Councils assess valuation merger

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Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway councils are considering merging their assessor and electoral registration services in a bid to cut costs and avoid duplication.

The proposal to form a new public body – a Valuation Joint Board – to cover the services in both regions was conveyed to D & G councillors last week.

They heard that SBC had “expressed an interest” in the merger, to take effect in 2016 when the statutory 2017 revaluation of non-domestic properties has been completed.

Although the report makes no reference to the implications for the 16 Newtown-based staff in the SBC set-up, in D & G the amalgamation would involve the loss of two full-time jobs, via voluntary redundancy, and a saving of over £100,000.

“These savings do depend on joint co-operation with Scottish Borders Council and consultation and engagement with staff,” states the report.

A spokesperson for SBC told us: “All we can say is the proposal is being considered, but no decision has been made yet.”