when the council has extra money in the bank, but these ‘extras’ are coming out of taxpayers’ pockets when they themselves are struggling to pay their way.
The tapestry bid must not be allowed to happen unless SBC can find the money from elsewhere, not out of the public purse, which would leave us with a mountain of debt.
Oh dear, oh dear, Councillors Ron Smith and Davie Paterson are not prepared to speak on behalf of their constituents in respect of the citing of the Great Tapestry of Scotland [in Tweedbank].
Of course, they can’t as if they went against it that would mean they would lose their highly-paid portfolio jobs on the ruling coalition at St Boswells. Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker would sack them for going against his wishes.
There are four Scottish Borders councillors I know of who are adamantly against Tweedbank housing the tapestry, namely [Hawick members] Stuart Marshall, Watson McAteer and George Turnbull, and Tweeddale East’s Gavin Logan.That is hardly a majority of the 34 councillors elected to the ivory tower that is St Boswells, to us in Hawick, a distant outpost, where decisions are made with little or no consultation.
Then there are the tapestry trustees. Hugh Andrew seems to be a leading light. I saw him on [the BBC’s] Reporting Scotland last week, saying that a panel of the tapestry had been mislaid or stolen. One thing I do wonder about, though, is how many of the trustees are Borderers? Have they, without any local knowledge, decided to foist the tapestry on us? Now that would be a travesty, as it would cost all of us thousands of pounds over 30 years.