AN angry Peebles resident is taking his fight for cemetery justice to watchdog bodies after failing to obtain satisfaction from Scottish Borders Council.

The Peeblesshire News revealed earlier this year how more than 700 headstones had been toppled during a safety inspection at Peebles Cemetery.

Distraught family members hit out at what they claimed was 'vandalism'.

And the contracted work was also condemned by community leaders.

The man, who does not want to be named, has been pushing for answers ever since the 709 stones were pushed over and socketed in February.

But he's been left frustrated by 'misleading information', contradictions and a lack of progress during the complaints procedure with Scottish Borders Council.

And he has taken his fight to the Information Commissioner and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

He told us: "Scottish Borders Council are basically doing everything they can to frustrate me.

"They have admitted the damage, but won’t repair the damage they have caused.

"If not a legal, they have a moral duty to repair the damage."

Inspectors spent five weeks testing almost 1800 memorials at the graveyard on St Andrew's Road.

Despite prior warnings that only 'old and large' headstones would be tested, dozens of small memorials were amongst those taken apart and 'socketed'.

Responses from the local authority to initial Freedom of Information requests show that SBC stated no headstones had been damaged during the safety work.

Although this figure was later corrected to being two, the Peebles resident has provided a gallery of photographs showing damage to dozens of stones, which he claimed was done during the testing.

Formal complaints made over a month ago regarding damage, as well as qualifications of testing contractors and a failure to provide requested information are currently being investigated by SBC's Neighbourhood Services manager Craig Blackie.

But the man believes independent scrutiny is still required.

He added: "Scottish Borders Council sent me the full HR Policies, Procedures and Guidelines which does not cover, in any way, damage to headstones.

"I now firmly believe this needs investigated at the highest level."

Scottish Borders Council continue to deny that it conducted the safety testing appropriately.

And that it is taking the complaints seriously.

A spokesman said: "We take all complaints and requests for information very seriously.

"If someone is dissatisfied with how we have dealt with their complaint, they can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it and we will cooperate fully."