SCOTTISH Borders Council has launched a consultation to gauge public opinion on the drinking of alcohol in public spaces, with the possibility of a byelaw banning public drinking being introduced.

Currently, legislation pertaining to public alcohol consumption is decided by local councils, with some enforcing byelaws to prevent drinking in public.

The Borders is one council area where public alcohol consumption is not currently outlawed.

However, the council are keen to hear from Borderers to establish whether people think the drinking of alcohol in any public areas is causing problems.

An online survey will be accessible until May 26 and the council is keen for locals to voice their opinions on the matter.

Paper surveys will also be available in council contact centres and local libraries.

If the drinking of alcohol in public places is identified as an issue, a second consultation will take place to understand the level of support for byelaws to be introduced to clamp down on public drinking.

If the council did decide to act, they would reserve the right to suspend any byelaw during events such as common ridings, local festivals and new year celebrations.

Councillor Shona Haslam, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: "As a council we considered this proposition a few years ago but we felt that we needed to hear from local communities before taking this further.

“Do you think that they are needed?

“Do you think that they should be town wide, or specific to certain areas?

“Do you think that this a necessary or unnecessary step for the Council to take?

“Any ban would not stop people drinking in their gardens, beer gardens or at licensed events, but we want to know of any potential problem areas that the public think such a ban would be helpful.”

The online survey, alongside further information about the consultation, can be accessed at