South Scotland

Scottish Borders Council agrees 4.8% tax rise

Scottish Borders Council Image copyright Ian S
Image caption Councillors agreed to a 4.8% tax rise in the Borders

Scottish Borders Council has approved a 4.8% tax rise after saying it had "no credible alternative".

The local authority made the announcement as part of spending plans for the year ahead.

Both the Conservative-Independent administration and SNP-Lib Dem opposition had tabled plans for the 4.8% rise.

The ruling group said the extra cash was needed for investment in new schools and care facilities.

The proposals will see the council tax bill for a band D property rise by about £57-a-year.

Scottish Borders council tax changes

Band2019/20 charge2020/21 chargeIncrease
A£797.35£835.94£38.59
B£930.24£975.26£45.02
C£1,063.13£1,114.59£51.46
D£1,196.02£1,253.91£57.89
E£1,571.44£1,647.50£76.06
F£1,943.53£2,037.60£94.07
G£2,342.21£2,455.57£113.36
H£2,930.25£3,072.08£141.83
Source: Scottish Borders Council

The spending plans - available on the council website - also include investment in Peebles High School and community campuses to replace Galashiels Academy and Hawick High School.

They will also contribute to two new 60-bed care homes for Hawick and the central Borders.

Image copyright Billy McCrorie
Image caption Councillors in Dumfries and Galloway will set their tax level on Thursday

The group said it had listened to nearly 1,000 responses it received during a public consultation exercise.

Proposals from the opposition parties - also published online - included similar plans for school and care spending.

Among their other options were the reinstatement of librarians in all high schools and the renewal of CCTV systems in priority towns.

Dumfries and Galloway council tax proposed changes

Band2019/20 charge2020/21 chargeIncrease
A£777.46£815.09£37.63
B£907.04£950.93£43.89
C£1,036.61£1,086.78£50.17
D£1,166.19£1,222.63£56.44
E£1,532.24£1,606.40£74.16
F£1,895.06£1,986.77£91.71
G£2,283.79£2,394.32£110.53
H£2,857.17£2,995.44£138.27
Source: Dumfries and Galloway Council

Councillors in neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway will meet to discuss their budget plans on Thursday.

The Labour-SNP administration is also proposing an increase of 4.8% to council tax bills in the region - £56-a-year for a band D property.

It said members of the public had indicated they were willing to pay more to protect local services, in particular schools and teacher numbers.

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