LIDDESDALE residents are being asked for their ideas on how Scottish Borders Council can cut £5m a year for the next five years from its budget.
The council has launched a consultation to help inform the upcoming budget which will be set on February 20.
The leader of the council says the demand for services in such a huge rural area means it will have to consider what it can’t deliver any more.
Councillor Shona Haslam said: “There is no denying it is very difficult to balance the books every year, especially when we have increasing demand for services, an increasing older population and services spread over such a vast rural area.
“We’re currently looking at delivering savings of more than £5m every year for the next five years.
“That’s not going to be easy so we need to consider where we spend money, how we do things differently and what we simply can’t deliver any more.
“The online tool we are launching will help us to understand where people would like services to be protected in their own areas and will help us to have ongoing conversations in communities about how we can do things differently and/or where there are opportunities for communities to play their part.
“We remain committed to delivering high quality services for all our residents, from the youngest to the oldest, and making the most of the opportunities the Borders has.
“It is not all about cost-cutting; it also means investing carefully and delivering projects which support and enhance services, our towns and villages.”
Between now and the end of January the public can use the online points simulator tool, available from: https://scotborders.prioritysimulator.com
The consultation tool gives people the chance to use sliders to allocate points according to how they prioritise services in their areas.
The points available are limited, just like council funds, so people need to decide carefully how to use them.
The results of the consultation will be considered as part of the budget setting process to inform discussions in localities about where services should be protected and/or delivered differently.