How should SBC be spending public money?

David Parker
David Parker

Local residents are being given the chance again to have their say on how Scottish Borders Council should prioritise its budget over the next four years.

Using the online budget simulator tool at https://scotborders.budgetsimulator.com gives Borderers the challenge of balancing the books, with a budget of just over £252 million per year to be distributed across the council’s main areas, covering services such as education, social work and roads.

Taking the budget challenge is all part of the consultation process for the council administration group’s draft revenue budget for the next five years. The information provided by residents will help the council decide where more or less money will be spent.

The council needs to make savings of almost £29 million by the end of 2019/20, and council leader Councillor David Parker explained: “We are living in a difficult economic environment and at the same time, more demands are being placed on the council than ever before.

“To meet this challenge, the complex management of our finances is a year-round process and is a vital part of ensuring that the council can continue to deliver and invest in high quality public services and meet a wide range of statutory duties.

“The budget simulator is a great way for local people to engage in the consultation process on our draft budget. It is a very simple tool to use, with people able to move sliders to give us an idea about the areas where they would like the council to spend more, or less money.”

In addition to the budget simulator, people are also being asked to submit their views to the budget team on the draft proposals which are being considered at the council meeting this Thursday (December 18).

The feedback gathered will be considered as the budget process develops and will be reported to councillors with the budget papers in February.

The council is planning significant changes to the way services are delivered to make it operate more efficiently and effectively.

In February, councillors will be asked to approve a one year revenue budget and an indicative budget for four more years. The capital plan will also be put forward for agreement, based on a three-year operational plan and an outline seven-year strategic plan.

For more information visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/budget and to give your feedback by emailing budgetteam@scotborders.gov.uk