Town councils are not the answer

Your front-page story last week regarding newly-appointed SBC convener Graham Garvie “demanding” the house of cards be torn down no sooner than it is built says more about electors being turned off in local elections than the dismantling of several small councils 30 odd years ago.

It always strikes me as odd the way election promises to the voters can be overturned in a matter of days.

District and county councils were “dispensed” with because they did not work. None of these bodies had enough available funds to make any impact on local matters and this is why there were more opportunities to implement good works in communities where a pool of funds became available for joint community development.

The new larger authority also removed the narrow-minded parochial way which local businessmen stopped new industries coming to our area as this meant competition in wages that could drive up pay by business competing for workers. The Borders is in this poor state of employment choice now due to the lack of diversity that was pegged during this period.

Take the example of roads maintenance. One county council decides that a new super highway is the way forward, but others are not convinced.

We end up with a great road that is 20 miles long, but before and after we have a system that is full of potholes. That is of no benefit to anyone, unless you don’t need to travel outside the 20-mile area.

His statement is as nonsensical as anything I have heard from elected representatives. If this is the answer our convener has to helping the Borders’ young unemployed, those without good available social housing, social care and decent education, then God help us all over the next five years.

His demands that the Scottish Parliament should bring back town councils and provosts as a massive priority are sure to attract wide support from MSPs and others. How could we all have been so stupid to not have seen this as a great saviour to our economic woes? Aye, right.

Rab Stewart

Roberts Avenue

Selkirk