South Scotland

Scottish Borders schools backpacker proposal dismissed

Image caption The council leader said plans to open up schools to backpackers would make no money for the authority

A Borders councillor's proposal to hire out some of the region's schools to backpackers over the summer months has been dismissed by the council leader.

Hawick member David Paterson said the scheme should be considered as a revenue-raising exercise.

He said it might help the authority to keep council tax levels lower.

However, leader David Parker said the costs of implementing the proposal would leave the council no profit whatsoever from such a scheme.

Mr Paterson said he felt the suggestion was worth exploring in times of a squeeze on public spending.

"I just thought that it would be an idea if we could maybe get some extra revenue for the council in these hard times to possibly bring the council tax down a bit," he said.

"There are some schools that obviously won't suit to do that sort of thing and I wasn't proposing it for some of the schools.

"But some schools I do think could be suitable for backpackers."

Mr Parker said there were a number of reasons why the proposal should not be pursued any further.

He said the costs of opening a school, supervising the people in it, providing facilities and insurance made it a "very significantly expensive thing to do".

"The authority would make no money from it," he said.

"Actually I don't think it would be a benefit to the authority and it would take trade away from local bed and breakfasts, guest houses and hotels."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites