Parker is upbeat on budget despite grant cut

FRONTLINE services delivered by Scottish Borders Council will continue to be protected in the next financial year.

This is according to council leader David Parker who was reacting to the news that the annual grant which the local authority receives from the Scottish Government will be £224.08million in 2012/13 – around £700,000 down on the current year.

Speaking after last week’s announcement by the Scottish finance minister John Swinney, Councillor Parker said: “It is a fair settlement and one which will allow us to freeze council tax for yet another year.

“The central government grant accounts for around 80 per cent of all council revenue spending, with the balance raised from council tax.

“As always, our budget will be finally set in early February next year, however, a number of budgetary decisions have already been taken,” commented Councillor Parker.

“We are still assessing the details of the settlement, but we are hoping to be in a position to have a full draft revenue budget by early January.

“We have been working very hard this year and, although we are not finished yet, I am not expecting that we will have any difficult or controversial decisions to make.”

Conservative councillor George Turnbull said his party’s group would be backing the council tax freeze.

“It has been a great help to many families in the Borders,” he added.