SCROOGE-like councillors have refused a request for £250 towards the cost of the Christmas display in Walkerburn amid fears other communities may ask for cash next year.

Members of Scottish Borders Council’s Tweeddale Area Forum were asked to approve funding for a number of projects at their meeting in Peebles on Wednesday night.

However, the Walkerburn request was refused because the meeting heard its population was not big enough - despite neighbouring Innerleithen receiving a free tree and lights from the council.

Tweeddale East Councillor Stuart Bell said: “My village Clovenfords gets the money for its display from Community Council funding but if this was passed it might set a challenging precedent.” West Linton Community Council Member Graham Tulloch agreed. He added: “If this is passed you can be sure that West Linton will apply for a tree and lights as well.” Festival Lass Skye Houston will officially turn on the festive display in Walkerburn today (Friday, December 5) at 5.30pm.

Walkerburn Festival Chairman Brian Lees said: “It seems to me that if you are not in Peebles you do not count. We thought we’d get the money but they just say Walkerburn is not big enough.” Tweeddale East Ward Councillor Gavin Logan added: “As far as I was concerned, as a Walkerburn councillor, the decision went against the grain.” While this proposal was turned down Walkerburn did gain £250 towards its Resilient community group to buy equipment to tackle litter and dog fouling.