Here, Scottish Borders Council member Sandy Aitchison - who represents Galashiels - outlines his vision to boost shopping in the town...

There was a time when the High Street was dominated by locally owned shops.

They were gradually squeezed out by larger stores found on any High Street throughout the country.

They are now being squeezed out by on-line sales. Some call this natural progress. I just hope the wheel turns full circle and we get back to locally owned, locally supported businesses.

One way is to make our town centres more attractive, family-friendly places. How do we do that?

I think the Tapestry will help. It should bring smaller niche shopping back to some degree, but we need to support that by having an attractive environment, traffic free and suitable for weekend events and attractions.

But also we need to reduce anti-social behaviour in all its forms. This won’t happen overnight but we have to try.

I worked hard to get the Coulter’s Statue to begin the process, but it is one small step.

We need play equipment that children can play on, and a trail around the town to encourage people to walk the “golden triangle” as I call it, round Bank Street, Channel St and Market Street.

I call on the people of Gala to support the different groups trying their hardest and where you can, shop on the High Street.

It is done elsewhere, no reason why it can’t be done in Gala.