FEARS have been voiced that Melrose could miss out on its chance to be crowned the most beautiful town in Britain - due to what has been described as a proliferation of sandwich boards.

Val Miller, a leading member of Melrose in Bloom, spoke out at this month's meeting of Melrose and District Community Council in the Ormiston Institute on Wednesday night.

She claimed they were cluttering up the pavements and posed a risk for pedestrians with pushchairs, disabled shoppers and people with guide dogs.

Ms Miller, who suggested restricting local businesses to one sign each, said: "We seem to have a total rash of them. One business had four and one was stuck on the wall of a listed building. When I think of the trouble we had to get cigarette bins on buildings and yet this goes on."

And she added: "There were seven on the library corner - anyone in a mobility buggy wouldn't have a chance."

Melrose will represent the Scottish Borders in the Beautiful Britain in Bloom competition this year after winning the Large Village section at the Beautiful Scotland in Bloom awards last year.

Ms Miller, vice-chair of the community council, said: "I don't think it (the proliferation of signs) is good for the appearance of the town, they are serving no purpose and cluttering up the pavements. It's just a jumble."