South Scotland

Scottish Borders Council's administration outlines budget goals

SBC Image copyright Oliver Dixon

The administration of Scottish Borders Council has outlined draft budget proposals which will see council tax frozen for the eighth successive year.

The £252m programme feeds into its five-year revenue and 10-year capital spending plans.

It includes replacements for Langlee Primary and Broomlands Primary in Kelso and an overhaul of Galashiels schools.

However, 55 jobs will also be lost. The council says there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Other plans include flood prevention work in Selkirk and Jedburgh with plans also in place for Hawick.

The authority aims to transfer social care and cultural services such as museums and libraries to arm's length companies and trusts as it tries to meet a savings target of nearly £30m by 2020.

'Key driver'

Council leader David Parker said: "The key driver for us has absolutely been to make sure that we use our capital programme to drive investment.

"Over the next 10 years we are spending about £80m delivering new schools and about £20m refurbishing schools.

"£150m is being spent on our roads, street lighting, bridge and flooding infrastructure."

Council leaders also paid tribute to their staff's contribution to meeting budget reduction targets.

They said two deals forgoing any pay rises had saved £8m since 2010 - avoiding further job cuts.

They believe that commitment has spared the authority some of the difficult decisions now faced by others across Scotland.

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