Council approves budget
Published on Thursday 9th February 2012
Councillors have approved 2012/13 revenue and capital budget plans.
Faced with considerable funding pressures, elected members have been working closely with staff and finance officers in order to put forward a set of proposals which would continue to protect front line services and deliver value for money for Borders residents.
All the proposals were reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Council's Administration Budget Working Group.
SBC's Depute Leader (with responsibility for Finance), Councillor Neil Calvert, said: "When some councils are continuing to re-trench services and facilities, I believe we are fortunate to be able to provide additional funding in support of so many of our services which will allow us to satisfy the added demands being experienced in areas of Integrated Children's Services and health and care for older people."
Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council commented: "I am pleased that the Administration's revenue and capital budgets have been approved by Council today. We are fortunate to have been able to deliver a budget programme that protects front line services and continues to invest in schools, roads, children and economic development. We have not faced the difficult budget decisions of many other councils and that is due to the sound budget planning and preparation that takes place within SBC. I must admit to a degree of sadness that this will be Councillor Neil Calvert's last budget as the Finance Executive member of Scottish Borders Council. Neil has done a tremendous job and the content of this budget and the fact that it was approved today is a testament to the work that he has carried out on our behalf."
Councillor Alec Nicol, Depute Leader (with responsibility for Human Resources), added: "Those who work at SBC continue to play their part in delivering efficient services across the Borders. In particular I want to thank staff for accepting a total pay freeze. This co-operation is greatly assisting councillors in protecting vital services and avoiding cuts in many areas."
Highlights of the 2012/13 revenue budget plans include:
- No council tax increase for the 5th successive year
- No compulsory redundancies
- Pupil-teacher ratios in P1-3 maintained
- Additional support of £1.1m for looked after children through our Integrated Children's Services
- Additional investment of £0.4m in our road network
- Investment of £0.2m in the fabric of our school classrooms
- Policing levels protected with no reductions in SBC funding to Lothian and Borders Police
Highlights of the ten year capital plan include:
- New flood protection schemes (£4.3m over three years)
- Waste management (£4.2m over three years)
- New primary school at West Linton (£7.5m over three years)
- Duns Primary School relocation (£3.5m over three years)
- Improved sports facilities at Peebles High School (£3.9m over three years)
- Investment of £8.4m in broadband
The Council will deliver just under £4m in efficiency savings to help balance its books including reductions in its workforce through the use of:
- early retirement/voluntary severance
- reduced travel, supplies and services costs
- savings from the library and contact centre review
- the rationalisation of property and reduced staff training costs and
- £0.8m of savings in back office staffing and processes.
You can view the full council agenda and papers from the meeting today.
A round up of the proposals is outlined in the budget slides that were presented at various briefings on 31 January.