Council needs support

a GALASHIELS councillor has called on the town to get behind its community council.

Sandy Aitchison paid tribute to members of the council who meet monthly to discuss wide-ranging issues affecting the burgh.

At the community council’s AGM, Mr Aitchison said: “The work it has done in the last 12 months has been fantastic.

“Chairman Bill White’s work with Gala in Bloom has been great and he never fails to turn up to meetings. It is quite remarkable workload for members to take in on a voluntary basis and they should be credited, especially this year.

“I shudder to think what would happen if the community council was not here.”

And in a plea to Galaleans, Mr Aitchison added: “The community council is a worthwhile organisation and could do with more support from the community.

“There is no use standing outside and criticising, it is important to take part and contribute.”

Mr White was re-elected chairman, while Ken Windram (vice-chairman), Andrew McQueen (treasurer) and Tracey Alder (secretary) remain in their posts.

As part of his annual report, Mr White repeated the call for further public interest in the organisation’s activities.

He added: “I am convinced that under the new structure the community council must have a strong voice going forward as we see more decisions being taken away from local groups.

“We need to try as much as possible to keep local issues dealt with locally and not some group based in Edinburgh.

“I would urge all residents associations and voluntary groups to support the community council by regularly attending.”

Major issues during the past year for Galashiels, according to Mr White, included the absence of plans for a new school site, lack of tourist information in the town and proposed improvements in the town centre.

Looking ahead, he commented: “We need to ensure the centre of the town remains a vibrant place and any local initiatives and ideas will be warmly welcomed.

“A busy year lies ahead, but with the enthusiasm of the community council members and help from chamber of trade, the community and SBC, we will strive to make Galashiels a place people want to live, work, retire and play in.”