South Scotland

Earlston Community Council disbands after play park row

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Image caption The location of a proposed play park in Earlston has been at the centre of debate for some time

A Borders community council has disbanded after resignations due to a row over a play park left it below its required six member quorum.

The issue has been at the centre of debate in Earlston for some time.

Four community council members resigned in 2012 over the Mill Meadow plans and another stepped down at a special meeting last week.

It has left them below the necessary level of six councillors in order to hold meetings.

The location for the proposed park - which has secured £250,000 of lottery funding - has faced significant opposition.

A petition has been lodged against the project amid safety fears raised about access and flooding concerns.

Former chairman Tom Burnham said: "In the middle of 2012, four of our elected members resigned as a result of the arguments going on about Mill Meadow.

"Following those resignations in the middle of 2012, we had some additional co-options but on Thursday of last week one of the elected community councillors resigned so a new election has to take place."

Projects postponed

He said that would probably be just before, or immediately after, the General Election.

Mr Burnham said the situation meant other issues would have to be put on hold.

"This means some very worthwhile projects are going to have to be postponed," he said.

"For instance, the rescue of the reading room in the square in Earlston, which is getting more and more dilapidated and needs some urgent action."

He said a bid to reinstate allotments in the area would also be delayed.

"Those projects will just have to be held in abeyance and, of course, at the discretion of the new community council," he added.

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