Community fund is ‘peanuts’ says King

A ‘peanuts’ fund of £6,666.66 is up for grabs for any projects that improve local quality of life.

“It’s for anybody in the community,” Councillor Gordon Edgar told The Wee Paper, “for anything that improves quality of life for residents.”

Scottish Borders Council split the new £20,000 fund between the three wards of the Eildon Area Forum: Selkirkshire, Galashiels and District, and Leaderdale and Melrose.

A third of that amount – the £6,666.66 – has been given to Selkirkshire’s three councillors, Vicky Davidson, Gordon Edgar and Michelle Ballantyne, to distribute to any popular local causes of their choosing, in the year between April 1 2014 and March 31 2015.

“The remit is very large,” Cllr Ballantyne told us.

“We haven’t done it before, so it’ll be interesting what comes forward.”

Applicants are invited to send their proposals in writing to the three councillors, but they’ll face competition within Selkirk, Ashkirk, Lilliesleaf, Midlem, Newtown St Boswells, and the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys.

“It’s not a big pot of money, but it can make a difference,” Cllr Edgar said, while Cllr Davidson advised: “If we don’t use it to match fund other sources, it won’t last long.”

But Selkirk Community Councillor Ian King dismissed the fund at their meeting last Monday as ‘peanuts’, when the council is cutting so many services.

“They’re taking away green bins, not filling pot holes, all these cutbacks, and they’re handing back sweeties,” he told The Wee Paper.