DESPITE winning acclaim as one of the bonniest towns in the Scottish Borders, Peebles has now been dubbed “a mess” thanks to council budget cuts.

Angry locals and a bereaved family visiting Peebles Cemetery to remember loved ones have lashed out at the state of the community.

Scottish Borders Council has reduced grass cutting at general amenity areas and cemeteries, and is asking communities to “play their part” and cut it in between. And the measures met with anger from opposition members at last week’s full council meeting.

Grieving Sarah Moffat this week told the Peeblesshire News how she walked around Peebles Cemetery with tears in her eyes, aghast at the state of the graveyard as she paid her respects to late family and friends.

She said: “It’s a joke. The place is an absolute mess. I have been told from now on the grass cutting will be monthly instead of fortnightly, and no strimming will be carried out.

“My grandfather’s grave is now like shale and bark. My guessing is that the new part is obviously sinking once buried, so they are filling them up. There is quite clearly something wrong with the way they are being buried as it never happened before.”

It is also claimed that overgrown amenity areas in the town are causing problems, with children left covered in dog dirt after playing on the grass.

Greenside resident, Joanna Renwick said: “Peebles was once such a beautiful town and it is now just a complete mess. The grassed area in front of my house is a state, and the dog dirt seems to get worse because people don’t pick it up, either because the grass is too long and they can’t get it all, or because it hides it and they don’t see it.”

Miss Renwick complained to SBC but was told they would not change their policy.

“The place is like a cow field. It also looks as though they have put weed killer around the lamp and drying posts so they don’t have to strim it.”

SBC said: “The council is carrying out a review of its neighbourhood services to identify and implement changes to the way we deliver some of our services to communities.

“This is to ensure environmental and financial sustainability of our services, with the views and involvement of communities being key to the review.

“This includes grass cutting, with some parks and open spaces, grass verges and some amenity grass areas, including steeply sloping ground, looking different across the Borders.

“Changes include increased wildflower areas to improve the biodiversity of the area. A total of 20 areas were included in a pilot last summer, including a popular pedestrian link between Tweedbank and Abbotsford House.

“There will also be a change of approach to general amenity grass areas – including cemeteries – so grass that was previously cut once every 10 working days is cut approximately every 20 working days.

“However, maintenance of key civic spaces and sports pitches remains unchanged. Maintenance of lower amenity and steeply sloping areas is also under review. A successful trial was held in 2017 which saw grass cutting changed from 10 to 20 working days at 49 sites across the Scottish Borders.

“In addition, there are a number of sites we maintain which do not belong to Scottish Borders Council. We intend to review these arrangements and, where appropriate, establish a new arrangement going forward.

“More information on the neighbourhoods review is also available at”