David Parker has defended a new £9,000 bus shelter – which took three council meetings to be approved – in his home village, writes Kenny Paterson.
The Council leader was also supported in his opposition to a proposal, by head of the Conservatives Michelle Ballantyne, to split the £48,000 Small Schemes budget equally between the three wards of Selkirkshire, Leaderdale and Melrose and Galashiels.
Eildon’s May meeting had thrown out the application for the galvanised steel bus shelter in Tweedbank –to be paid for out of the Small Schemes budget – and put forward Selkirkshire Councillor Ballantyne’s suggestion.
However, as no councillor from Leaderdale and Melrose was present, including Mr Parker, the meeting was deemed inquorate and discussed at full council on May 30. But with no agreement on both issues, the decision was referred back to Eildon Area Forum’s special meeting in Galashiels last week.
At it, Newtown CC vice chair Roger French pointed out the cost of the shelter was almost 20 per cent of the Small Schemes budget for the whole year, while Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar supported a cheaper aluminium cover at £5,000.
But Mr Parker replied: “This is the busiest bus shelter in the village and follows a petition by a number of people in Tweedbank to get a new one.”
On the issue of splitting equally the Small Schemes fund, a method used by Teviotdale, Councillor Parker said: “I have had to intervene from 2008 to 2011 to stop Teviotdale losing their carry forward of money from one year to the next.
“If we support this, it will set a dangerous precedent.”