As mentioned in recent Courier articles, the problem of anti-social behaviour in the areas around Preston Tower has been a concern of local residents for some time, and has recently been exacerbated by the presence of the scaffolding surrounding the tower.

With no date for its removal, and despite calls to the police and meetings with Prestonpans Community Council and local council officials and others, residents feel that their concerns have fallen on deaf ears.

We have been told that some of the culprits are ‘known’ to the authorities – why no action? We have been advised that mobile CCTV vans are being used – why is there no permanent CCTV at the crossroads at the top of West Loan? The owners of one of the properties at this crossroads have applied for planning permission to have their ground-level windows bricked up because of repeated hammering on the windows and damage.

The continuing lack of access to the through pathway next to the tower has severely impacted the route taken by pupils attending the local primary school and also Preston Lodge High School, forcing pupils to walk along the very narrow pavement approaching the crossroads – surely this should have been anticipated?

As a quiet oasis of peace and tranquillity, the gardens have been enjoyed by both locals and visitors since their opening some decades ago.

In general, there has been little meaningful communication with local people about the current tower gardens project, either before it was started or subsequently. I am unaware of any consultation with those living around the area on the recent additions to the gardens – the pathway down to the doo’cot, the inclusion of information panels scattered around the site, or a ‘contemplation circle’.

The organic nature of the surroundings already provided a contemplative space accompanied by the sounds of nature, without the need for direction by boards or pathways.

Is there any reliable information on when the gardens will be accessible again? It is virtually impossible to find answers to questions, minutes of meetings, the tendering processes for work, etc.

Given there are potentially major publicly funded projects in the pipeline at the old power station site and Prestongrange Museum, residents have the right to expect that such undertakings are fully scrutinised and that all decisions are transparent and accountable.

Dougie Mathieson