Your picture of the Week

Louise Renton from Duns took this photo of a curious young male deer at Crichness near Cranshaws.
Louise Renton from Duns took this photo of a curious young male deer at Crichness near Cranshaws.

Louise Renton from Duns took this photo of a curious young male deer at Crichness near Cranshaws.

Please email your photographic contributions, with a brief caption, to berwickshirenews@jpress.co.uk

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

ACCESS DIFFICULTY FOR THE DISABLED

I recently attended a cremation at the new crematorium at Houndwood.

I have mobility difficulties and as a result, I use a mobility scooter.

I also have great difficulty negotiating steps.

I was rather annoyed to find that there is no facility for disabled access at these premises and I was therefore obliged to get assistance from my son, who drove me there, to physically lift the scooter and help me negotiate the three steep roadside entrance steps and thereby enable me to access the rather steep pathway to the crematorium.

Furthermore, at the entrance to the building, I was obliged to leave my vehicle outside, in the rain, while I negotiated the several steps inside. Fortunately on this occasion I was able to do this but, although I don’t anticipate regular attendance at Houndwood, there are days when even walking a short distance is problematic for me.

I would have thought that a newly-commissioned crematorium would have had disabled access – indeed I am surprised that, legally, if not morally, such conditions are not complied with.

It is, after all, a publicly-accessible building and mourners are not confined to able-bodied people.

I understand that this is a building conversion, but it seems that no consideration has been given to the rights of the disabled, and in these enlightened times I find that disconcerting and unacceptable.

Apart from disabled access, the entrance must prove a challenging one for undertakers, particularly on a wet or icy surface.

I had been informed by others who had already attended the crematorium that access for me would be awkward, but I dismissed such observations as it was my understanding that, particularly in what I presume to be a local authority building, provision would be made for all.

It is my opinion that a building such as this, whether a new build or a conversion, should be especially mindful of the needs of the disabled and ensure that we are catered for at this most distressing time.

Alan Thompson

Paxton

IMPARTIALITY ARGUMENT

One of the most disturbing trends of our time is the influence of the political left among the education establishment.

In the run-up to the general election, 68% of teachers questioned online by the respected TES (Times Educational Supplement) said they intended to vote Labour, with only eight per cent backing the Conservatives.

Teachers are bound by the 1996 Education Act to offer a “balanced presentation of opposing views”.

A total of 1,300 head teachers now earn more than £100,000 per annum.

How much longer can teachers abuse their position of trust and be reminded of their duty to be impartial?

All this can be a Corbyn-style indoctrination of children for the future generation. Then God help us all.

Paul Singleton

Gordon

UNIQUE LOO AT ST ABBS HARBOUR

On a recent visit to St Abbs I noticed that the ‘Victorian Dockside Convenience’ is still intact sitting on the harbour wall.

This iconic little building is possibly the only one left intact and should be refurbished and given ‘Grade Two Listing’. It is also unique in that it was automatically flushed twice a day.

A 1900 postcard of the top of Eyemouth Harbour depicts one perched over the ‘but’ – it appears to have been a ‘four-seater’.

Tony Howard

Eyemouth

SUPPORT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE

In her letter (Berwickshire News, July 6) Ms Jane Pearn shows a thinly-veiled contempt for members of the armed forces. That is her right. Sadly, in view of recent events in Manchester, London, Paris and Berlin a degree of support for members of the armed forces and emergency services would seem more appropriate.

James D. Lough

Duns

DIVERSIONARY TACTICS

It is great news that Scotland’s economy avoided dipping into recession, not least because moving into a downturn can itself further undermine business confidence.

With the latest quarterly figures instead reflecting positive growth, we must hope this now becomes a trend of improvement that continues into the foreseeable future. There is definitely no room for complacency, as Scotland still lags well behind the UK over the last year and two-year periods, and various trade organisations have been reporting activity across Scottish businesses as generally flat.

Alex Salmond chose to react with mock outrage that the figures were better than some had expected, saying that a range of economists, the BBC and the press in general had been too quick in contemplating the worst with their critique of the SNP. What various of them had been warning about was that keeping the threat of a second independence referendum hanging over Scotland compounds the uncertainties that already exist with Brexit, and that Scottish business confidence can ill afford that.

Wherever you stand on Brexit, it is hard to argue that we have much choice now about having to deal with finding the optimum route to leave the European Union.

The point about indyref2 is that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had an opportunity to create a period of certainty on this issue until at least the next Holyrood elections in 2021, but she chose not to.

Those commentators that so upset Mr Salmond were hardly suggesting something very extreme, by proposing that when it comes to major constitutional change, one thing at a time is not an unreasonable stance.

Mr Salmond’s attempts to stir grievance over this, with his repetition of the “talking down Scotland” slur for just about anyone who does not accept the SNP’s preferred view of events, suggests classic diversionary tactics on his part.

Keith Howell

West Linton

BENEFITS BLOW OUTRAGE

I was appalled to read how a pensioner’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was cut because she could not name the doctor who diagnosed her 67 years ago.

Betty Whyley, who contracted polio when she was only six weeks old and now lives with the late effects of the disease, could understandably not remember the name of her doctor from when she was just six weeks old.

Mrs Whyley received a letter from the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) which informed her that her PIP claim was disallowed because she left her form incomplete.

This is a frankly outrageous decision and leaves me wondering how many other people are being shamefully denied the support they desperately need.

As CEO of the British Polio Fellowship, I see our support services team providing our members with daily support to challenge and overturn such arbitrary, insensitive PIP assessments. With over 120,000 polio survivors in the UK now struggling with a debilitating new medical condition – Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) – we need to reach more of these people to ensure they are receiving the correct benefits and additional support available.

Anyone who has had polio and is experiencing any such benefits injustices should contact our support services team on 0800 043 1935 or visit www.BritishPolio.org.uk

Ted Hill MBE

WORTH THE PAPER IT’S WRITTEN ON

This month marks four years since consumer choice campaign Keep Me Posted was launched.

Keep Me Posted was started to challenge companies who push their customers to receive electronic communication without their consent, sometimes without their knowledge.

Our research has proven that it is easier to assess your financial health when you receive paper statements (75%) compared to (48%) electronic statements.

Thanks to valuable information and feedback we have received, we have been able to persuade parliamentarians, large corporations, service providers and banks that everyone should have the right to receive their financial information in the format that is easiest for them – be it text, paper, email or a combination of all three.

As a result, 29 service providers, including a number of high street banks, have been awarded the Keep Me Posted Mark of Distinction in recognition of their commitment to consumer choice. This means that millions of people across the country can rest assured that they will not be forced to receive electronic communication or penalised for requesting a hard copy of statements or bills.

I am incredibly proud of what the campaign has achieved over the past four years.

However, the battle is not over – we must continue to fight to ensure that our rights are honoured by companies.

We ask your readers to do the same.

Together, we can stop organisations overlooking our wishes or taking our custom for granted.

Let us know your experiences by writing us at: FREEPOST KEEP ME POSTED.

Judith Donovan

(chair, Keep Me Posted)

FINANCIALLY FRUITFUL TEAS

There was an impressive turnout from the local community at the Duns and District Parishes Guild annual strawberry teas held on Wednesday, July 5, making it a huge success and very enjoyable.

Sincere thanks to all involved in the organisation of the event, and also to everyone who supported it by donating and/or attending. The grand sum of £1,005 was realised – a tremendous result.

Madge Cran

(president, Duns and District Parishes Guild)

EYEMOUTH SCOUT GROUP WALK

May I thank all our youngsters and their sponsors who supported the recent Eyemouth Scout Group sponsored walk.

Beavers (2.25 miles), cubs (4.5 miles), scouts and explorers (6.75 miles) braved a very wet and windy night to complete the walk.

The magnificent sum of £1,057.31 was raised.

Thanks for everyone’s support – it is very much appreciated.

Lynne Bogle

Eyemouth Scout Group

GRATEFUL MISSION STATEMENT

Didn’t we do well! We raised £426.90 on Saturday, July 1.

Special thanks, in no particular order, to: Francis and Janice on coffee and kitchen; Jane and Janet on cakes; Jim, Fay and Agnes on waiting-on; David and Ceely on raffle; Carole on entrance; Ian, Wilma, Elizabeth, Margaret, Helena, Mary, Barbara and Kenny, Wendy and Kenny, Johnston and Catherine, John, Betty, Fiona and many others for their contributions – diligent, consistent and dedicated supporters of the mission.

I am always deeply touched by the effort and support of my dear friends of the mission.

Supt Claire McIntosh

(mission area officer)

Fishermen’s Mission

Eyemouth

CASH SPLASH FOR DUNS CLUB

Duns Amateur Swimming Club held a coffee morning in the town’s parish church hall on Saturday, June 24. The team enjoyed the morning very much and were very pleased to raise the sum of £336.20 which will be used to enhance training opportunities for our swimmers. We thank everyone who attended and contributed.

Jacqui Bennett

Secretary, Duns ASC

RUNS’ ROLL OF HONOUR

On behalf of Tweed Striders, I would like to thank everyone who supported the Curfew Run and Fun Run last Wednesday evening:

The runners for entering (all 272 of you); family and friends for coming along to spectate; the helpers, marshals, lead bike, sweeper, timekeepers and recorders who all gave up their precious free time; Dr Stephen Docherty for providing first aid cover (thankfully, he wasn’t in demand); our local community police for traffic management at the Bridge Street crossing and the Town Hall Bell Ringers.

Special thanks must go to Richard Simpson and Simpson’s Malt for their generous ongoing sponsorship, and to the following local businesses who also supported us in one way or another: Fantasy Prints, Go Outdoors, Morrisons, Tesco, The Curfew Micropub, Silvery Tweed Cereals, Travis Perkins (Kelso) and Tweedmouth Service Station Mitsubishi.

Without the support of our local community, we couldn’t host such a successful event which is enjoyed by everyone.

Judith Thompson

Berwick

REIVER’S PARTY A CREDIT TO DUNS

May I convey our sincere thanks to the Duns Reiver’s party who visited Lanark Lodge on the Wednesday of Reiver’s Week.

Josh, Melissa, Nicolle and Euan were a credit to Duns. They happily posed for numerous pictures while interacting with our service users with warmth, helping everyone to feel at ease with them. We appreciate them taking the time to come to see us in what is such a busy week for them.

We would also thank Doug Redpath who organises the visit each year and accompanies the Reiver’s party. Everyone looks forward to seeing Doug just as much, and his care and kindness is appreciated by us all.

Rod Scobbie

Manager, Lanark Lodge