Hearts of oak

Education committees post-reorganisation are supposed to deal with matters of strategy and not concern themselves with detail. But no one remembered the spreading oak of Foulden.

Borders councillors had this week to declare Foulden primary surplus to requirements. It shut this summer, so that should have been an end of the matter. But the community council dug up the school oak, though only metaphorically.

Indeed it is the danger of someone digging it up later that alarms the Berwickshire community. The oak and its plaque commemorate the National Savings achievements of former pupils.

Two solutions appeared. The oak could stay where it is and the school boundary fence be altered before a sale, with "sufficient room left round the tree to allow for cutting the grass and growth". Or it and its plaque could be "carefully" moved to the village green this autumn, probably with the help of specialist tree movers.

With such decisions in the hands of councillors, who dares talk about a democratic deficit in Scotland?

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