South Scotland

Scottish Borders Council spells out 'ongoing challenge' with budget

Council HQ Image copyright Google

A council has asked for public help in setting its spending priorities as it looks to save more than £5m-a-year for the next five years.

The local authority in the Scottish Borders said it was clearly "very difficult to balance the books".

An online points simulator allows the public to give an indication where it thinks money should go.

Leader Shona Haslam said it needed to look at what could be done differently and what it could no longer deliver.

She asked for the public's help ahead of setting its budget in February next year.

"We remain committed to delivering high quality services for all our residents, from the youngest to the oldest, as well as making the most of the opportunities that the Borders has," she said.

"It is not all about cost cutting, it also means investing carefully and delivering a range of projects that support and enhance services, our towns and villages."

'Remain ambitious'

Robin Tatler, executive member for finance, said he hoped people would take time to tell them where money should be spent.

"It's an ongoing challenge when it comes to setting our budget, with a huge number of demands across a wide range of services," he said.

"We remain ambitious though, and while we do have challenges we still have a five-year revenue budget of over £1.4bn and a £386m 10-year capital budget."

He said it was vital to get the public's view of where it should prioritise funds.

"This does not necessarily mean we will put more money into these areas but it certainly means that we would consider protecting them," he said.

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