State-of-the Borders report finds 15 areas of concern

Action from the 2012 Tour of the Borders
Action from the 2012 Tour of the Borders
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A draft council report highlighting economic, social and environmental issues of “real concern” to the Borders has been compiled.

The “red” list items stretch to 15 points, while an “amber” list of issues also includes 15 areas of concern.

The red list includes the facts that more households are in poverty in the Borders compared with the rest of Scotland, and that there was a 10 per cent increase in theft in the region in the three years to 2012/13, compared with just one per cent nationally.

Other diverse issues included are that the local tourism sector is showing signs that it has been hit by the current economic climate, and that changes in residents’ lifestyles are increasingly contributing to ill health, including heart disease and stroke.

The draft strategic assessment will form the basis of an agreement between the Borders’ Community Planning Partnership and the Scottish Government, on how each will work towards improving the lives of local people.

The partnership includes public, private and third sector organisations, including the council, police and NHS Borders.

Tracey Logan, council chief executive, said: “It has never been more important for the Community Planning Partnership to have a clear understanding of place, as public sector finances shrink and we are being asked to do more with less.

“We must ensure that our priorities are founded on a strong evidence base.”

The report also warns that by 2035 just over half of all Borders residents will be of working age, down from the 2010 figure of 62 per cent.

The area’s strengths in the three key areas are part of an in-depth analysis in the report.