General Service updates
Countryside and Access
We are unable to survey paths across the Scottish Borders during the current restrictions. Therefore, we welcome reports about any issues that you may encounter while exercising on the path network in your local area through our online form.
Maintenance and grasscutting
We are only able to undertake maintenance works for urgent safety needs and control of vegetation works are also restricted at this time.
For the latest national guidance on recreational access for the public and land managers during COVID-19 restrictions, visit Scottish Outdoor Access.
We began grasscutting on Monday 20 April in active cemeteries and open spaces, including sports pitches, using tractors and ride on machinery only. This is line with what the Scottish Government has now defined as essential grasscutting.
These works see staff able to follow social distancing guidance and wear appropriate PPE.
These locations were chosen as without maintenance the grass will grow too long and leave these areas unavailable for use for an extended period beyond the end of the current COVID-19 restrictions.
The decision to use tractors and ride-on machinery only was made to maintain social distancing, which is vitally important to ensure the safety of members of the public and staff.
Grasscutting in active cemeteries has been carried out by ride-on machinery, with no strimming or weedkilling yet undertaken.
We intend to return to its usual maintenance standards, as far as possible, by temporarily closing cemeteries while grasscutting takes place to ensure social distancing is continued.
Please use the Post Office finder to find opening times of your nearest post office.
Please note some mobile Post Offices are operating amended schedules:
- Monday: Norham 9am-11am and Greenlaw 12noon-1pm
- Wednesday: Earlston 2pm-4pm
- Friday: Norham 11am-12.30pm and Earlston 2pm-4pm
- Monday: Ettrickbridge 1.30pm-2.30pm and Clovenfords 3pm-3.45pm
- Tuesday: Clovenfords 1.30pm-2pm, Melrose 2.30pm-3.30pm and Jedburgh 4pm-4.30pm
- Thursday: Fountainhall 1.45pm-2pm, Heriot 2.15pm-2.45pm and Oxton 3pm-3.30pm
Blue Badges are still currently being produced and issued, but due to the current restrictions on movement we would like to encourage people to wait until the restrictions have been lifted, to ensure that the badge is awarded from a date that you can actually use it from.
If you need a badge sooner, we would encourage anyone looking to apply based on their ability to walk to apply online. If you don’t automatically qualify you would normally need to come in to an office for a desk based assessment, but as our offices are currently closed, we will aim to do this over the telephone with you.
Anyone applying under the risk in traffic criteria, can apply in the normal manner by completing Form D for risk in traffic.
Please remember to follow the current Government Advice on staying at home.
NEC and Young Scot Cards
We are currently accepting new, renewal and replacement applications for NEC (bus pass) and Young Scot cards, however, until current restrictions have been lifted we cannot accept any applications face to face.
If you require a new, replacement or renewal NEC or Young Scot card you should apply for one as soon as possible by either emailing [email protected] or phoning Customer Advice and Support on 0300 100 1800.
Please be aware that, due to continued restrictions on non-essential offices and high demand for the NEC service, it is taking longer than normal for applications to be processed. You should allow two weeks from the date we have received all the information within your application for your card to be delivered.
Further information can be found on the National Entitlement Card COVID-19 FAQs.
Please remember to follow the current Government Guidance on phase three: Scotland's route map update.
Any individual, community group or organisation seeking access to one of our properties is asked to complete a short online form to enable the request to be reviewed.
A number of public toilets across the Scottish Borders are now open with additional safety measures in place.
Live Borders have provided an update on their services on their website.
The Community Fund has now reopened.
However, to a number of events being cancelled following government COVID-19 advice, the following have been suspended:
- Local Festival Grants Scheme
- VE Celebration Fund
- Community Enhancement and Welfare Trusts
We will therefore not be accepting any applications for the time being. If your organisation has already submitted an application, we will be in touch to discuss further.
All of our Licensing services are currently only available through email to [email protected] or by phone 01835 826662.
Information for Private Landlords is now available.
Trading Standards Scotland has produced a range of guidance and advice to help prevent members of the public becoming victims of scams during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For more information and advice, visit Trading Standards Scotland website.
Following Scottish Government’s COVID-19 advice on social distancing, all of our Contact Centres and Library/Contact Centres are currently closed.
Pre-arranged appointments are still available to book.
Anyone wishing to contact us about our services can do so using the 0300 100 1800 Customer Advice and Support Service phone line which continues to operate as normal for customers.
Citizens Advice Bureau
All local Citizens Advice Bureaus are continuing to offer advice and information through phone, email and social media. Support is available on a range of issues including:
- welfare benefits
- consumer issues
- settled status for EU citizens
- the Patient Advice and Support Service
They are also able to make foodbank referrals and support with energy issues.
For more information, visit the Citizens Advice Scotland website or the Facebook pages for the Peebles and District, Central Borders or Roxburgh and Berwickshire CABs.
Please note that face to face appointments are not available at present.