PLANS to pull up floral displays in towns across the Borders have been postponed by cash-strapped Scottish Borders Council.

The local authority's Neighbourhood department has already come under fire over a reduction to grass-cutting in parks, cemeteries and community areas.

And proposals to make further savings by turfing over flower beds were on the cards for later this year.

But the move has now been put on hold.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, the Executive member for Neighbourhoods and Locality Services, explained: “Many productive discussions have taken place with key local groups over several months regarding our plans to introduce permanent displays rather than seasonal planting and change or remove areas of bedding plants.

"What has become apparent is that both the Council and communities need more time to discuss how we can, working together, deliver financially and environmentally sustainable displays.

"It is for that reason that we have agreed to defer any changes for 12 months."

Over the last six months Scottish Borders Council has held meetings with local community leaders to reveal the plans for changing the way floral displays are managed.

They had hoped to end annual displays in favour of cheaper grass and wild flower seeding.

As part of the controversial cuts to grass-cutting 20 areas have been used in the wildflower pilot.

But the anger over both the grass-cutting and future plans for turfing over floral displays led to a rethink.

The local authority hopes that many local 'in-bloom' groups will continue to take responsibility for the beds.

Councillor Aitchison added: “We will continue to work closely with communities and In Bloom groups to explore the support that they may require to play their part and undertake bedding plant maintenance and also look together at how some areas could be redesigned to meet all our objectives.”

Opposition councillor David Paterson, who represents Hawick & Hermitage, believes the postponement is the right move.

He said: "This is a massive climb down by this administration and I'm glad to see that they have finally listened to the public.

"I have been telling them for months that they have got it wrong and they just were not listening to the thousands of Borderers that were up in arms about that stupid decision that they wanted to implement."