South Scotland

Scottish Borders residential care cost pressure rises

Scottish Borders Council
Image caption Scottish Borders Council was told that setting the money aside would be a "wise option"

Social work budgets in the Borders are under increased pressure due to the number of children needing residential care or accommodation in secure units.

Councillors have agreed to set aside £450,000 from reserves to tackle the issue in the coming financial year.

It comes from a variety of uncommitted or discretionary budget sources across the council.

A report said the funding demand was considered temporary but putting the money aside was a "wise option".

Scottish Borders Council finance spokesman, councillor John Mitchell, said: "It is necessary from the point of view that funding has to be found for these particular items of expenditure.

"These particular items of expenditure are obviously, by their very nature, very unpredictable.

"We have - as one councillor described it - shaken out the pockets of the various departments and found funds which can be applied in this particular manner."

He said the move was a necessary part of the budget process.

"Every budget is always a best estimate and with any budget there is always a propensity for it to rise or fall in year or for estimates to be inaccurate for whatever reason," he said.

"It is just the nature of the beast I am afraid."

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