Communities invited to get involved in future of public land and buildings

Paper chain of figures in a circle on a flat surface

Published: Tuesday, 21st February 2017

The Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership is holding a series of community events to discuss its local property plans, with public toilets included on the agenda.

The nine engagement events – entitled ‘Your Buildings, Your Community, Your Future’ – aim to give people their say on priorities for local publicly owned land and buildings and how they could be used more efficiently and effectively, before the property plans have been drafted.

What does it include?

Publicly owned land and buildings include

  • civic buildings and offices,
  • contact centres
  • libraries
  • community centres and other meeting spaces
  • commercial properties
  • vacant properties
  • parks and open spaces.

The future provision of public toilets will be part of the discussions, and we are keen to speak to community groups about potential partnership arrangements such as comfort schemes.

The sessions will take place from 7pm to 8.30pm each night.

‘Your Buildings, Your Community, Your Future’ timetable

•        Newcastleton Village Hall (Wednesday 22 February)

•        Eyemouth, Hippodrome (Monday 27 February)

•        Duns, Council Chamber (Tuesday 28 February)

•        Hawick Town Hall (Wednesday 1 March)

•        Kelso, Tait Hall (Tuesday 7 March)

•        Peebles, Burgh Hall (Wednesday 8 March)

•        Selkirk, Victoria Halls (Thursday 9 March)

•        Jedburgh Town Hall (Monday 13 March)

•        Galashiels Transport Interchange (Thursday 16 March)

Councillor Jim Brown, Chairman of the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership Strategic Board

“Public organisations in the Borders face some big challenges and major opportunities in the coming years.

“The landscape in which we operate has changed dramatically over the past decade and the pace of change – driven by technology, the squeeze on public sector finance and changes in both the size and age profile of the population – continues to grow. 

“We constantly need to rethink and reprioritise what we provide and find better ways of doing things so that essential services are maintained and improved, as well as make some difficult decisions.

“Organisations like the Council will not be able to continue to maintain the large number of buildings it has and we will need to look at which properties we should keep – and invest in – and which ones we no longer require and look at options for these.

“Topics will include legislation, the opportunities and challenges facing public bodies and communities in the coming years and a look at the types of land and property we have and what the future could hold for them.”

Community Empowerment Act

The community events are in line with the new Community Empowerment Act, with the Asset Transfer section of the Act which went live last month allowing community groups who meet certain criteria to request to buy, lease or use any estates, land or buildings owned by us, NHS Borders or Police Scotland.

Who is the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership?

We are part of the CPP alongside NHS Borders, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and Scottish Enterprise among other organisations.

Further information on the Community Empowerment Act is available.

The property plans community engagement events are being run in conjunction with Our Place afternoon drop-in workshops in the same venues.