Poor roads and litter are our main gripes

BORDERERS have given the area an overwhelming thumbs up in a recent survey on life in the region, but they would like to see the roads improved and in Berwickshire litter is perceived as a problem.

A survey commissioned by Scottish Borders Council was sent out to 10,000 residents and nearly 40 per cent were returned. They were asked for their views on life in the Borders; customer contact with Scottish Borders Council; information about the council and its services; community safety; internet and broadband access; digital switchover; and local decision making.

Armed with the results the council's aim is to look at how services can be improved or developed - 65 per cent of people rated Scottish Borders Council as good, four per cent rated it as excellent and 19 per cent rated it as poor.

Survey results show that 96 per cent of residents are proud to live in the Scottish Borders, 90 per cent are satisfied with their neighbourhood and 59 per cent feel their neighbourhood has stayed the same over the last three years, 22 per cent feel it has got worse and eight per cent say it has got better.

A report of the findings states: "It is apparent that residents hold extremely positive views about living in the Scottish Borders, this is mirrored by the fact that over three quarters of the sample have lived in the Scottish Borders for over ten years."

Generally speaking people are satisfied with the council's services, from contacting the council to waste collection and gritting and snow clearing.

Community safety is not a major concern, with 96 per cent of people feeling safe in their home at night - a figure that has remained constant since the last survey two years ago. And while there are relatively few incidences of antisocial behaviour when there are Borderers are not afraid to come forward and report it.

Residents are embracing modern technology and two thirds of respondents had internet, and 84 per cent of those with internet access now have broadband, an increase of 13 per cent over a two year period.

Provision of recreational areas for teenagers needs addressed, with only a fifth satisfied with the current arrangements, and as every community council will be aware, complaints about dog fouling continue, with 65 per cent of people saying it is common in their area, although in Berwickshire the percentage is slightly less than that at 61 per cent.

For Berwickshire residents the main areas of complaint are: the condition of the roads; litter; recycling and waste collection needs improved; they say they don't receive many services from SBC; there is no NHS dentist in the area; dog fouling; and speeding.

Other services in the region that were surveyed: GP/health centres (86 per cent are satisfied); police (84 per cent are satisfied; dentist (83 per cent satisfaction); local housing associations (78 per cent)' and Scottish Enterprise Borders (71 per cent).