Investments to help all ages in Administration's draft budget

A woman and a man smile to the camera holding a document of a document

Published: Tuesday, 13th February 2018

More than £22million is proposed to be spent on the area’s roads and bridges over the next three years as part of our draft financial plan.

The Administration’s budget plans, to be considered at a meeting on Tuesday 20 February, include a five year revenue plan of £1.3bn and a ten year capital plan of £294m.

Leader, Councillor Shona Haslam

“We have developed a budget which builds on opportunities and improves the lives of Borderers, whatever their age. It focuses on delivering quality services, opportunities for all in a thriving economy, empowering communities and enabling people to live independently and achieve their goals.

“We are committed to investing in services to help the most vulnerable in society, both young and old, deliver improvements to our roads, build new schools and support businesses by stimulating the local economy and improving our town centres.

“This budget also protects teacher numbers and frontline Council services, whilst also recognising that we must modernise service delivery and make efficiencies.

“We are proposing a three per cent increase in Council Tax, which will generate around £1.6m for next year’s budget. Council Tax makes up less than a quarter of all the funding we receive, and this increase is only the second in 10 years, during which time the funds we receive from other sources has reduced and demand for services has increased.”

What does the Administration's budget include?

  • £2.1m over three years for new and improved outdoor community spaces
  • £0.282m for a community policing team to prevent low level criminal activity and deal with issues such as parking
  • £4.8m for a specialist dementia residential facility
  • Over £22m investment in roads and bridges over three years, with £79m planned investment over the next 10 years
  • £89m to improve the school estate over 10 years
  • £11.7m contribution to the £41m Hawick Flood Protection Scheme
  • £2m towards the re-opening of Reston Station
  • £0.799m to support the regeneration of Eyemouth
  • £1m to assist in delivering town centre regeneration
  • £2m for road safety works at the A72 Dirtpot Corner in 2018/19

A range of savings proposals are also included in the budget plans, ranging from reducing energy usage and staff travel to changes to working practices.

The current proposals identify that 35 full-time equivalent posts may be removed during the next year as a result of structural changes and more efficient service provision. This figure is based on average salaries.

We have been preparing for potential staff reductions by holding 65 vacancies and this, alongside a natural staff turnover level of 10 per cent, will all contribute to a managed reduction of the workforce without impacting on existing staff wherever possible.

We will continue to manage our workforce carefully, utilising natural turnover, deployment, redeployment and early retirement and voluntary severance where appropriate.

Councillor George Turnbull, Executive Member for Finance

“We continue to be faced with circumstances out with our control, including financial and demographic, which put pressure on the Council’s budget, and we take our responsibility to carefully manage our funds extremely seriously.

“We recognise that there are some key priorities for local people and that is why we are proposing significant investment in delivering specialist care and support services and new extra care housing to enable people to live independently for longer, new and improved schools to give our young people the best start in life and also better roads to connect all our communities.

“Giving local communities a say in how money is spent is important, and that is why we asked for the public’s views in the run up to preparing the draft financial plans, and why we will continue with the Localities Bid Fund and develop ways to get communities more actively involved in decisions about the spending of public money and promote easier access to community funding.”

More information

Image of Council Leader, Councillor Shona Haslam and Executive Member for Finance, Councillor George Turnbull is available on our Flickr page.

Information on increased Council Tax charges, should the proposals be approved, are set out below:

Band

2017/18 charge

Proposed increase

Proposed 2018/19 charge

A

£744.35

3%

£766.68

B

£868.40

3%

£894.46

C

£992.46

3%

£1,022.24

D

£1,116.52

3%

£1,150.02

E

£1,466.98

3%

£1,510.99

F

£1,814.35

3%

£1,868.78

G

£2,186.52

3%

£2,252.11

H

£2,735.47

3%

£2,817.54