South Scotland

Scottish Borders Council examines cost cutting options

Scottish Borders Council - Undiscovered Scotland
Image caption The council is looking at what areas it is legally obliged to provide services in

Scottish Borders Council is to consider cuts to any service it is not legally required to provide as it seeks to make major savings.

The authority's finance spokesman, Neil Calvert, said it wanted to make changes now rather than wait for budget cuts.

Major reductions in resources available to the public sector are expected in the years ahead.

SBC officials have been asked to review what services must be provided by law and will report back within weeks.

The UK government recently announced plans to cut £6.2bn from spending this financial year as part of deficit reduction proposals.

The Scottish government will be expected to make savings of £332m as part of the wider UK cuts.

Back to basics

Mr Calvert said the authority preferred to examine its options now rather than wait for its resources to be reduced.

"I think some very difficult decisions are going to have to be made about whether services should be provided by the council," he said.

"All of these things are going to be looked at in the coming months."

He said it could see the role of councils start to shrink.

"We have to address this and investigate whether we should be doing some of the things we are doing and whether we have to do them," he added.

"It is really getting back to basics."

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