Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Burgh Hall, High Street, Peebles

Contact: Louise McGeoch Tel: 01835 825005  Email:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the fifth meeting of the Tweeddale Area Partnership and outlined the programme for the evening.


Feedback from Meeting on 5 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Copy Minute from meeting on 5 September 2018. (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:


The Minute of the meeting of the Tweeddale Area Partnership held on 5 September 2018 had been circulated along with a summary of the discussion.  With reference to paragraph 5.1 it was noted that the 12 week consultation on the Main Issues Report had now commenced and there were events in the Burgh hall on 26 November and the Village Centre, West Linton on 28 November.  The Chairman highlighted the main points which had been raised at the previous meeting.


Theme: Council budget - Engagement with Communities 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 752 KB

Presentation by Chief Financial Officer followed by a facilitated discussion.

Additional documents:


3.1       The Chairman welcomed David Robertson, Chief Financial Officer and Suzi Douglas, Financial Services Manager who gave a presentation on the Scottish Borders Council Budget for 2019/2024.  The 5 year plan 2013/14 to 2017/18 had delivered permanent recurrent savings of over £35m and further in year savings of £8.8m.  The existing planned savings in 2019/20 included contract efficiencies, energy efficiency measures, procurement savings and service reviews eg day services, waste and teacher allocations.  The easy reductions had already been made and future savings would rely on greater use of technology to reduce costs and redesign services.  The Council could not continue to deliver everything they did now in the same way and might need to reduce the scope and scale of service delivery.  2019/20 was the 2nd year of the 5 year plan agreed in 2018/19 which required savings of £32m.  The Council had planned for reductions over the longer term, invested in transformation, and avoided the need for the levels of cuts seen elsewhere but there was lots still to do with greater challenges ahead.  The council had to remain financially sustainable and over the next 5 years it was estimated that £32m would need to be saved from the projected spend of £1.3 billion.  Meeting this challenge required forward thinking, innovative and focus on delivering an ambitious change programme.  There were a number of challenges facing the Council.  There was less money to fund public services and income was not keeping pace with real increases in prices and meanwhile demands on services were growing – e.g. increasing numbers of older people.  The infrastructure of the region required significant investment.  There were still significant pockets of deprivation across the region and hidden poverty in communities and the Council needed to increase opportunity and reduce inequality for all in the Borders.  Mr Robertson outlined where the Council’s funding came from and how it was allocated across Council services in terms of both capital and revenue.  In order to modernise the Council needed to make significant savings in what the Council bought, invest in new digital technology to reduce costs, ensure that assets were used as efficiently as possible, ensure that the Council had a capable, motivated workforce that adopted new ways of working and that was flexible enough to deliver savings when and where they were required 7 days a week, 365 days a year, invest in  prevention strategies, grow the economy of the Borders and support all people to live well.  Over the next five year the Council planned to implement the following:-

                 Design and deliver as many Council services online as possible to maximise the use of digital technology

                 Build the digital skills of Borders communities and staff

                 Develop customer advice and support

                 Drive out waste and inefficiency, cut red tape and provide better value for money

                 Explore different models of service delivery

                 Reduce the amount of property the Council owned and operated

                 Invest in the roads infrastructure in a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Localities Bid Fund Assessment Panel

Consider the following decision by Council:-


that membership of the assessment panel be proposed by each Area Partnership, up to a maximum of 2 members per locality, with a view to improving gender balance.”


In response to the decision by Council to appoint additional Members to serve on the Assessment Panel, Councillor Tatler, seconded by Councillor Haslam, moved that Councillor Anderson be appointed and this was approved.



Localities Bid Fund - Update on Current Funding Round


Ms. Shona Smith, SBC Communities and Partnership Manager, advised that following the first round of the fund 15 projects costing £206,000 had been successful.  1 Bid was subsequently withdrawn as the project could not go ahead.  The second round had been launched with amended criteria.  However, there were insufficient bids to allow a public vote so a report would be considered by Council on 29 November 2018.  The Assessment Panel were to meet to look at new criteria with a planned re-launch in January 2019 followed by voting in April.  All 29 applicants would be advised and would be given the opportunity to re-submit their application.


Open Forum

Opportunity to raise local matters.


No Items were raised.


Other Business


7.1       Centenary Fields

            The Neighbourhood Area Manager explained the aims of the Centenary Fields initiative to commemorate World War 1 and advised that 3 sites in the Borders were being recommended for nomination as a Centenary Field and this included Lower Green, West Linton.  Centenary Fields (CF) was a partnership programme led by Fields in Trust and the Royal British Legion to commemorate World War 1 through protecting green spaces.  It was launched by HRH The Earl of Strathearn in 2014 to mark the centenary of World War 1 and would close in 2018.  CF aimed to protect at least one site (containing WW1 war memorial(s), and used for active recreation/sport/play) in each local authority area across the UK which met specific criteria relating to ownership, accessibility, land use, management and wartime heritage.  This was aimed at a creating a long-lasting legacy of WW1, protecting and promoting green space for recreation, increasing physical activity, promoting social cohesion and improving the environment.  Upon a successful application to Fields in Trust for Centenary Field status, sites were subject to a Minute of Agreement, similar to those currently in place on all King George V Playing Fields.  This safeguarded the sites for recreational use as protected green space.  Upon designation, a commemorative plaque (supplied by CF) was installed.  The site name would not change and there were no funds associated with CF status.  Designation as a Centenary Field would not only protect the historic and conservation value of these sites, but would also strengthen the case to attract external funding.  The management of these sites would be retained by the local authority.  This proposal had been approved by the Council’s Executive Committee yesterday subject to consultation with the Area Partnership.  Councillor Anderson advised that this was supported by the local Community.  Mr Hedley undertook to report back on the outcome of the application.


7.2       Small Schemes

            The Neighbourhood Area Manager proposed the following schemes:-




Estimated cost



To Install pedestrian bollards on the north side of the High Street


Small Scheme

West Linton

Purchase and installation of WW1 Commemorative Seat


Quality of Life

West Linton

Reconstruction of wall and creation of footway @ junction of A702 & B7059


Small Scheme


            The Members present agreed to approve the Schemes listed above.



Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 – venue to be confirmed.


The next meeting of the Tweeddale Area Partnership was scheduled for Wednesday, 16 January 2019 (Note: subsequently changed to 6 February 2019).  The venue would be in Innerleithen.  The Chairman thanked everyone for attending.



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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