Published: Thursday, 28th February 2019
A wide range of significant investments will be delivered and frontline services protected following the agreement of Scottish Borders Council’s five year revenue budget and 10 year capital plan
The Conservative/Independent Administration’s draft financial plans were approved by 17 votes to 15, with the SNP/Liberal Democrat opposition also putting forward full budget proposals.
Funds for key priorities in your local area
A consolidated Community Fund of over £1.2m will be created and devolved to Area Partnerships, which will enable local communities to decide how this money is spent in their area to address key priorities.
Shona Haslam, Council Leader
“In the face of reduced funding this Council has been able to agree a budget today that will see over £386million invested in capital projects and programmes across the region over the next 10 years, including new schools, extra care housing, new and improved visitor attractions and town centre regeneration.
“Over £1.4billion will be spent over the next five years delivering key services, including for 2019/20 no change to the frequency of waste and recycling collection, no change to public toilets, no reduction in maintenance of cemeteries and no significant change to bus services.
“We’ll also introduce a second police Community Action Team, following the success of the current team of a sergeant and six officers in tackling key local issues, instructed by the Council and Elected Members.
“I am especially proud of our huge investment in education, to deliver new primary schools in Eyemouth and Earlston and replacement secondary schools in Galashiels and Hawick, and rollout the Inspire Learning programme to every school, supporting our children and young people and give them the best prospects for their future.”
Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Depute Leader
“This budget not only delivers major projects but also supports our communities to have a greater say in how money is spent, provides them with the support they need so they can play their part, and gives them the opportunity to get involved in key discussions on the future of services, such as public transport and public toilets.”
Councillor Robin Tatler, Executive Member for Finance
“The Council agreed in December that council tax would increase by three per cent in 2019/20, at the time the maximum the Scottish Government would allow.
“We’ve taken the hard decision to increase it by a further one per cent, which is still lower than the maximum increase of 4.79% now allowed, and we have clearly identified what this extra money will be used for. It will enable us to provide an extra £2.3m over four years towards our road network and also bring forward the replacement of Hawick High School.
“As the other funding we receive continues to reduce, it is unfortunately inevitable that council tax has to increase to make up some of the shortfall, but it still makes up less than a quarter of all our funding, and therefore we have to make the very best use of it.”