Council’s year end budget balances

At the end of the 2013-14 financial year Scottish Borders Council had a balance reserve of £6.31 million that had not been earmarked.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th June 2014, 5:00 pm

The council’s revenue account achieved an underspend of £451,000 and the capital account came in at £2.325 million under budget.

At last week’s executive meeting councillors agreed that the revenue underspend of £451,000 be transferred to reserves and be ring fenced for business transformation (£101,000), winter maintenance (£135,000), children’s services (£115,000). As far as the capital unspend of £2.325 million is concerned, councillors were told that it meant that borrowing on capital projects could be reduced.

During the year the council delivered the first year of the new Council Tax reduction scheme, Scottish Welfare Fund and the expansion of the Discretionary Housing Payments drive by the UK welfare reforms and saved money through not filling posts, the mild winter reducing heating bills, and increased income from industrial premises.

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The education department came under pressure from increased long-term supply teacher costs to cover absences in schools and there were increased demands on the social work department’s children’s and homecare services.

Councillors were told: “Very significant pressures were experienced during the financial year (£1.3 million attributed to children’s out of area placements and transport). Within social care and health £2.7 million of pressures above budget were experienced due to a variety of factors with homecare, complex learning and physical disability car and residential care.”

A mild winter helped environment services achieve an underspend of £115,000.