Well, once again we are without our village post office. Alert bloggees will recall that Hutton Village Hall is to be knocked down and replaced by a new one-work on which is likely to start in early November. The Hall Committee looking for an alternative site for Hall activities and for the post office which has been in the hall since it left the Old Manse three years ago asked the Scottish Borders authorities to allow them to make use of the Hutton School building lying empty and unused since our primary school was closed wef the beginning of the new academic year. It seemed a perfect solution to a short term problem given that the school can absorb most of the activities carried out in the hall except perhaps the bowls and it is certainly ideal for the Post Office being in the heart of downtown Hutton and it would also be practicable to have the regular Community Council meetings (alternating between Hutton and Paxton) there as well.
To the man on the No 32 Golden Square to Hutton (via Paxton House in season) Omnibus it would seem a simple matter for the Education Department to authorise the temporary use of the school for a worthwhile community purpose. And they have had certainly plenty of notice about the present hall being demolished. But, of course, its the lawyers; apparently The request is currently passing through the legal department with the urgency of summer grass tracking through a cow's three stomachs, and a congenitally constipated cow at that. No decision has been reached and the school, like the IRA's arms, is put 'beyond use'. Or 'on hold' . Same difference for thePost Office which cannot move to new temporary premises and is closed 'sine die'
* Meeting arranged for the school this month, including the Community Council have to find new venues of which there ain't any in Hutton so Paxton Village Hall will have to step into the breach but already is well used by Paxton organisations and is highly inconvenient for local pensioners who do not drive especially of a Winter's evening -and theNo 32 Bus, gives up mid afternoon.
Why the delay? Don't know. One would have thought that one lawyer, with a sharpened pencil, and an old envelope, could have drawn up a contract in his tea break. One has a slight suspicion, hasn't one, of an Education Department still feeling bruised after a confrontation with the School campaigners in which there were some intemperate exchanges, is not in a mood to do favours? But this may be an unworthy thought. A lot of digits now need to be extracted fairly rapidly in Newtown St Boswells by the legal people and the High Heidians generally
. From experience I know that certain elements in the Post Office might not be dismayed to see the end of a small unprofitable, two mornings a week only, branch office like Hutton's which provides a service to the community at some loss to the organisation. If there is to be a lengthy hiatus and use of the School remains 'on hold' excuses might easily be found to close it for ever. Is this another unworthy thought?