SBC is asking the Borders public to help set next year’s budget

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

Scottish Borders Council has launched its public consultation on the upcoming budget, which will be set in February next year.

Between now and the end of January, the council is asking members of the public to play their part and contribute their thoughts and ideas on its spending priorities, income generation and savings.

The online consultation can be accessed via www.scotborders.gov.uk/consultations or https://scotborders.dialogue-app.com. You can also write to the Budget Team, Scottish Borders Council, Newtown St Boswells, TD6 0SA, email budgetteam@scotborders.gov.uk or use #bordersbudget on Twitter or attend November area partnsership meetings.

Councillor Shona Haslam, leader of SBC explained: “The financial pressures on the council are not abating and we continue to have to look very carefully at where we are spending our money.”

“We are committed to making the most of the opportunities that the Borders has, which means investing carefully and delivering a range of projects that support and enhance services, our towns and villages, so it is not all about cost cutting.

“However, there is no doubt that savings will be required. As far as possible we will minimise the impact on frontline services, but as the years go by and the funding we receive reduces and demand increases tough choices must be made.”

Councillor Robin Tatler, executive member for finance, added: “Every year it gets more and more difficult to set a budget that meets our aspirations as councillors and the public’s demands for the continued and enhanced delivery of services.

“It is vital that people understand that we simply cannot continue to provide all services in the same way or to the same level as before. Wherever we can we are making efficiencies behind the scenes, for example by streamlining services or improving systems to minimise administration, but these areas cannot absorb all the savings that are required.

“It is for that reason that it is vital that we get residents’ views on how frontline services could be changed, improved or delivered differently to help us save money. We want to know what services are priorities for our residents, where they could do without, or with less, or would be happy to pay a little more.

“This is your chance to play #yourpart and help us to maintain services in the long term and continue to deliver vital investment and regeneration in our towns.”