Concerns raised over query to increase markets in square

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THE impact on weddings and the centre of the town resembling a giant car boot sale, were just two of the concerns raised over the possibility of Kelso square being used for more regular markets.

It was community councillor Gavin Horsburgh who raised the issue at the June meeting of the town’s community council, when it was held last Tuesday evening.

“It would be something that would make more use of the square,” he explained. However, Scottish Borders councillor, Tom Weatherston (Con), said he would not be in favour of anything which would see the square resembling a car boot sale taking over the square.

Community council vice chairman John Bassett said traders in Berwick had expressed an interest recently in coming to Kelso on a Sunday.

But Provost Fiona Scott cautioned against being too hasty to follow up on the possibility of the town centre being utilised by market traders at the weekends.

“We are currently engaged in a process to enhance the town centre, including the provision of a seated area. When this was originally spoken about, it was a Friday that was being looked at.”

Chairman of the local chamber of trade, Bruce Roberts, also raised a particular issue, saying his concern with a market using the centre of the town on a Friday involved weddings.

“I think if someone was having a wedding, the last thing the bridal party wants to see right in front of it as it emerges from the Town Hall is a market,” he told the meeting.

Community councillor John King, however, pointed out that if the square was open to one kind of market – there are already monthly farmers markets and weekly flea markets using the square – then it should be open to all kinds of markets.

And Mr Bassett added: “After all, Kelso is described as a market town in all the literature about it.”

But SB councillor Tom Weatherston said he had not seen any markets in the south of Scotland recently which looked as though they were thriving. “They all seem to be going downhill,” he added.

The issue was noted.