Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Assembly Hall, Kelso High School, Bowmont Street, Kelso

Contact: Fiona Henderson Tel: 01835 826502  Email:

No. Item





1.            In the absence of the Chairman, Councillor Stewart chaired the meeting.



Welcome and Introductions.



2.         The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.



Minute. pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minute of Meeting of Cheviot Area Forum held on 16 September 2015 to be noted.  (Copy attached.)



3.         There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the Meeting of the Cheviot Area Forum of 16 September 2015.



          AGREED to approve the Minute for signature by the Chairman.



Police Force of Scotland - 'J' Division Spotlight.

Update report by Police Inspector detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Cheviot area. 




4.         There was no representation from Police Scotland, although there had been a report submitted.   The report provided an update to the Cheviot Area Forum on performance, activities and issues across the Ward for the period up to 30 November 2015.  The Ward Plan Priorities for Kelso and District were highlighted as Dishonesty, Road Safety, Antisocial Behaviour and Drug Dealing and Misuse of Drugs.   The Ward Plan Priorities for Jedburgh and District were highlighted as Drug Dealing and Misuse, Road Safety, Anti-Social Behaviour and Rural Crime.  Local Officers had carried out dedicated parking patrols to both enforce legislation and discourage inconsiderate parking but continued to get complaints from Kelso Community Council and members of the public in relation to inconsiderate parking.  It was disappointing to receive these complaints and enforcement action would continue in the coming weeks.  In terms of Thefts/Crimes of Dishonesty, the Kelso area continued to be targeted by opportunist thieves and the Police were asking Residents to continue to be vigilant.  Drug offences continued to be targeted and there had been three large scale cannabis cultivations located in the Scottish Borders with significant seizures.  The Police were asking people to plan ahead when on a night out and take heed of the following advice –


·         charge your mobile, remember to take it with you and think about how you’ll get home.

·         Book a taxi from a reputable company or arrange for a family member or friend to pick you up.

·         If drinking alcohol, be sensible about how much you consume. A drunk person is a far easier target for a criminal.

·         Don’t leave drinks unattended.

·         Don’t use drugs or New Psychoactive Substances, sometimes misleadingly called ‘legal highs’. Legal doesn’t mean safe – they can contain toxic and harmful chemicals. Why risk your life?

·         Stick with friends – don’t leave nights out on your own or with strangers.

·         Take care of each other and make sure you all get home safely.

·         Stay safe on your journey home - never take isolated short cuts. Keep to busy areas and on public transport, sit where there are lots of other people. If you’re using a taxi, make sure it’s licensed.

·         Drivers should be mindful that partygoers, particularly those under the influence of alcohol can step out / stagger onto the road without warning. Slow down when in crowded areas.

  4.1      In terms of Jedburgh and District, it was reported that a number of stop/searches were carried out in September, October and November.  One individual had been charged with being concerned in the supply of controlled substances following a house search in Jedburgh in November.  In separate incidents, two other males had been charged after being found in possession of a controlled substance.  Three large-scale cannabis cultivations had been located in the Scottish Borders with significant seizures this year in properties which had been vacant.  If people suspected a property that could not be seen into or they had the blacked out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Financial Presentation Consultation

Presentation by Chief Financial Officer.


                        Financial Planning Consultation

5.         Financial Services Manager, Suzy Douglas, was in attendance to give a presentation about a consultation currently taking place on Financial Planning for the Council over the period 2016/17 to 2020/21. Copies of a leaflet about the consultation were handed out at the meeting.  Mrs Douglas highlighted the many financial challenges facing the Council and explained that the forthcoming financial year 2016/17 represented the 4th year of the original 5 year Financial Plan established in 2013/14.  Around £1.3 billion in revenue budgets would be spent between 2016/17 and 2020/21.  The Council also had a capital budget of £352m for the next ten years to invest in infrastructure.  The longer term approach to financial planning had allowed significant pressures to be managed and delivered solutions to bridge these gaps in ways which were least damaging to services. Across the first 3 years of the 5 year Financial Plan the Council was on track to deliver £15.6m in savings.  Over the period the Council could demonstrate significant performance improvements in some areas.  However due to ongoing pressures on public funding the financial challenge would be there for several years to come.  If the Council were to continue delivering services in the same way there would be a funding gap of approximately £27.8m over the next 5 year period.  To help meet the funding gap, a Corporate Transformation programme was underway with the aim of transforming the way the Council worked to become more efficient and effective.  There were 17 areas of work that had been identified as part of the programme, each being led by a member of the Council’s Corporate Management Team.  Essentially the budget was about priorities, meeting the challenges faced and spending taxpayers’ money in the most efficient and effective way possible.  To assist the process the views of the Borders public were being requested about where resources should be prioritised or whether the Council could do things differently to save money.  Mrs Douglas explained that a new way of engaging with local people had been launched in the form of a community engagement tool, known as ‘Scottish Borders Dialogue’, which could be accessed through the Council’s website.  This was a quick and easy way to submit views and ideas.  However, responses to the consultation could also be submitted by post, email, Twitter and by telephone.  All the feedback received would be put forward to the Council’s Administration Budget Working Group for consideration as part of the financial planning process.



NOTED the presentation.


Citizens Advice

Consider presentation by Iain Heard, Pension Wise Guidance Specialist.




6.         Mr Ian Heard, Pension Wise Guidance Specialist was present at the meeting to give a presentation on the Pension Wise Service which was funded by HM Treasury and delivered throughout the UK by the Citizens Advice Bureaux.  Mr Heard explained Mr Osborne had announced the Pension Freedoms in the 2014 Budget, which basically gave the majority of DC scheme holders more options when accessing their pension pots and included a promise that every individual able to take advantage of the new flexibilities would be offered free and impartial guidance, including face-to-face.  The new pension rules came into effect on 6 April 2015.  Mr Heards’ role initially was to deliver the Pension Wise Guidance sessions but had recently expanded to cover local promotion, marketing training and guidance sessions for the Roxburgh & Berwickshire, Central Borders and Peebles and more recently Dumfries and Galloway areas.  The presentation gave a brief outline of why the service had been set up, who could benefit and also what benefit they would gain, the issues covered by the Scheme and how the service could be accessed.  Mr Heard went on to explain that Pension Wise had been designed to provide Free and Impartial guidance to people who were looking at their pension situation and was not designed to replace Financial Advice but was seen as an addition to this to assist people in understanding their options in simple terms.    A defined Contribution scheme was normally operated by an Insurance Company and the level of pension was dictated by the level of pot, built up by personal, employer and tax relief contributions.  There were a number of Defined Benefit Schemes which in simpler language were final Salary Schemes and these are now rare for new employees and a lot had been amended to Career Average Earnings.  There were six options and the aim was to provide the client with a simple explanation of each to help them make a decision which suited them.  It was highlighted that it was Guidance only being offered and not advice, all clients were free to seek further Financial Advice if they so wished.  The service was aimed at those close to retirement or over 50 years who had a defined contribution pension and were close to a retirement decision.  Online guidance was available from; telephone appointments on 0300 330 1001 or at the localCitizens Advice Bureau.  



            NOTED the presentation.



Health and Social Care Partnership - Draft Strategic Plan 2016 - 19

Presentation by representative from the Health and Social Care Partnership

of 2nd draft of the Strategic Plan for consultation.  There will be the opportunity to ask any questions on the Health & Social Care Partnership Draft Strategic Plan which can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

The consultation questions and the web form can be accessed via



Councillor Scott left the meeting during consideration of the following item.


Health and Social Care Partnership

7.         With reference to paragraph 3 of the Minute of 14 May 2015,  Mrs Jeanette McDiarmid, Depute Chief Executive – People was in attendance to give a presentation on the second draft of the Health and Social Care Integration Strategic Plan which was currently out for consultation.   Copies of the Draft Strategic Plan and a shorter summary of the Plan were available for distribution at the meeting.  Mrs McDiarmid explained that the Draft Strategic Plan set out why there was a need to integrate health and social care services; how this would be done; and what was expected to be seen as a result.  The way health and social care services were delivered needed to change due to the increasing demand for services; increasing pressure on limited resources; and the desire to improve services and outcomes.  Mrs McDiarmid commented that the integration of services was potentially the biggest change in health and social care since the formation of the NHS in 1948.  It was explained that by shifting just 1% of the total spend of approximately £250m from Unplanned Inpatient Care and Institutional-Based Social Care towards Community-based NHS and Social Care and Planned Inpatient Care, resources would be used more effectively.  This would help investment in new integrated ways of working particularly in terms of early intervention, reducing avoidable hospital admissions, reducing health inequalities, supporting unpaid carers and independent living.  The presentation went on to list the Plan’s local objectives.  One of these objectives ‘to improve support for unpaid carers to keep them healthy and able to continue in their caring role’ was added as a result of responses to the last round of public engagement earlier in the year.  Following the local objectives a list of key priorities was developed for 2016/17 based on what had been learned from listening to local people, service users, carers, staff and partner organisations.  These priorities included the development of integrated accessible transport; the integration of services at a local level; coordination to provide a single point of access to local services; and work with communities to develop local solutions.  The presentation highlighted six questions as part of the current consultation and which were set out in the consultation document.  Responses to these questions could be submitted through the Scottish Borders Council website or by post.  In outlining the timescales Mrs McDiarmid advised that the public engagement period would end on 11 December with a final draft of the Strategic Plan being finalised in February 2016, although given the timing of the meeting, responses would be accepted until 31 December 2015.  Health and Social Care Integration would go live in April 2016.  The Chairman thanked Mrs McDiarmid for her attendance and presentation.



NOTED the presentation


Draft Integrated Children and Young People's Plan 2015 -2018 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Update by Depute Chief Executive – People on the Draft Integrated Children and Young People’s Plan.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:



8.         There had been circulated copies of the Draft Integrated Children and Young People’s Plan in the Scottish Borders 2015-2018 together with copies of the summary.  Mrs McDiarmid, Depute Chief Executive – People explained that there had been joint planning of Children and Young People’s Services through the Children and Young People’s Leadership Group, Membership from key agencies and partners and the Community Planning Partnership.  The presentation highlighted achievements over the past three years which included the establishment of the Integrated services to support children and young people affected by domestic abuse, the creation of 4 Early Years Centres – with key focus on wellbeing and family support and a significant reduction in exclusion rate and improvement in attendance rate.  The Vision was ‘that all children and young people in the Scottish Borders will achieve their unique potential’.  The new priorities were explained and included – Improving Health and Reducing Health inequalities, keeping children and young people safe, Improving the wellbeing and life chances for the most vulnerable children and young people and increasing participation and engagement.  The presentation went on to highlight the potential outcomes, the key tasks for the Future and the timescale for consulting on the Plan.  In relation to making it easier for parents to be involved in all parts of children and young people’s learning, and providing ways for families to learn together, it was explained that by engaging with Parents to achieve similar skills to their child enabled both parents and children to interact, whether in School or at Home.  Some concern was expressed with regards to the provision of budget specifically for additional needs required in schools.  The Chairman thanked Mrs McDiarmid for her attendance and presentation.



            NOTED the presentation.



Any Other Items which the Chairman Decides are Urgent.



            Under Section 50B(4)(b) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the Chairman was of the opinion that the item dealt with in the following paragraphs should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency, in view of the need to keep Members informed.



9.0       An update on current activity was given by Jane Davidson, Chief Executive and Sheena MacDonald, Medical Director, NHS Borders.  Mrs MacDonald reported that like many organisations the Health Service were facing challenges ahead.  There continued reviews of Clinical Services and Critical Care.  The Clinical strategy was currently out for consultation.  Work continued with regard to the Health and Social Care Integration and trying to offer different services to prevent hospital admission where possible. 


          A&E Waiting Times

9.1     In relation to A&E waiting times, Mrs MacDonald reported that the BGH were comfortably meeting their waiting time target of 95% to be seen, treated and discharged within 4 hours of arriving in the A&E Department.  It was further reported that if this target was not achieved, then the reasons for the failure were investigated fully. 



9.2     Mrs MacDonald reported that the Novovirus had arrived early and that there were adequate controls in place, to prevent further infection.  The ward in Kelso Community Hospital previously closed due to the Novovirus had re-opened.


          In-patient care for Jedburgh   

9.3     With reference to paragraph 4.5 of the Minute of 3 June 2015, Mrs MacDonald reported on the position regrading patients in Jedburgh being cared for in the Community Hospital, Hawick.  Mrs MacDonald reported that it was a small number of patients who required to be admitted to a Community Hospital in order to offer support for patients to return home as quickly as possible following a hospital admission and at present this involved 6 Jedburgh patients being admitted to Hawick Community Hospital.  Mrs MacDonald expressed disappointment that the situation had not been wholly resolved.    In response to questions Mrs MacDonald advised that the situation had been inherited and until recently there had been very few issues.  The importance of keeping GP’s engaged was acknowledged and alternative models would be explored to resolve the issues. 



NOTED the report.


Scottish Fire & Rescue Service. pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Update report detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Cheviot Area.  (Copy attached.)



Fire Service Update      

10.0            Mr Matt Acton, Station Manager explained that the purpose of the report circulated was to inform the Cheviot Area Forum on Scottish Fire and Rescue Service activity since the last meeting on 16th September 2015.  The report detailed that during the period of the report there had been 8 House Fires (Domestic premises (fire in cooker); Building Alight x 1 and Grain dryer alight x 4. Occurrences of Fire – Open 4, occurrence of Special Services 6 and 10 unwanted Fire Alarm Signals.  The report explained that within the Local Fire and Rescue Plan 2014-2017 for the Scottish Borders, 5 priorities had been identified: Reduction of Dwelling Fires; Reduction of Fire Casualties and Fatalities; Reduction of Deliberate Fire Setting (Not including Dwellings); Reduction of Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals; and the Reduction in Road Traffic Collisions.  In relation to partnership working, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Community Action Team (CAT) within the Scottish Borders core work centred on the on-going delivery of the SFRS Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV) policy.  The team continued to expand its partnership working with the Key agencies including Police Scotland, Health, Social care and Housing in order to focus on members of local communities at High Risk from fire and achieve outcomes in helping to reduce overall numbers of accidental dwelling fires.  Fire raising awareness sessions presented by the team to partner agency practitioners had been and continued to be successful in promoting HFSVs and encouraging agencies to make referrals using the SFRS CSET online booking system.


10.1            Fire preventionand protection activity over recent years had been key to reducing the number of fires, casualties and losses in Scotland thus minimising the economic and social impact of fire on communities.  The seasonal community safety calendar provided the catalyst for a number of initiatives and schemes throughout the calendar year.


10.2            Activity which was ongoing within the Cheviot Ward area included Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staffs in all local stations providing Home Fire Safety Visits all year round.  The visits provided the householder with a home visit, focussing on identifying and reducing the risks of fire in the home. Smoke detectors with a 10-year battery life were provided as part of this free service; Firesharp was an initiative for Primary 6 pupils, providing face-to-face education within local Primary schools on matters of fire risk and prevention; Fire Safety Audits provided a targeted examination of business premises and their relevant documents to ascertain how the premises were being managed regarding fire safety. The enforcement officer also engaged with members of staff to confirm their level of fire safety awareness;  Unwanted Fire Signals were being addressed by phased intervention actions which identified premises which were producing ‘false alarms’, provided guidance on how to reduce a reoccurrence, and could also invoke legislation if occurrences failed to reduce in number.  The SFRS Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for Protection of Children and Adults at Risk of Harm was implemented to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Revenue, Capital and SB Local Works. pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Consider update on the progress of the planned programme of revenue and capital works, the work undertaken by the SB Local Squad and the proposed SB Local Small Schemes for the current financial year in the Cheviot area.  (Copy attached)


Additional documents:



11.0            With reference to paragraph 10 of the Minute of 16 September 2015, there had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Neighbourhood Services on Neighbourhood Small Schemes and Quality of Life, which sought approval for the proposed new Neighbourhood Small Schemes from the Area Forum and updated the Forum on previously approved Neighbourhood and Quality of Life Schemes.  The Area Neighbourhood Manager advised that the allocated budget (£34,702) for small schemes was available through Neighbourhood Services for the Cheviot Area in 2015/16.  The report detailed those schemes which had been approved, completed and due for completing prior to 31 March 2016.  Following approval of the schemes detailed in the report, there remained a budget of £23,695 available for Neighbourhood Small Schemes.  In addition, a budget of £20,000 was available for Quality of Life schemes in the Cheviot Area Forum Area in 2015/16.  It had previously been agreed that this budget would be split equally between Kelso and District and Jedburgh and District Wards.  There remained £7,391 for Kelso and District and £9,127 for Jedburgh and District for future schemes.



(a)  AGREED the following new Neighbourhood Small Schemes for implementation :-


(i)        Install dropped kerb at Hillview, Kirk Yetholm               £   820                                             


(ii)       Erect three no. street name plates at Oakfield Court, Kelso                       £670


(iii)     Erect six street name plates in Morebatle Village                                                                                                                £1,100


(iv)     Erect two street name plates at The Square, Kelso                                                                                                             £   300


(v)       Provide five picnic benches at Town and Kirk Yetholm                                                                                                     £1,240


(vi)     Repaint existing finger post sign in Maxton Village    £   210


(vii)    Install handrail at West Myrescroft, Ancrum                £   377


(viii)   Erect notice board at Clintmains Village                       £   735


(ix)     Install bench at Clintmains Village                                 £   200


(x)       Provide four planters within Clintmains Village           £   580


(xi)     to delegate authority to the Service Director Neighbourhood Services to allocate the remaining funds for the current financial year to Neighbourhood Small Schemes, subject to consultation with and approval by all six Elected Members of the Cheviot Area Forum through e-mail.


(b)     NOTED:-


(i)        the update on previously approved Neighbourhood Small Schemes as detailed in Appendix A to the report; and


(ii)       the update on previously approved Quality of Life Schemes as detailed in Appendix B to the report.



Proposed Public Holidays 2016 pdf icon PDF 38 KB

(Copy attached.)



12.0              There had been circulated copies of the proposed public holidays for 2016 for Jedburgh and Kelso.



AGREED to determine the Public Holidays for Jedburgh and Kelso as set out in Appendix I to this Minute.



Open Questions.

Opportunity for members of the public to raise any issues not included on the agenda.




13.0     There were no issues raised.





Community Council Spotlight.

Consider updates and matters of interest to Community Councils.


(a)  Oxnam Road, Jedburgh


(b)  Skiprunningburn Flood Protection




14.0     Oxnam Road Wall, Jedburgh – With reference to paragraphs 12 of the Minute of 16 September 2015,  the Area Neighbourhood Manager reported that the recent severe weather conditions and subsequent flooding, had impacted on the availability of internal resources, therefore the resurfacing of Oxnam Road would not be carried out prior to the end of the calendar year.  The in-house contractor SBC Contracts had also reviewed the possibility of utilising approved surfacing sub-contractors, but again this had not been possible due to lack of availability.  It was noted that following consultation and due to the impact on local business and passenger transport, the preferred day for the works to be carried out was a Sunday.  Elected Members would be notified of the revised date for the resurfacing once it had been agreed with SBC Contracts.   At present it was intimated that the work would be carried out early in the new year, possibly Sunday 17th January 2016.  Officers would notify local businesses and install advanced warning signs once the new date for the resurfacing had been confirmed.



                        NOTED the report.


14.1     Skiprunning Burn, Jedburgh (Flood Protection Scheme) – With reference to paragraph 12.1 of the Minute of 16 September 2015, the Area Neighbourhood Manager advised thatSBc Contracts commenced construction works on 14th September 2015.  Works were progressing well and it was anticipated that all work, except surfacing and minor ancillary works, would be complete before Christmas 2015.  However, due to recent heavy rainfall and high water levels it was necessary to utilise the partially complete bypass culvert to control the water level and help prevent the water coming out of the bank.   As a result of this the temporary formwork which was in place was damaged and required to be removed and replaced before the remaining section of bypass culvert concrete could be poured.  This had caused a delay to the works and meant that there would be some additional work required to be undertaken in January 2016.  The flood protection measures (bypass culvert etc.) would be constructed and operational before the Christmas holiday period, with the remaining work scheduled to be completed in January 2016.  In the meantime the site staff continued to ensure that the grilles and channel were kept clear and were liaising with the council maintenance staff regarding accessing the site during out of hours.



            NOTED the report.


Date of Next Meeting - Cheviot Area Forum.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 in Jedburgh (Venue to be confirmed).


            DATE OF NEXT MEETING             

15.0     The Chairman confirmed that the next meeting of the Cheviot Area Forum was scheduled for Wednesday, 3 February 2016 in Jedburgh.



NOTED the date of the next meeting of the Cheviot Area Forum and that the venue was to be confirmed.




The meeting concluded at 8.40 p.m. 



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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