Imagine my surprise at Councillor Mitchell’s response to my letter a couple of weeks ago when he said that my facts on the subject of allowing the council workforce, on this occasion teachers in particular, to be allowed to take early retirement/severance at a considerable cost are not borne out. Then he says SBC can replace them with new teachers at their rightful place in the wages scale, and state that I am wrong in my assumption that this somehow makes no economic sense.

So, using simple maths to try to get my head round this, obviously without the full figures and details of the considerations that the council had before it at the time of their decision, if an employee is on £200 per week, allowing them to leave early with a lump sum and pension of say, £10,000 – times 30 bodies, and then employ a further 30 bodies at £200 per week to replace those who have left, Cllr Mitchell contends this is value for my tax payments.

Why then do the council not save absolute £millions by adopting the same principle for all employees in the council. Pay off every employee giving them a round figure of £10,000 and then take every one of them back into employment at exactly the same salary. I am sure that following so many under inflation pay deals the employees would welcome this windfall. By doing this, according to Cllr Mitchell’s economic calculations, we will have saved enough money to have a social care system, an education system, fully staffed libraries open seven days a week and other services that would be the envy of the rest of the UK.

He should sell this wonderful commercial miracle to the country’s bankers as I am sure they would be interested in such a scheme. Oh wait, maybe he has just bought into their already failed scheme?

No doubt, one day Mr William Chisholm will write to SBC seeking details of this scheme under the Freedom of Information Act and he will receive a response that has more black lines than words when the legal people decide that the information requested is commercially sensitive and those who made these decisions, based on what facts, will have been deleted. Just like the £2million plus that was given away without us, the taxpayers being able to determine if due diligence took place.

Councillors, this money is not your money to play with as you see fit. This money that you are charged with is to deliver decent services in all departments and to look after those who are vulnerable in our society. The role of the council is to maintain, provide and introduce further ways of helping the Borders people, not playing the Icelandic money market or giving millions to pie in the sky projects on waste recycling. You are just recycling what you are constantly wasting.

I am, etc.

Rab Stewart Roberts Avenue Selkirk