Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Draft 5 Year Revenue and 10 Year Capital Financial Plans


9.1    There had been detailed on the agenda Motions by both the Administration and the Opposition Groups and supporting papers had been circulated relating to each. 


9.2    Councillor Haslam, seconded by Councillor Tatler, moved:-


“The Conservative/Independent Alliance Administration recommend approval of the 5 year revenue budget and 10 year capital plan set out in document 12(a) and in doing so ask the Council to note:


Despite being faced with significant financial challenges as a result of reductions in funding from the Scottish Government, this Administration is presenting a really exciting budget for the Borders, packed with huge investment plans at a truly vital time for our economy.   


          Millions of pounds will be invested in new and improved schools as part of our 10 year capital plan, £16m being provided for a new of Eyemouth Primary School, £9m for a new Earlston Primary School, and funding for a new Galashiels Academy.

The Conservative and Independent Administration has taken the difficult decision to raise council tax to 4% next year.  This will provide match funding for a new Hawick High school and provide an extra £2.3m investment in our roads and pavements over the next 4 years.

          This administration also plans to transform Education in the Borders with a £16 million investment over a ten year period in a new ‘Inspire Learning’ programme across all primary and secondary schools in order to make sure children learn in the best possible environments with the latest technology at their fingertips.   This will include iPads being provided to all P6-S6 pupils, and at a ratio of one per every five P1-P5 pupils from 2019/20. The rollout will completed within just two years.

          This Administration is committed to protecting the most vulnerable individuals, families and communities of the Borders. An additional £3million will be invested in new extra care housing for projects in Hawick, Kelso, Eyemouth and Peebles in addition to those already committed to at Todlaw, Duns and Langhaugh, Galashiels.

             We aim to make the Borders one of the best areas in Scotland to live, work and visit, and this proposal, alongside our other investment plans confirms our commitment to that.”

As part of these budget proposals:

·                Frontline services such as waste and recycling collections will remain unchanged.

·                There will be no change to public toilet provision in 2019/20.

·                A second Community Action Team (CAT) for the Borders will be permanently funded.

·                A new recycling awareness campaign will be funded to encourage people to recycle properly in order to reduce landfill tax costs and pollution.

·                More money than ever before will be available for communities to allocate as they see fit through a new £1.167m consolidated Community Fund. This will make it easier than ever before for communities to access funding and to have a say in how it is used in their area. 

·                An extra £2.3m will also be spent on roads and pavements with £86m investment for road/transport infrastructure over 10 years being planned.

·                We will continue to invest in outdoor education to provide destination parks in all our major towns and provide facilities to encourage people of all ages to be active and stay healthy.

·                £58m for flood protection including Hawick.


          The council is also constructing the foundations of a more efficient council which can drive ever better outcomes for the people we serve.  Fit for 2024 is a major new strategy forming a key part of our budget plans to improve wellbeing, drive out inefficiency and to do so on the basis of sustainable development.

The budget provides the funding for major projects that will regenerate our high streets, create new and high quality jobs and increase the number of tourists coming to the Borders as well as attracting people to come and live and work here.

This budget is bold, brave and builds the future prosperity of the Borders, placing us at the cutting edge of new developments in education, technology and care.  It’s a budget we can be proud of and members across the political spectrum can support our plans knowing they are voting for a budget that benefits the whole region.”


9.3     Councillor Bell, seconded by Councillor Robson, moved:-


          “1.     The Opposition Parties on Scottish Borders Council – the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrat Party - recommend approval of an alternative 5 year revenue plan of £1.4bn for the Scottish Borders and a 10 year capital plan of £347m; both as set out in document 12(b) and in doing so ask Council to note the following principles and proposals:


·      This budget builds on opportunities and improves the lives of Borderers whatever their age. It focuses on delivering quality services, opportunities for all in a thriving economy, empowering communities and enabling people to live independently and achieve their goals.


·      This budget rebuilds educational support, protecting teacher numbers, library services, school mental health services and frontline Council services; whilst also recognising that we must modernise service delivery and make efficiencies.


·      The Opposition budget specifically proposes :-


Ø£34m investment over ten years into new or refurbished Primary schools

ØTo add to Government support in order to build 2 new High Schools over the capital period

Ø£11.4m investment in a carefully introduced Digital Learning programme in schools

ØInvesting £2.8m capital and £6.4m revenue in 2019/20 into Early Learning & Childcare

ØTo continue investment to a total of £58m in Flood & Coastal Protection over the capital period

ØTo continue the £0.282m funding for a community policing team to prevent low level criminal activity, and proposes that the Council starts a new initiative to control on-street parking

ØTo earmark £2.4m contribution to re-establish Reston Station at a time that is in phase with the Transport Scotland investment


2.      The Opposition Parties also recommend that:


                   Scottish Borders Council mainstreams funding – initially £1m - from September 2019 into Borders Decides.  This will devolve decisions about road maintenance, traffic management and the environment to local level.  Prioritisation of spend will be decided by the community through participative budgeting, and based on officer recommendations.”


          In response to the decision at paragraph 4 above to increase the Council Tax to 4%, Councillor H. Anderson, seconded by Councillor Bell moved that the following be added to the Opposition Motion:-


          “(a)    Following the decision by the Administration to propose a revised 4% Council Tax increase in financial year 2019/20, it is with regret that the following amendment is proposed to the Opposition Parties’ budget at item 12b) to allocate the resources deriving from the additional council tax increase as set out in table 1 below. 


Table 1


£600k to be applied to Roads



£600k to be applied to Roads



£600k to be applied to Roads


£500k to be applied to Roads and £100k to be applied to Loans Charges to fund 50% of new Hawick High School capital expenditure


£600k to be applied to Loans Charges to fund 50% of new Hawick High School capital expenditure



(b)  £600k will be transferred from the £1m increase identified in the opposition budget for roads expenditure in 2019/20 revenue, to be used for new investment in Education for teachers and support services.


(c)  Amend the Capital programme to include assumed expenditure of £40m supported by Loans Charges and an assumed 50% contribution from Scottish Government to the costs of a new Hawick School.


(d)  Amend years 8, 9 and 10 of the Capital Investment Plan to re - allocate £3m from Hawick High School to provide enabling funding for a further High School to be rebuilt.”


9.5     Councillors spoke in support of their respective Motions and unanimously agreed that the vote be taken by “roll call”.


          Roll Call Vote


Motion by Councillor Haslam

Motion by Councillor Bell


Councillor Aitchison

Councillor A. Anderson

Councillor H. Scott

Councillor Edgar

Councillor H. Anderson


Councillor Fullarton

Councillor Bell


Councillor Greenwell

Councillor Brown


Councillor C. Hamilton

Councillor Chapman


Councillor S. Hamilton

Councillor Drum


Councillor Haslam

Councillor Laing


Councillor Jardine

Councillor Marshall


Councillor Mountford

Councillor McAteer


Councillor Parker

Councillor Moffat


Councillor Richards

Councillor Paterson


Councillor Rowley

Councillor Penman


Councillor S. Scott

Councillor Ramage


Councillor Small

Councillor Robson


Councillor Tatler

Councillor Thornton-Nicol


Councillor Turnbull



Councillor Weatherston




         There being 17 votes for Councillor Haslam’s Motion and 15 votes for Councillor Bell’s Motion, as amended, and 1 abstention, Councillor Haslam’s Motion was accordingly carried.



          DECIDED to approve the Motion as detailed in paragraph 9.2 above including the Administration’s Budget as contained in the Appendix to this Minute.

Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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