Council chief strikes a positive note
IT has been 12 months of challenges, change and cheer, according to Selkirk Community Council chairman Graham Easton.
The 62-year-old was reappointed to the role at the community council’s annual general meeting in the Victoria Halls on Monday.
And in his annual report, Mr Easton said: “In a year where much of the talk has been about the worldwide financial crisis and the effect it has had on most of us, I believe there are a lot of positives to report on in the Royal and Ancient Burgh, and we should take heart from this.”
Mr Easton said highlights during his first year as chair included the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the passing through of the Olympic torch in June and Selkirk becoming a Fair Trade town.
He noted the continued improvements to The Haining, along with the reprieve for Selkirk Sheriff Court and Scottish Borders Council’s decision to take forward the flood-protection scheme.
Mr Easton mentioned the Scottish Borders Council elections, which saw Conservative Michelle Ballantyne elected for the first time, Independent Gordon Edgar return after an absence of five years and Liberal Democrat Vicky Davidson retain her Newtown seat.
And the ex-soldier and policeman also looked forward to early next year, when separate funding bids to regenerate the town centre and build a new play area in Pringle Park will be decided.
Praising the Pringle Park initiative, Mr Easton said: “It is well thought out, well planned and, hopefully, a well -delivered scheme.”
On other community council matters, Mr Easton added: “Despite the current economic situation, there were still a number of planning applications discussed.
“As has been mentioned in the past by my predecessors, it is disappointing that the final decision on any applications are made by officers within Scottish Borders Council, a situation we have no redress against.
“A number of topics were discussed throughout the year, including antisocial behaviour, Common Good deliberations, roads and community area maintenance, and the possible closure of Selkirk library.
“On the subject of antisocial behaviour, I believe that Selkirk is a safe place for our families to live in and this problem can hopefully be eradicated through continual work with our partners, including Lothian and Borders Police, local youth projects and local residents forums and neighbourhood watch groups.
“Common Good deliberations have rumbled on throughout the year and undoubtedly will continue to be discussed in the future. I ask for transparency, honesty and guidance from our elected members with regard to this issue.
“The current financial restrictions placed upon local authorities, including Scottish Borders Council, will dictate that there will need to be a change of mindset amongst us all on the expectations that can be hoped to be delivered in respect of roads and community area maintenance. Funds are short and will continue to be for some time to come.”
Mr Easton said the community council will endeavour to carry on working with organisations such as the Plattling Twinning Group, The Haining Trust, Regeneration Group, Scott’s Selkirk, Flodden 500, Common Riding Trust and Chamber of Trade.
“All of these groups work for the benefit of the community and are manned by hardy volunteers who put in a lot of effort to improve Selkirk,” he added.
There is no change with the community council’s remaining office bearers, as Dr Lindsay Neil continued as vice-chairman, with Tommy Combe treasurer, Alistair Pattullo secretary and Ian King planning spokesman.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Selkirk
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North east