Scottish Borders Council to put £2m extra into roads budget

SELKIRK, UNITED KINGDOM. - 11 / April / 2012 : ''Pringle Park Gate at Pringle Park, SELKIRK.'Gordon Edgar at the new security gate at the entrance to the Pringle PArk, to stop joyrifers''(Photo by  ROB GRAY / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)
SELKIRK, UNITED KINGDOM. - 11 / April / 2012 : ''Pringle Park Gate at Pringle Park, SELKIRK.'Gordon Edgar at the new security gate at the entrance to the Pringle PArk, to stop joyrifers''(Photo by ROB GRAY / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

Scottish Borders Council have announced an extra £2 million to maintain the region’s roads.

Councillors will be asked next Thursday to back the administration’s proposals, which are part of an overall fund of £8m for the 2013 financial year.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, executive member for roads and infrastructure said: “This council is committed to maintaining high quality roads in the Borders and we are all aware of the state of the roads following the recent severe winters and wet summers.

“I am delighted that we are able to come forward with an additional £2m of roads spending over and above what was agreed in our budget and this demonstrates the administration’s commitment to do what we can to invest in roads when finances become available.

“The programme of works throughout the Borders is a very comprehensive list of road maintenance and improvements, which will touch every part of our region. “

Depute leader responsible for finance, councillor John Mitchell, added that the Scottish Government were providing £1.3m of the extra allocation.

He said: “Through good housekeeping and sound financial management we are able to recommend this additional roads investment to members and I hope the whole chamber will support our proposals.”

Councillor Catriona Bhatia, depute leader for health, added: “The council, and the communities we serve, want more investment in our roads network and we have worked hard since setting the budget in February to see what more could be done to release additional finance.”

In the opposition Conservatives group’s alternative budget in February, they wished to see an extra £4.7m over five years invested into road maintenance.

Conservative councillor Gavin Logan said: “I am glad to see the administration has responded to the opposition’s budget proposals to increase spending on roads.

“I suggested to Councillor Edgar back in November that there should be increased spending.

“What I would like to know is where the money is coming from.”

As well as the additional £2.072m for roads maintenance, the administration is also seeking agreement for an additional cash for housing aids and adaptations (£86,000), play area funding (£75,000) and for the development of artificial sports pitches in various towns (£60,000).