Council’s budget has been cut by £13m in five years

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam
Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam

Latest figures reveal that over the past five years Scottish Borders Council’s budget has been cut by £13 million.

The Local Government Finance paper produced by Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre shows the Scottish Government’s budget fell by 1.8% at the same time the council’s budget fell by 6% - £135 for every Borders resident.

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam said: “These figures really demonstrate the challenges we face in the Borders.

“The council is being asked to do much more, with much less money to spend. We are having to make some tough decisions.”

Aiming a blow at SNP councillors Ms Haslam went on: “We didn’t hear a peep out of the SNP when they ran the council about these cuts.

“Instead of criticising the current administration, they should tell Borderers why they stayed quiet when their budget was being slashed by their own party in Holyrood.

“I’m determined to protect frontline services in the Borders. That is why we are prioritising the things that really matter to Borderers, like investing in our young people, bringing back community policing and fixing our roads.”

Borders MP John Lamont added: “Councillors are being given an almost impossible task with pressures on services going up, while their budget is being slashed.

“I’m pleased that SBC has been able to find funding for the things people come to me to complain about – like potholes and anti-social behaviour.”