News release from Scottish Borders Council: Tuesday 16 November 2010
Our budget – your services
Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is launching a series of public meetings in various venues across the Borders to give residents the opportunity to hear more about the budget pressures facing the Council and have their say in the proposals being put forward.
SBC is faced with a considerable reduction in its funding from central government next year, and these budget pressures will continue for several years. As a result, SBC is continuing to carefully review its services to ensure a high level of service is delivered to all residents across the Borders into the future.
The meetings will be led either by Council Leader, Councillor David Parker or Depute Leaders, Councillors Neil Calvert and Alec Nicol. Also present will be Chief Executive of SBC, David Hume, and other key senior officers. The meetings will be informal and anyone is welcome to attend:
Monday 22 – Peebles, Burgh Hall – 7pm
Tuesday 23 – Jedburgh, Town Hall – 7pm
Wednesday 24 – Duns, Volunteer Hall – 7pm
Wednesday 1 – Galashiels, Volunteer Hall - 7pm
Tuesday 7 – Selkirk, Victoria Hall - 7pm
Wednesday 8 – Kelso, Tait Hall - 7pm
Monday 13 - Hawick, Town Hall – 6.30pm
Thursday 16 – Eyemouth High School – 7pm
Leader of SBC, Councillor David Parker, said: “It is our priority to ensure local residents are aware of the pressures we are facing and are actively involved in the future of how we deliver our services. We have already been reviewing and streamlining our services for the past few years so we are in a fairly strong position, but this is still going to be a very difficult budget setting round. We are doing everything we can to reduce the impact of any changes to frontline services but it is inevitable that some changes will happen. We do, however, see this as an opportunity to embrace new ways of working and to take a fresh look at our services to sustain the high levels of service we deliver.”
Depute Leader of the Council (Finance), Councillor Neil Calvert, explained: This is not an easy process and we have been working closely with colleagues across all departments to look at how we can achieve the most efficient and effective ways of working. I think we have achieved this in some areas but we can still do better to make further savings while at the same time sustaining our services. As we move forward, we hope to have the opportunity to speak to a large number of residents and gain a good insight into where their concerns lie.”
Councillor Alec Nicol, Depute Leader (HR) added: “Obviously, we need to be realistic in what can be achieved, but I am confident that we can continue to be ambitious and, with the help of our residents, dedicated workforce and partners – maintain a bright future for the Borders despite the economic challenges ahead.”
A new area of the Council website dedicated to ‘Our Budget – Your Services’ is being developed and will be accessible at Our Budget - Your Services from Friday 19 November. This area will be updated regularly with information on public meetings, FAQs, Council reports, financial information and news releases.
For more information or to give your views on the budget pressures facing SBC email email@example.com
SBC will not be able to clarify the actual extent of the funding pressures until late December when all funding and other budgetary matters have been confirmed. It is estimated to be in the range of £10-£12m.
For more information, contact the Corporate Communications Unit on 01835 826632.
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