South Scotland

Scottish Borders area committee revival considered

River Teviot in Hawick - Image by Walter Baxter
Image caption Hawick still has an area committee but many other parts of the region no longer do so

Scottish Borders Council could consider reviving the role of area committees for different parts of the region.

Three of the five were scrapped in 2010 but they could now be reinstated as part of efforts to improve engagement with the community.

The plans would see at least one meeting every three months in each of the areas.

However, they will have to be approved by the incoming administration following May's council elections.

The Borders had five area committees - Berwickshire, Cheviot, Eildon, Teviot and Liddesdale, and Tweeddale.

At the moment only Cheviot, covering Jedburgh, Kelso and St Boswells, and Teviot and Liddesdale, centred on Hawick, continue to function.

The others were axed in 2010.

In March last year a working group was set up to examine ways of better reaching and engaging with local communities.

Options like Neighbourhood Partnerships or Community Engagement Committees were considered.

It has now recommended area committees themselves should be revived with the suggestion that they should deal with some planning applications.

That function was removed some time ago which prompted some councillors to suggest there was little left for area committees to do.

The working group has stressed that area committees would have to be given revamped agendas with business "which would appeal more to the public and community groups".

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