Three priorities agreed for best use of public money

Derek Mackay MSP is joined by community planning partners
Derek Mackay MSP is joined by community planning partners

An agreement on what public money in the region should be spent on has been formally signed by the Borders partners and the Scottish Government.

Scottish Borders Council, its community partners and the Scottish Government came together last week to agree on how local and national priorities should be targeted. Known as the Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) it was signed by Minister for Local Government Derek Mackay when he visited council headquarters in Newtown St Boswells.

The agreement focuses on key areas of improvement for the Borders and highlights those areas where partnership effort is required. As well as SBC the partnership includes: NHS Borders, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire Service, Scottish Enterprise, SEStran (South East Transport Partnership), Borders College, Eildon Housing, Berwickshire Housing Association, Waverley Housing Association, Scottish Borders Housing Association and The Bridge (representing the voluntary sector.

Councillor David Parker, leader of SBC said: “After considering a large body of evidence, the Community Planning Strategic Board has focused the Borders SOA around three key priorities - growing our economy, reducing inequalities and maximising the impact of the low carbon agenda.

“A more focused approach will be vital if the gap between our most and our least deprived areas is to be reduced and outcomes improved for all our Borders communities.

“We were pleased to welcome the Minister for Local Government to the Borders today and took the opportunity to show him some of the very positive work that’s been going on around Welfare Reform and the Domestic Abuse Pathway Project.”

The multi-agency Pathway Project supports the victims and children of domestic abuse. £1.23 million was secured by the Safer Communities Team at SBC - from the Scottish Government, BIG Lottery Fund and key partners and the project won a Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) Excellence Award in the Service Innovation and Improvement category in March this year.

Derek Mackay, Minister for Local Government and Planning said: “It is encouraging to see and hear about the council and its partners working together to improve people’s lives and taking a preventative approach to that.

“The Single Outcome Agreement provides a strong vision and plan for partnership working across the Scottish Borders.”