Weeds getting out of hand in Hawick and Newcastleton, claim councillors

Councillor George Turnbull examining weeds in Trinity Street, Hawick.
Councillor George Turnbull examining weeds in Trinity Street, Hawick.
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Overgrowing weeds are making parts of Hawick look run down and uncared for, claim councillors for the town.

Concerns have been raised that several streets are becoming eyesores because of the problem.

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Newcastleton's North Hermitage Street.

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Newcastleton's North Hermitage Street.

It is believed that part of the issue is that weedkiller- spraying operations are only carried out twice a year by council staff nowadays, and that the weedkiller now used is not as strong as it once was.

However, a Scottish Borders Council spokesman said there had been no change in the level of weed-spraying in the current financial year and that the second part of a twice-yearly programme of spraying was about to start in Hawick next week.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson said that among the streets where he had seen particular weed problems were Allars Crescent, Ramsay Road and Longcroft Terrace.

He said: “It’s basically all over the town. I was also up at a community council meeting in Newcastleton earlier this week, and they are complaining about the weed problem there. People there are saying the weed problem has never been so bad as it is this year. Constituents are up in arms.”

Mr Paterson said he was also “sick to the back teeth” of contacting the council about overgrown weeds near his home in Longcroft Terrace, adding: “At Longcroft, it’s almost like the council is ignoring it as it is right next to where I live, and you can imagine I am getting a lot of hassle about it, especially when I approached them to say that a young man wanted to make a wild garden there and the council refused.

“Surely to goodness that would have been a lot better than the eyesore that’s there now. As one neighbour said to me, is Scottish Borders Council trying to teach me a lesson for complaining?

“More generally, the weeds in the Borders seem to be out of control this year, and the current state of affairs is not acceptable.

“I would urge people if they are not happy with what the council is doing to eradicate the weed problem to get in touch with their councillors.”

Fellow Hawick and Hermitage councillor George Turnbull has particular concerns over the presence of the weeds in Trinity Street.

He said: “The state of some of our main streets with weeds is the worst I have seen, and down Trinity Street, near the school, it is horrendous.

“The area looks run down and uncared for. The main issue here is that the weed-killing is only done twice a year and the weedkiller now used is less effective than the old-style weed killer due to legislation banning certain makes, and with the particularly wet period, the weeds have just shot away.

“Road-sweeping is also cut back as many streets cannot be cleaned due to the amount of vehicles parked up, which at times is really frustrating when part of the street has been swept and then, when the vehicles move, the uncleaned areas are exposed and it looks dreadful. As they say you just cannot win at all.

“I am led to believe that weed-killing will take place starting from next week, so here’s hoping we see a difference in the very near future.”

A spokesman for the council said: “In terms of weeds, this is covered by a street weed-spraying contract, which is two applications a year, the second of which is due to start in Hawick next week. There has been no change in this service.”