Safety is not coming first

I had hoped that the council would by now have rethought its policy on garden waste management in the Borders. It would appear not.

I read that one of our councillors, without having the decency to wait and see how many signatures would be on the latest petition about this nonsensical idea, has decreed that “it stands no chance whatsovever of succeeding”.

Forget for a moment the financial and environmental arguments, it is the safety issues that greatly concern some of us. I can only speak for the system at the Hawick waste depot.

Firstly, there is the issue of vehicle access into and out of the depot.

There are invariably two or three council waste disposal vehicles parked up just before the entrance, making it extremely difficult to see past them.

This makes it difficult to assess whether the site is full with other cars, or whether it is safe to overtake and get access into the site.

Secondly, once we have negotiated the way in, we have to struggle with our bags or bins of waste out of usually a fairly modern car or 4x4 (with all the potential damage and subsequent cleaning that comes with that) into a container from the front.

This means that the container gets full fairly quickly, and then requires the use of a forklift or bulldozer to push the waste back. Added to which, there is the struggle of trying to empty one’s bin or bag with little help.

Thirdly, where the vehicles have to park, means that pedestrians are always walking behind a vehicle. This is extremely dangerous when vehicles are reversing out. The space is extremely cramped and that means turning can be difficult.

Plus we then have to negotiate past the stationary council wagons again.

There is a need to have a rethink on the layout for access and exiting of the site. A sunken pit would be very useful for the containers, so that at least the rubbish can be dropped in from the top.

Just a point on the environmental issue.

Has anyone from the council ascertained the extra Co2 emissions, and the traffic issues going to and from the site ?

A point on the financial issue.

Why do we require two deputies at enormous cost? Perhaps most of the finance for the waste issue would be covered by reducing the number to one.

Finally, I have always argued that there should be more local government control – thus doing away with a Scottish Parliament and reducing the number of MPs for our small island. This would cut down bureaucracy and subsequent expenses, but now with local councillors not even listening, I am not so sure.

Bill Ritchie