Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Victoria Hall, Selkirk

Contact: Fiona Walling  Tel: 01835826504 Email:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chairman, Councillor Edgar, welcomed everyone to the meeting of the Eildon Area Partnership and thanked Community Councillors, Partners and local organisations for their attendance.    Councillor Edgar explained that the theme for the evening’s discussion was the Council Budget.  There would be a presentation about the Budget process followed by a facilitated discussion when views on the proposed approach to the budget would be welcomed.   



Feedback from meeting on 20 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 282 KB

Copy of Minute attached.


The Minute of the meeting of the Eildon Area Partnership held on 20 September 2018 had been circulated along with a summary of the discussion on the theme ‘our place’ attached as an appendix to the Minute.   The Locality Development Co-ordinator, Gillian Jardine, summarised the feedback which highlighted priority issues including housing in the countryside, affordable housing and the importance of community hubs, entertainment and shops in town centres.



Theme: Council budget - Engagement with Communities 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Presentation followed by a facilitated discussion.



3.1       The Chairman introduced the Council’s Chief Financial Officer, David Robertson, who was in attendance to give a presentation on the preparation of the Budget and to answer questions.  He firstly gave the context to the Budget, explaining that in the 5 year plan 2013/14 to 2017/18 permanent recurrent savings of over £35 million had been delivered and a further in year savings of £8.8 million.  Easy reductions had been made and future savings would rely on greater use of technology to reduce costs and redesign of services.  The Council could not continue to deliver everything presently provided in the same way and the scope and scale of delivery may need to be reduced.  Over the next 5 years it was estimated that the Council’s projected spend would be £1.3 billion.  2019/20 would be the 2nd year of the 5 year plan first agreed in 2018/19 which required savings of £32 million over 5 years to balance the books.  The Council had planned for reductions over the longer term, invested in transformation and avoided the need for the levels of cuts seen in other authority areas.  However there were greater challenges ahead which required innovation and the delivery of an ambitious change programme. 


  3.2     Mr Robertson went on to show slides to illustrate the source of Council Revenue Funding, and to project estimated budget gap over the next 5 years.  The current incremental gap for 2019/20 was £2,557,000.  Charts disclosing the allocation of revenue by Department demonstrated that the highest proportion (43%) of spend was on Children & Young People followed by Health and Social Care (18%). In the 10 year capital spending plan the highest proportion (67%) was on Assets & Infrastructure.  There was less money available to fund public services and demand on services was growing – particularly in respect of care for older people.  The presentation referred to ways for the Council to modernise and become more efficient.  In terms of services, over the next 5 years it was planned to maximise the use of digital technology; drive out waste and inefficiency; and invest in assets and infrastructure in a planned and sustainable way. Also summarised, as part of the 5 year plan, were ways the Council proposed to promote independent achieving people; support a thriving economy with opportunities for everyone; and facilitate empowered vibrant communities. 


3.3       In response to a question about whether the Council could encourage the use of brownfield sites for development by the purchase of sites and unlocking private investment, Mr Robertson advised that although money could be borrowed effectively there was a limitation on the Councils powers of compulsory purchase. The Council would, however, be keen to attract external income to develop these sites. There was further discussion on transport issues with the request for the Council to put pressure on Scotrail for a full rail service to Stow.  The point was made about the importance of investment in roads and support of bus services in addition to the ambition to extend the railway  ...  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.”


The Chairman referred to the following Council decision in respect of the assessment panel for bids to the Localities Bid Fund (LBF):-

“ 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”.

It had been previously agreed that the Chairman of each Area Partnership would be a member of the panel.  Councillor Edgar, seconded by Councillor Aitchison, proposed that Councillor Thornton-Nicol be appointed as the second member for the Eildon area.  This was unanimously agreed.



            AGREED to appoint Councillor Thornton-Nicol to the Localities Bid Fund assessment panel.



Localities Bid Fund - Update on Current Funding Round


Ms Jardine gave an update on the Localities Bid Fund (LBF).  She explained that in the first round18 projects in the Eildon area had been awarded total funding of £33,809 .13 of those projects were up and running, four were still to start and one was unable to take up the allocation and that grant had gone back into the Eildon Fund.  The second round of LBF had been launched on 1 July 2018 with £95,802.30 available for Eildon (subsequently increased to £119k with the return of funding from one of the first round projects).  There had been a total of 28 applications, 12 of which were from Eildon.  However the Assessment Panel had agreed that there were not enough sustainable bids to go forward to the public vote in all five areas.  It was therefore proposed to request that Council revise the criteria. If this was approved the LBF would be re-launched in January 2019 with public voting to be carried out in April 2019.  All those groups who submitted applications for the second round would be notified about the revised criteria and offered support to re-apply.



Next meeting

24 January 2019 - venue to be confirmed



The next meeting of the Eildon Area Partnership was scheduled for Thursday 24 January 2019 with the theme of ‘Our Health, Care and Wellbeing’. The venue would be confirmed in due course.




Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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