Elderly Hawick residents fed up of being left in dark

Councillor Davie Paterson at Crown Close, Hawick.
Councillor Davie Paterson at Crown Close, Hawick.

Fearful old folk in Hawick say they are scared to go out at night because their street now resembles the Black Hole of Calcutta.

The number of faulty street lights in Crown Close at Backdamgate is a cause for concern among its predominantly elderly residents.

Some even fear going out after sunset as their street is plunged into partial darkness every night so they can’t see where they are going.

“They feel they are taking their lives in their hands,” said Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson.

He had raised the issue with Scottish Borders Council several months ago, he said, but it has yet to be sorted out satisfactorily.

The council says it is aware of the issue, due to a problem with the incoming supply to the lights, and has pledged that the matter is in hand and that the network operator responsible will carry out repairs as soon as possible.

Mr Paterson said one of his constituents had compared the street to the Black Hole of Calcutta, a notorious dungeon in the Indian city in which British soldiers were held as prisoners in the late 18th century.

He added: “I have had several elderly constituents calling me with regards to the lack of lighting as you walk through Crown Close.

“My constituents, who happen to be elderly, were telling me that they feel like they are taking their lives in their hands when they have to walk through this area of the town to get onto the street when it is dark.

“As one constituent said, it is like the Black Hole of Calcutta, and I am astonished that the council has still not done anything about it since I first put the complaint in about this months ago.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “The council is aware of faulty lights in Crown Close and site investigations have identified that there is a problem with the incoming supply to the lights.

“The fault has been passed to the distribution network operator, which will programme repair work to be carried out.”