Scottish Borders Council hands decision-making power to chief executive for six months

Councillors in the Borders have agreed to hand over temporary decision-making control over to the regional authority’s chief executive for as long as the current coronavirus lockdown goes on.

Tracey Logan.
Tracey Logan.

Tracey Logan will make required decisions, if possible, until Scottish Borders Council meetings resume in October.

At an emergency full council meeting held via a video-call last week, elected members agreed that meetings should be cancelled until September 30 to “minimise social contact during the coronavirus outbreak”.

The proposal was moved for approval by council leader Shona Haslam and seconded by Tweeddale East representative Stuart Bellbefore being supported by all 30 members taking part.

In a report to councillors, chief legal officer Nuala McKinlay said: “All formal council and committee meetings are being cancelled.

“Public consultation meetings will also be postponed.

“It is, however, vital to ensure that the council is able to continue to exercise its essential functions. This means there needs to be a process whereby urgent decisions can be made during this extraordinary period.

“It is important that those urgent decisions are able to be made in the most efficient and effective way possible.

“This will enable the council to be agile and responsive at this difficult time.

“There is a risk that, should council and committee meetings continue in their present form, coronavirus will spread wider in the community.

“By allowing greater flexibility in the decision-making processes, the council can be confident that it will be able to carry out its functions in a way that creates least risk to public health.”

Any meetings which must take place will do so using video-call technology.

Councillors last got together in person at a local review body meeting on Monday, March 16.

The new measures can be revoked at any time, though