Visiting the elderly or free coffee?

SCOTTISH Borders councillors face criticism from Borders Party councillors after turning down the opportunity to fund visiting scheme for elderly people in the Borders.

A proposal was put to councillors at last Thursday’s SBC meeting that public money should be saved by councillors paying for their own tea and coffee, and that this money could be used instead to start two or more visiting schemes for elderly people in the Borders.

But Councillor Nicholas Watson’s motion only received support from his Borders Party colleague Sandy Aitchison and Hawick’s Councillor Patterson (Ind) who seconded it; and Councillor Willie Archibald, (SNP) SBC’s ‘Older People’s Champion’ abstained.

Councillor Watson, leader of the Borders Party said: “Loneliness, a real burden for some, is hardly ever talked about.

“Let’s hope that others take it more seriously than our fellow SBC councillors who seem to think that their own free coffee is more important.

“Run by the voluntary sector a visiting scheme could provide the regular human contact which used to be such an important part of meals on wheels. And it would be a good opportunity for more active elderly people who are often so good at helping others.”