Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Motion by Councillor Haslam

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.

Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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