SIR, I write in response to the letter last week from Mr Borland ('labouring the point’).

The recent works to Peebles War Memorial were undertaken to address immediate concerns relating to erosion of the flanking wall stonework. This was due to water ingress and moisture retention within the structure.

Along with the works to address the moisture ingress, the most eroded stones were replaced/indented with new ones.

The works are being part-funded by a grant administered by War Memorials Trust on behalf of Historic Scotland and the Scottish Government. A condition of the grant being awarded is that the works are carried out in strict accordance with the guidelines of War Memorials Trust and Historic Scotland.

The specification of the works was produced by a specialist conservation architect and carried out by a specialist contractor, using approved methods.

Scottish Borders Council does not own the region’s war memorials but is entrusted with their protection and upkeep. This is a responsibility that the council takes very seriously.

In accordance with War Memorials Trust guidance, our strategy for repair/upkeep of these important structures is one of minimum intervention, in essence, allowing them to age gracefully and only to intervene if damage is being caused.

The use of abrasive cleaning methods, such as high-pressure power washing, is not suitable for war memorials or historic stone monuments because it carries a high risk of damaging the surface of the masonry and joints, which can cause further deterioration.

If an application for funding had been made based on power washing, the works would not have been funded. We believe the works undertaken have struck the correct balance in terms of addressing the immediate issues, minimising the risk of accelerated damage/erosion of the stonework, whilst retaining the character of this fantastic war memorial.

We are aware there are limited areas of stonework that require attention and would advise that these were not considered to be of immediate concern as they are stones that have eroded naturally over time and are not causing damage to adjacent stones.

These areas, however, will be considered for remedial works in the future.

War Memorials Trust approved 75 per cent grant funding for the works to Peebles War Memorial, and Scottish Borders Council would like to take this opportunity to thank them for this funding, without which the works may not have been undertaken.

The council also recognises the fantastic work of the volunteers who tend to local war memorials each year, making our job that much easier. We would also like to thank them for their continuing good work.

I am, etc.

Stuart Mawson Property Manager Scottish Borders Council