POLICE are being urged to step up and do more to help flood-hit communities in Peeblesshire.

Peebles Resilient Community was commended by the community council and Tweeddale councillors for their efforts following the recent flooding in the town.

Despite the water levels of the River Tweed going down, it has brought to the surface concerns of assistance from police.

Community councillor Olga Olesheva, who is a volunteer of the Peebles Resilient Community, brought the meeting’s attention to a car stuck in flood at Cuddyside.

She said: “I think it would be good to have a little bit more support from the police because it was very difficult to identify one of the vehicles that were damaged on Thursday during the flooding.

“It was only after we posted on social media that we managed to find the owner, and the following day Paul (Spence) and I went there and started the car and moved it. But, unfortunately, police weren’t able to contact the owner, so I think when we have such events in place, it would be good to have more support from services.”

Vice chairman Scott Rae voiced his concern that the car could have been swept away in floodwater. “I saw that car as well, water was lapping around the exhaust, and my thought was, that could easily get swept, potentially under the bridge.

“I did wonder why the police hadn’t towed it, so I agree with you there. It seemed a very odd thing, given that it was blatantly obvious that car shouldn’t have been there and could’ve been towed.”

Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler, who is also involved with the voluntary group, said: “The group was in contact on an ongoing basis with the police who were in the bunker, but that’s feedback that we need.

“It’s important that we recognise the work that volunteers did, not just on the Thursday when the river came up the first time, but then on the Friday and Saturday. So it wasn’t just where the Tweed was coming up at Priorsford, but the Cuddy as well.

“It’s a very small group, I have to say, a few years ago there was a very large group, and it has dwindled down now. We are going to do a bit of a de-brief after what happened during the last couple of weeks, and there is a number of things we want to look at, and one of those things will be getting more volunteers.”

The community is said to be “very lucky” the flooding was not severe.

“The river came to within a couple of inches of going over at Tweed Green, but that might not be the case in future, so we do need to look at that,” said Mr Tatler. “And there were a few issues in terms of the response from the council and various problems to do with drainage.”

Chairman Les Turnbull asked if there was anything the community council could do to assist the voluntary group.

Members agreed to invite the Peebles Resilient Community to their meeting in the New Year.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said the force was not the lead agency in flooding events.

Superintendent Gill Geany said : “On Thursday, October, 28, a major incident was declared in Hawick due to flooding from the River Teviot. Our Resilience Partnership stood up, bringing together partners from Scottish Borders Council, SEPA, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Borders Search & Rescue Unit, and Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue who worked closely to keep all Borders residents safe. Homes in the Hawick area were evacuated due to rising river levels.

“Peebles and other towns and villages were closely monitored by police and partners.

“As a national service we were able to draw on a substantial number of officers from across Police Scotland to achieve our purpose of keeping our communities safe.”