FURIOUS fire chiefs have been stood up yet again by members of the local authority's emergency services scrutiny board.

A management team from Scottish Fire and Rescue organised a training demonstration last month for the Scottish Borders Council Safer Communities Board.

And they had a full crew at Peebles Fire Station on hand to go through drills and procedures.

But not a single member of the 11-strong committee bothered to go.

It has emerged that this latest snub follows on from a similar demonstration at Kelso when only one board member showed up.

Local senior fire officer David Farries said: "The evening was for you all to witness a training exercise.

"It would have been nice if someone had come along."

The Police, Fire & Rescue and Safer Communities Board is made up of six councillors and representatives of the health, housing, business and voluntary sectors.

Its meetings every second month allow members to scrutinise performance figures from fire and police chiefs as well as develop joint strategies for tackling problems.

Following the forthcoming local authority elections a new board will be formed from newly elected councillors.

Galashiels councillor Sandy Aitchison was amongst the missing members at the recent Peebles event. He said: "I feel guilty that I wasn't able to go.

"It is important to stress to the next board to attend events like these.

"How can we sit here and scrutinise when we don't even bother to go and see how the services operate?"

Other councillors who didn't attend the Peebles practice were Bill Herd, Rory Stewart, George Turnbull and Alec Nicol.

The chair of the board, councillor Donald Moffat, was also absent.

He said: "I realised nobody else was going so I didn't see the point of going myself."