Infrastructure investment revealed in Scottish Borders budget

Infrastructure investment revealed in Scottish Borders budget

Significant investment to help communities prosper following the Covid-19 pandemic, increased social care funding to improve and expand services and funding to reduce the carbon footprint of Scottish Borders Council and help deliver savings has been approved in the council budget.

Over £95 million has also been committed to improve roads, bridges and pavements, whilst there is also funding for mobile CCTV and additional funds to be decided by and for local communities.

Councillor Mark Rowley, leader of the council, said: “We have carefully considered the feedback submitted through the budget consultation and have delivered a budget that is focused on local priorities.

“Our communities and citizens are at the heart of what we do and we are committed to spending on the issues that matter to them.”

An £8.6m boost to funding for social work and social care and additional capital investment will see two new care facilities built within the region along with significant upgrades made to existing care facilities. 

By prioritising locally-focussed investments, the council aims to deliver for citizens by improving their wellbeing and making the region a more sustainable and better place to live, work in and to visit.

Councillor Shona Haslam, executive member for finance and budget oversight, added: “Despite the financial pressures placed on us, we are prioritising projects that will make a real impact across each and every community in the Borders.

“It is far from an ideal situation having to increase the amount of Council Tax Borderers pay, especially given the hardships experienced by so many during pandemic and the steady increase to the cost of living. But, without this necessary increase, we would not be able to maintain the services we offer to the public at their current standard.

“And, following the funding pledge from the UK Government, the Scottish Government has given £150 for every household in Council Tax bands A-D. This will mean the vast majority, 72%, of Borderers will pay less next year. A band A property will pay 14% less Council Tax than last year.”

Other budget highlights include additional funding for local culture and sport trusts, funding targeted to accelerate road repairs, £1.6m for new and improved outdoor community spaces in 2022/23 alone, and more than £130m to improve education facilities, including five new schools.

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