A WALKERBURN couple have been left "baffled" after being told by the council they have to repair a collapsed wall that was damaged three years ago.

Jean and Sandy Glendinning met with Borders MSP Christine Grahame on Monday at their home in Galashiels Road to voice their frustrations after being told they would have to foot the bill.

The wall collapsed on July 23, 2013 when a parked car was hit, forcing it into the partition leaving the couple with limited access.

And temporary wooden posts are still in place to support the remains which are still connected to the wall which runs the length of the street.

Jean told the Peeblesshire News: "Something has to happen now. It was a nightmare the other day because water is coming down. There was a river going past the door. We even complained about the wall before this happened. It started (to loosen) about 10 years ago and there has been water seeping through.

"How we're responsible, I don't know. We're all baffled."

Jean complained to Peebles County Council in the 1970s after the wall began crumbling due to traffic on the main road and had it repaired by the authority.

"I don't know how long they're going to leave us like this," she added. "We asked the council in the 70s and Peebles council came out and repaired it straight away. If they have moved the goalposts then surely we should have been notified."

Jean and Sandy's daughter in law Karina Henderson said the whole dispute has caused stress to the family as well as danger to pedestrians.

She said: "It's all just stressful and I am worried for people going past. If anyone leans on the barriers they'll come straight over the top, because the fence is moveable.

"Not only that, most people were thinking it was Jean and Sandy who were just leaving it, but it's the council passing the buck.

"The pavement will eventually come away. The only thing saving it is the parked cars outside. If lorries and busses were constantly running past it would collapse," she added.

"The council aren't thinking about the long term aspects. They're passing the buck because they know they need to renew all of the wall which runs along the street. If the whole wall does fall down the road would have to be closed and there's only one road through Walkerburn."

Scottish Borders Council issued a response to the family through MSP Christine Grahame which read: "Neither SBC nor its predecessor authorities ever accepted liability for this wall. When Peebles County Council agreed to repair it decades ago, apparently they did so without prejudice and on the express condition that doing so would not affect their liabilities in future. To accept liability now would inevitably mean the adoption of the entire wall, nearly 100m in length, which would be an enormous financial burden.”

But Ms Grahame said she would try to seek answers from the authority.
She said: "I am going to look at this issue further to find out whose responsibility it is. Not only is it dangerous, but we need to have it looked at urgently.

"I am most concerned for the safety of my constituents as the damaged wall is very vulnerable, as it is also subject to extensive flooding from the road.

"The insurers are in dispute with Scottish Borders Council which claims it did not accept liability for the wall but I now have sight of documents which apparently established that its predecessor, the former Peeblesshire County Council did accept liability as far back as 1935," she added.

"I have forwarded these documents to its legal department and await a response."

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson told the Peeblesshire News: “The Council does not accept that it is responsible for the maintenance of the wall.

"We are in ongoing correspondence with the solicitors who represent the insurers of some of the homeowners on whose land the wall is situated, with a view to resolving this matter."