Setting the Borders 2014-15 budget

Scottish Borders Council have set their 2014-15 budget outlining how £252 million of revenue funding and £271 million of capital funding will be spent over the year.

Members of the public had the opportunity to look at the council’s budget proposals and comment on them and 109 people across the region gave their opinion on the funding areas.

Over 50 per cent proposed that the council increase the £1.165 million it plans to spend on early years and primary schools. Increased spending was also suggested in other education areas despite the council investing: £58 million in new and upgraded school buildings at Duns, Kelso, Langlee, Broomlands and Galashiels; £2.23 million in school health and safety projects; £16.46 million on school refurbishments; and £2 million on kitchen improvements.

Services for older people was another area where respondents want more money spent, as was neighbourhood services - the council propose spending £57 million on roads, bridges and street lights.

Those people who chose to comment on the budget wanted to see the council reduce its spending on community learning, development and sport, cultural services and on council legal, finance and HR services and make savings in the running costs of buildings.

Waste collection was the area of the budget most respondents wanted to see remain the same. Acknowledging the opposition there has been to removing garden waste collections from Borders towns, SBC said: “The budget does require some difficult decisions re spending priorities and the decision has been taken to remove non statutory green waste collections from those towns that receive this selective service at present, with a saving of £0.4 million per annum.”