Common Riding escapes police bill

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Rising costs have prompted the Common Riding Trust to emphasise the importance of the ongoing public appeal for cash.

The trust – which is solely responsible for the ceremonial side of the Common Riding – needs to raise around £16,000.

In a letter sent to every household in the area, the trust states: “We are acutely conscious that many donations received may represent some degree of sacrifice for some individuals.”

Part of the financial worries stem from the fact that the annual grant from Scottish Borders Council to common ridings and festivals throughout the area has been frozen for nine years.

The birth of a single police force in Scotland will also hit some organisers. Police Scotland has confirmed towns will be billed for some police services. Hawick Common Riding Committee has been told it will have to pay for officers attending the race meeting at The Moor.

So far, Selkirk has escaped this levy. Trust secretary John Thomson told The Wee Paper: “We have had discussions with the police. They have confirmed they won’t charge for anything connected with the ceremonies, but there would be a charge for attending at the The Rig and the Saturday sports.

“They have been told that we are happy with our own stewarding at these events.”

He added: “These are difficult financial times. But the appeal is going well and the people of Selkirk always come good.”

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