Getting Hawick back on rails to rest of world

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With the local council elections being not that far away, we would like to get some idea of who we are going to be supporting and voting for.

The main issue in Hawick has to be lifting the town back to its rightful place as the Queen o’ all the Borders. At the moment, while we still have pride, we don’t have well paid jobs, we’ve little money in our threadbare trouser pockets, the High Street is a pitiful sight, empty shops, crumbling buildings and folk just look depressed, and there is little hope that things will change under the present councillors, MPs and MSPs.

Why would new employers come here when we don’t have the transport links that our competitors elsewhere in the UK have? Let’s face it, all the good jobs are in Edinburgh, Carlisle or beyond so we need to be able to go to these places but still live in Hawick.

We need a modern transport system, so which party supporting the trains coming back to Hawick and getting us reconnected to the capital, Edinburgh, to bring the tourists to the Borders to buy our knitwear and so on?

Is it just a coincidence that Hawick’s fortunes plummeted in the period after we lost the railway?

Which political party is vocal about getting the train all the way through to Carlisle and enabling the English to pass easily into our area to give us their trade? What are the names of their councillors who are taking part in the next elections?

Travelling long journeys to work by car or bus is exhausting compared with how much more relaxing a train is. We need a railway urgently so we can do what the rest of the UK does and travel an hour on a train to a well paid job and an hour home to Hawick.

If railways are so undesirable why has everywhere else got them? The area does not want a motorway that would scar the countryside but a railway makes little visual impact.

We need to make radical changes to put ourselves back on the map and have councillors and elected members who are not afraid to get in there and fight for the things we need. At present we are in the stranglehold of the party politics system, retired teachers etc acting as councillors and no forward-thinking members. If they were paid on performance and results they would not be paid at the level they currently are.

Many young members of our family do not have cars and there is little hope of them ever being able to afford such luxuries. Getting a job outwith the region is nigh-on impractical given the state of the transport system to Hawick – we are too far from Edinburgh and a fair slog from Carlisle.

If we had a regular train service connecting us to Tweedbank’s new railway and all the way through to Carlisle we could then travel and get ourselves connected to the rest of the country and the better paid jobs to give our townsfolk hope and prospects without having to move out.

The main question is: Which political party has the movers and shakers at local through to national level to make this happen? Let us hear your voice and your intentions loud and clear, shout and write to the papers because we want to support you and vote you into power.

Hawick needs changing fast and needs new faces and mindsets not the old fogies we have at present.

B. Turnbull,