Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minute pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minute of 19 February 2020 to be approved (copy attached).



The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed Members of Selkirk Common Good Fund Sub Committee and members of the public to the Scottish Borders Council’s open on-line meeting.  The meeting was being held remotely in order to adhere to guidance on public meetings and social distancing currently in place, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


1.1       There had been circulated copies of the Minute of 19 February 2020.



APPROVED the Minute for signature by the Chairman.


1.2       With regard to paragraph 7.6 of the Minute the Chairman drew attention to a naming error, in that the place referred to was the Pant Well.  This would be corrected in the Minute.







Financial Monitoring Report for 12 months to 31 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Consider report by Executive Director Finance & Regulatory (copy attached).

Additional documents:


2.1       There had been circulated copies of a report by the Executive Director Finance & Regulatory providing the details of income and expenditure for the Selkirk Common Good Fund for the year 2019/20, including balance sheet values as at 31 March 2020 and proposed budget for 2020/21.  Treasury Business Partner, Sara Halliday, highlighted the main points of the report.   Appendix 1 to the report provided the actual income and expenditure position for 2019/20.  This showed a surplus of £41,230 for the year, which was an increase from the projected surplus figure reported at the 19 February 2020 meeting, due to the sale of a piece of land at South Common Farm.  Included in the final outturn were dividends from the Common Good Funds investment in Kames Capital amounting to £11,313 which was less than the overall 5% target and the monthly distribution profile projections provided by Kames. This was as a result of the market value dropping due to the impact of the COVID-19.  As the full economic impact of COVID-19 was not yet known the dividend budget had been reduced to reflect 2.5% compared to the target of 5%.  Ms Halliday also drew attention to the proposed property repair budget within the proposed budget for 2020/21 shown in Appendix 1.  Following advice provided from Property Services, it was proposed to increase the property repair budget by £77,125 which was mainly to allow for the planned maintenance on Smedheugh Farm £34,000 and Linglie Farm £29,000.  A list of recipients was included within the report who were in receipt of grants and donations from the Fund, the total amount being £28,037 which was over the budget of £23,000 due to an increase in the number of applications approved. An actual balance sheet was provided in Appendix 2 of the report, showing an increase in the reserves of £863,606 due to the revaluation of properties offset slightly by unrealised loss on the Kames Investment Fund.  Appendix 3 to the report showed a breakdown of the property portfolio, showing the effect of the revaluation. The value of the Kames Capital Investment Fund to 31 March 2020 was shown in Appendix 4 to the report. The fund had a 5.98% unrealised loss in market value since investment, largely due to continued volatility in investment markets.  Overall, however taking account of the income received the fund had achieved a return of –4.83% since investment in February 2018.  As a result of the COVID-19 global markets across most asset classes had seen a drop, resulting in an overall negative return for 2019/20.  Markets had however seen a bounce back during April and May which had resulted in some of the unrealised loss being negated.


2.2       In a discussion of the report, attention was drawn to a mathematical error in the revaluation figures in Appendix 3 to the report, which was issued with the agenda, although this did not affect the final balances. Ms Halliday confirmed that this would be corrected and an amended appendix circulated.  In response  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Applications for financial assistance pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Copies of applications attached as follows:-

Additional documents:



All three elected Members of the Sub-Committee declared an interest in the funding application considered in 3.1 below, in terms of Section 5 of the Councillors Code of Conduct. With reference to paragraph 3 of the Minute of Scottish Borders Council of 30 January 2020, it was noted that, as the Sub Committee would otherwise be inquorate, the Members could consider the application but that their decision would be in the form of a recommendation to Council, where the application would be finally determined.


3.1       Selkirk Common Riding Trust

There had been circulated copies of an application on behalf of Selkirk Common Riding Trust for financial assistance towards the cost of a new platform system at the Victoria Hall.  In the application it was explained that the platform would accommodate the annual ceremony of “Bussin” the Royal Burgh Flag on Common Riding Morning.  The new system would, in the long term, save the Common Riding Trustees a considerable amount of money and serve to perpetuate the Common Riding tradition.  In a discussion of the application a question was asked as to where the platform would be stored.  After further consideration, Members agreed to recommend that the full amount requested of £2,250 be granted, subject to the arrangements and cost of storage being the responsibility of the Trust. 



*          AGREED to RECOMMEND to COUNCIL approval of a grant of £2,250 to Selkirk Common Riding Trust, towards the cost of a new platform system at the Victoria Hall subject to the following:-


(a)        that the arrangements and cost of storage of the platform be the responsibility of the Trust; and


(b)       the work associated with the construction of the platform be carried out in accordance with current guidelines relating to the Covid-19 restrictions.


3.2       Ettrick Forest Bowling Club

There had been circulated copies of an application for financial assistance on behalf of Ettrick Forest Bowling Club.  The application was for £2,540.00 to replace an existing wooden fence, which was rotting, and to replace an ageing hedge with a new fence, thereby enhancing the club’s boundary and surroundings.  Whilst Members did note from the application papers that the club had a positive bank balance they also recognised that in the current exceptional circumstances the club would not be receiving any income.  Members agreed to grant the full amount requested.



AGREED to grant funding of £2,540 to Ettrick Forest Bowling Club for the replacement of an existing fence and an ageing hedge, subject to the work being carried out in accordance with current guidelines relating to the Covid-19 restrictions.


3.3       Selkirk Musical Theatre Company

There had been circulated copies of an application for financial assistance on behalf of Selkirk Musical Theatre Company.  The application was for £1,500 to part offset the cost of hiring rehearsal and performance space in preparation for a production in February 2021.  A total of £2,000 had so far been raised by the organisation’s own efforts.  However, the application referred to the situation in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.



Verbal update from Estates Surveyor


The Estates Surveyor, Tricia Hill, was joined at the meeting by Frank Scott who had taken over from Tom Holmes as Property Officer for Selkirk Common Good.  With reference to paragraph 7.3 and 7.8 of the Minute of 19 February 2020, Mr Scott gave the following update:


4.1       Green Shed

A quote of £3,500 had been received to carry out the required work on the roof and gutters of the Green Shed, which was well within the maximum £6,000 approved by Councillors at the last meeting. The implementation of this work had therefore been instructed.  Mr Scott had also been in touch with a locksmith and the locks on both doors would be changed within the next week.  It was noted that Mr Combe would need a set of keys for access by Scott’s Selkirk but the others should be held by the Council and a record kept of any that are handed out.





4.2       Victoria Hall

Mr Scott explained that he and the previous Property Officer had met with a builder to discuss carrying out an assessment of the external condition of the Victoria Hall.  Mr Scott recommended that a cherry picker be hired for a week to enable a full assessment to be made.  This was likely to cost between £2-3k.  The Estates Surveyor confirmed that a sum of £12k had been included in the 2020/21 budget for inspection and remedial works relating to the hall.



AGREED to allocate a cost of up to £3k for an assessment of the external condition of the Victoria Hall.


4.3       Smedheugh Farm

            Mr Scott advised that he and Ms Hill had visited Smedheugh Farm and had been concerned at the extent of building repairs which were required.   In particular Mr Scott showed a photograph of a lintel within a traditional building which was rotten and in need of urgent repair. Members were shocked to see the condition of this structure and expressed disappointment that this had not been previously brought to their attention.  They agreed this work be carried out as a matter of urgency.



AGREED to approve up to £5k for emergency repair of lintel at Smedheugh Farm


4.4      Farms

In a general discussion about the farms, Members expressed concern that they were not aware of the state of repair of some of the buildings.  They referred to regular inspections of properties owned by the Common Good which used to be carried out by Members and asked that these be resumed. Officers confirmed that this could be arranged.  Ms Hill added that Property Services had been preparing a 5 year repair plan for all 3 farms and that this would be brought to the next meeting.  As advised in the financial report above, Ms Halliday confirmed that the property repair budget for 2020/21 had been increased to cover planned maintenance of the farm properties.  Ms Hill also referred to the recent Farm Amnesty on Tenant’s Improvements agreed for South Common Farm, which was brought to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Draft Revised Application Form for Funding pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Consider draft revised application form for grants from Common Good Funds (copy attached).


There had been circulated copies of a draft revised application form, for funding from all the Council’s Common Good Funds, which had been re-designed to a format similar to the form used for applications to the Community Fund.  The draft form was being presented to all Common Good Fund Sub Committees for comment.  Councillor Thornton-Nicol referred to the order of the questions, commenting that ‘What does your organisation do and who does it support?’ should be the first question asked on the form.  She also corrected a point of terminology.  There was a further query raised by the Chairman regarding the description of the Royal Burgh which would be checked. 



APPROVED the revised application form for funding from the Council’s Common Good Funds subject to the above amendments.



Items likely to be taken in private

“That under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant Paragraphs  of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the aforementioned Act.”



AGREED under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration of the business detailed in the Appendix to this Minute on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 6 and 8 of Part I of Schedule 7A to the Act.






Consider matter in relation to rented properties in the Market Place.


Members considered a matter relating to rental payments for properties in the Market Place.



Urgent Item: Smedheugh Farm Electrical Works

Consider report by Service Director Assets and Infrastructure (copy attached).


Members considered an urgent report by the Service Director Assets and Infrastructure relating to electrical works at Smedheugh Farm and a further urgent matter relating to property.




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