Parker rejects spending £500,000 windfall on police

SCOTTISH Borders Council is not prepared to pay for police community contact vehicles (CCVs) to cover the loss of rural police stations.

That is the unequivocal message from council leader David Parker, despite his local authority receiving a £500,000 “rebate” from Lothian and Borders Police Board.

The plea for at least some of that cash to be used on purchasing CCVs came from Councillor Gavin Logan (Tweeddale East), who represents SBC on a board which recently sanctioned the selling of empty stations in Newcastleton, West Linton and Innerleithen.

“Police colleagues have indicated it would be desirable to raise their profile and, to do so, two additional community contact vehicles for the Borders division would be beneficial,” said Mr Logan.

But Mr Parker rejected the suggestion that the rebate – distributed in November to the board’s constituent local authorities from excess cash reserves – should be used for this purpose.

“This is a welcome windfall which we will factor into our budget deliberations to help ease the many pressures we face,” said Mr Parker.

“It is the responsibility of the police to determine what vehicles they want to purchase to support their activity.

“If the police really believe these vehicles would be beneficial then they would have agreed to provide them from the resources provided by the local authorities. Instead, they chose to distribute their excess reserves to these councils and we are extremely grateful.”

Mr Logan said he was “disappointed”.

“This council has made a big commitment to community safety and even one additional vehicle would make a huge difference in raising the police profile in the Borders.”