A GALASHIELS business owner has hit out at the council for asking him to remove his advertising board from Bank Street Gardens.

Steven Wilson, whose dog-grooming salon sits opposite the park, says the council have much messier issues to deal with in the park, with dog poo and litter strewn across the grass and flowerbeds.

Mr Wilson, who only opened K9 Grooming six weeks ago, said: “Councillor Andy Anderson came round on Thursday and gave me a friendly heads up about my sign. I was getting warned by the councillor that I should expect a letter from the council.

“They want me to move it off the public walkway, even though it isn’t on the walkway, it’s moved well out of the way. The sign is up out of the way.”

The sign sits atop a foot-high wall, which borders the Bank Street Gardens and the pavement.

There are numerous other advertising boards and tables on Bank Street, although these are all on the opposite side of the road to the gardens.

Mr Wilson continued: “They keep having a go at me when they should be focusing on the things that matter.

“What about all the kids who are rolling about in the parks and the parents that are taking them there?

“They’re talking about making the place better, they should be focusing on the proper things like dog fouling and litter rather than nitpicking a small business owner.

“If you take a walk around the town you’ll see how many people don’t have permission for signs and tables, yet put them up anyway.

“They’re failing in their duty and I’m the one being punished, they’re insisting on having a wee dig and poke at me.”

In terms of signage on footpaths, Scottish Borders Council’s policy is that businesses must seek the required permission from the roads authority before erecting them.

However, the council does tolerate A-frame signs on footpaths where these are located immediately outside of the premises, at the rear of the footpath and where the signage won’t cause an obstruction.

Further restrictions apply to signs that are detrimental to the visual amenity of the area.

Mr Wilson added: “They make things so difficult and awkward and they make me think about leaving the Borders all together. I have a friend in Newcastle with a similar business and she never gets any hassle like this.

“Why can’t they focus on getting poo bins emptied and fining people who let their dogs foul the place?”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “We would encourage anyone using Bank Street Gardens to play their part and help retain the picturesque town centre park by using the numerous bins in the gardens to dispose of their litter and dog fouling.

“Our staff regularly carry out litter picks of the area as part of their maintenance of the gardens, while we are proactively encouraging responsible dog ownership through our strategy which aims to change behaviour through education and awareness.”