£12,500 Gala walkway work goes to waste

“A disgrace” is how Galashiels Community Council chairman Ian Purvis described the state of a riverside walkway which previously had £12,500 spent on renovating it, writes Kenny Paterson.

The 400m stretch from Low Buckholmside to Comely Bank Mill Retail Park was refurbished around six years ago using money from Scottish Borders Council’s pay parking funds.

Work by the Gala Waterways Group and a criminal justice team saw 20 broken coping stones replaced and tied down, the nearby Gala Water cauld tarmaced over, seating and bins put in place, overgrown bushes cut back and a stairway built.

However, Councillor Herd was left furious when he revisited the site last month.

Councillor Herd said: “When I walked along it my heart sunk.

“We are trying to encourage people to come to the town, but how do you expect visitors or local people to use the path when it is completely overgrown?

“We had a verbal agreement that it would be looked after by the council.

“£12,500 is a lot of money to spend, but it seems that money has been abused.”

An SBC spokesman said: “Our neighbourhood services team will look into this issue and is happy to meet Councillor Herd to discuss further.”