Meeting planned in bid to clean up Hawick street hit by litter louts

A plea is going out for a showdown meeting in a bid to stop rubbish being dumped in Howegate in Hawick.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 20th May 2017, 8:57 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 10:03 pm
Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Howegate.
Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Howegate.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson says he’s been inundated with complaints from residents and shopkeepers demanding that the street is cleaned up.

Mr Paterson has called on Scottish Borders Council’s cleaning team to address the issue on numerous previous occasions, but he says much of the land in question is owned by Scottish Borders Housing Association and that he’s being “fobbed off” by bosses there.

Now he wants to get together around the table with all interested parties to “sort out the problem once and for all”.

The independent councillor said: “It feels as if I’m just going around in circles. I was sent three emails the other day with further complaints about rubbish being dumped all over the Howegate. One neighbour was so sick he was cleaning it up himself.

“I’ve got the council out to sort out food and other rubbish that had been dumped, but a lot of the area is the responsibility of Scottish Borders Housing Association, and I’m sick of getting fobbed off by them.

“I’m not saying the tenants are to blame for this dumping. It could be well be people from the outside the area, but we need to get to the bottom of it.

“I want to get around the table with the housing association, the council, the police and with the tenants and local businesses to get to a solution at last.

“We need to know which organisation people need to contact if they come across a problem, rather than being fobbed off.”

Fellow Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer has also been alerted to the ongoing problem of rubbish being scattered behind shops and houses on either side of Howegate.

He said: “This appears to be happening with monotonous regularity, and the councillors have agreed to work together to see what options are available to tackle this public nuisance once and for all.

“It is clear the problem is being caused by a small but persistent group of individuals, and I would ask local residents to call Police Scotland whenever they become aware of this criminal behaviour.”

Maria Lyle, the association’s director of housing services, said: “We take residents and business owners’ concerns about the dumping of rubbish behind the Howegate very seriously, and we have arranged to have the rubbish uplifted.

“We will also take measures to identify the culprits and take appropriate action.”

“The area is a mixed tenure community with shared responsibility between landlords, residential and commercial premise owners for the safe disposal of waste, and we recognise that we cannot fix this issue alone.

“We will continue working with partners and communities to encourage the safe and responsible disposal of waste.”