Councils assess possible valuations merger

Scottish Borders Council and neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway Council are considering merging their assessor and electoral registration services in a bid to cut costs and avoid duplication.

The proposal to form a new public body – a Valuation Joint Board – to cover the services in both local authority areas was conveyed to Dumfries and Galloway councillors last week.

They heard that SBC had “expressed an interest” in the merger, to take effect in 2016 when the statutory 2017 revaluation of non-domestic properties has been completed.

Although the report makes no reference to the implications for the 16 Newtown St Boswells-based staff in the Scottish Borders Council set-up, in Dumfries and Galloway the amalgamation would involve the loss of two full time jobs, via voluntary redundancy, and a saving of over £100,000.

“These savings do depend on joint co-operation with Scottish Borders Council and consultation and engagement with staff,” states the report.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council told us: “All we can say is the proposal is being considered, but no decision has been made yet.”