Concerns have been raised by members of the Cockenzie and Port Seton community after flower beds were removed from the village.

East Lothian Council confirmed to the Courier that the decision to remove the beds was down to “limited resources at an extremely challenging time”, with only three gardeners to look after “160 beds”.

The most notable removal in the village was that of the outer layer of flower beds at the Memorial Garden off Avenue Road, which has been historically adorned with two layers of beds around the war memorial.

READ MORE: Letter of the week: Grassing over flower bed 'an act of vandalism'

However, concerns have been raised that these have been removed without community consultation, leaving one of the village’s most attractive locations without its much-loved row of flowers.

Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council shared its disappointment at the decision and hoped it could start a dialogue with the local authority.

A community council spokesperson said: “Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council became aware that flower beds in the village, including the Memorial Garden, had been turfed over after the fact and have since been in written exchange with East Lothian Council representatives.

“Whilst recognising the financial difficulties being experienced by all areas of the local authority, we were disappointed and surprised that this work was undertaken without any prior consultation – especially considering recent communications regarding the planting of flower beds ahead of the Remembrance parade.

“The community council will be discussing this further at our meeting on December 5 and hope to find a mutually agreeable way forward to protect the flower beds within our village.”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “We know that residents and visitors greatly appreciate landscaped areas and floral displays in the local area. We are grateful to everyone, including our staff and volunteers, who work so hard to ensure the community looks its best.

“As we have three gardeners with around 160 beds to maintain in the area they are responsible for, we have been looking at new options for how to best deploy limited resources at an extremely challenging time. There are a number of pressures on services which we are doing our best to manage.

“While the inner flowerbeds at the war memorial have been retained, grass has been laid at the location of the previous outer beds. Polyanthus have been planted at the war memorial for spring colour and these will stay as annual bedding.

“The bed at Fishers Road became obscured by the large utility box that was installed. The plan is to have bulbs planted and, where possible, wildflowers. Our expectation is that the benefits of this will become visible in the fullness of time. We also believe that this will lead to an improvement during future winters, as the weed growth associated with empty flowerbeds will be less apparent. We are very pleased to receive community feedback on this and are happy to engage with local groups to discuss ways of ensuring these areas continue to look fantastic for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”