THE council has responded to claims from John Lamont that it paid almost £33,000 in compensation to motorists in 2012/13 by stating it was in fact less than £7,000.
While the MSP said a Freedom of Information response revealed that £32,949 was paid to motorists, SBC said the request was for all compensation payments in the last financial year.
A council spokesman confirmed that compensation payments due to potholes and other road defects totalled £6,968.
He added: “The council takes this matter very seriously and will continue to invest in our roads network and other areas where litigation is a risk, to mitigate against claims.
“Like Mr Lamont, Scottish Borders Council would far rather that these sums of money are spent on local services but we also have to comply with legal obligations in the same way any large organisation or government is required to do.”
Mr Lamont said: “With council budgets already being stretched this is money we simply cannot afford to be giving out. Something needs to be done urgently to stop these claims from coming in. The only way we can do this is by making sure that our road network is properly supported.”
Mr Lamont added that improvements would make roads safer and also save money in the long term.