SIR, I refer to my open letter to Councillor Parker which was kindly published in your paper in early August.

Subsequently, in late August, Mr Hugh Andrew a senior trustee for the 'Great Tapestry of Scotland’ project gave an informative and interesting interpretation on my activities.

In brief, the Tapestry Trustees dearly love the Tapestry and want a building for it. Scottish Borders Council wants to build the building but does not have a spare £3 to £5million sitting in the bank.

They are therefore willing to borrow all the money required. The loan will cost us between £17,000 and £30,000 per month for 30 years.  

The argument is deeply damaging and now even the tapestry is falling into disrepute, after all how can we love it when we’re being asked to pay for it so many times over?   

There is a planning objection from Francine Hardwick on August 21 and I quote: “Perhaps the Council and the Trustees might come down from their collective high horse and consult much wider on this matter with the public in the Borders and also with the thousand stitchers who created this wonderful work in the first place. 

“Has anyone asked them for their views on the best outcome for the Great Tapestry of Scotland - The People’s Tapestry? 

“This great collective work of the hands and hearts of many, deserves better than a curt Its this or nothing dictatorial approach which is not in the right spirit of the thing at all.” 

The Great Scottish Tapestry Charitable Trust’s last published accounts show a considerable loss and there is no mention of any funds they are bringing to the table. 

When this is factored into Councillor Parker’s claims that the Tapestry Trustees are placing extreme terms on the Council which have to be complied with then it becomes clear that the Tapestry Trustees are proving themselves to be rapacious and inappropriate. 

I am not backward looking or knocking Mr Andrew’s vision of how a 'modern Scotland’ should look.  I’m making the point that public funds, (they are after all ours) are in short supply and the business case simply does not 'stack up’. 

I don’t want to see the tapestry trashed and I’d suggest that the Tapestry Trustees find new partners to share the future with.

I am, etc.
Neil Ballantyne