Council leader takes to social media for budget Q&A

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Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker will be taking questions on the Administration’s draft budget during an online question and answer session on Wednesday (January 14).

More than 100 people have already taken the online budget simulator challenge to express their views on how the council should prioritise its budget as part of the consultation on the proposals for the next five years.

The online tool at https://scotborders.budgetsimulator.com gives Borderers the challenge of balancing the books, with a budget of just over £252million per year to be distributed across the council’s main areas, covering services such as education, social work and roads.

Councillor Parker said: “In these difficult economic times it is more important than ever to ensure that we as a council are spending money well, and the public’s engagement is a vital part of the budget-setting process. This is why I will take to social media to deal with any queries Borders residents have about the draft budget.

“We are proposing to invest significantly over the next five years in the council’s eight priority areas, including over £90million a year on improving attainment and achievement for all school pupils and almost £80m a year on providing high-quality support, care and protection to people of all ages in the Borders.

“At the same time we are aiming to deliver services more efficiently, continue partnership working and spend wisely to help minimise future costs, for example the continued rollout of LED street lighting.”

Councillor Parker will be online between 10.30am and 11.30am on Wednesday and will take questions through the council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/sbcouncil and Twitter feed @scotborders. Anyone who is not available during that time can submit a question in advance by posting it on the Facebook page or on Twitter using #bordersbudget.

In February, the council will be asked to approve a five-year plan, with a firm one year revenue budget and an indicative budget for four more years. The 10 year Capital Plan will also be put forward for agreement, which is based on a three-year operational plan.

In addition to the budget simulator, people are also being asked to submit their views to the budget team on the draft proposals. The feedback gathered will be considered as the budget process develops and will be reported to councillors with the budget papers in February.

For more information visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/budget and to give your feedback on the draft proposals email budgetteam@scotborders.gov.uk

The budget simulator is available either from the council website or by visiting https://scotborders.budgetsimulator.com

For more information, contact the Communications and Marketing team on 01835 826632 or communications@scotborders.gov.uk