Council watchdog on sick leave

Today’s scheduled meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s scrutiny committee has been cancelled due to “staff illness”.

The nine-strong watchdog will not meet again until Thursday, May 28.

So far, the committee, which was revived on January 1 after a break of two years, has yet to conduct a review or to challenge a decision by SBC’s executive.

However, at its March meeting, a provisional programme of reviews, most of which relate to local education provision, was approved.

These include the council’s religious observance policy, the operation of faith schools, home-schooling, attainment levels in schools in deprived areas and “mainstream schools and children with severe learning disabilities”.

The committee also wants to investigate the council’s application of planning conditions and building regulations on private developers and the issuing of enforcement notices on the owners of dangerous buildings.

Briefings on some of these topics were due to be presented by officers at today’s meeting along with a report on the future funding – both by SBC and external sources such as wind farm developers – of the region’s 69 community councils.

“It is a matter of regret these briefings and reports have been delayed,” said scrutiny chairman, Councillor Gavin Logan.