Scottish Borders Council unveils affordable housing progress

Scottish Borders CouncilScottish Borders Council (SBC) exceeded its target of affordable home completions last year, councillors were told this week.

A report was presented to the council’s executive committee yesterday detailed the significant progress made against its eight corporate priorities.

The Performance Report for 2016/17 found that 131 new affordable houses were delivered during 16/17, exceeding the target of 100 and taking the total of homes delivered from the last four years to almost 500.

A variety of home types have been provided right across the region by the council-led Bridge Homes, including 22 homes for mid-market rent in Denholm, Kelso and Innerleithen.

The number of planning applications is also up by 3%.

Councillor Simon Mountford, executive member for transformation and HR, said: “In order to achieve the council’s vision as set out in the Corporate Plan, our performance reporting is robust and effective to allow us to continue to make improvements.

“This report not only highlights improvements in areas such as the time taken to process planning applications, attainment, funding for communities, and energy consumption, but we can also see targets being exceeded in relation to social work assessments and the collection of council tax, with money collected in 2016/17 increasing by £1.285 million compared to the same period in 2015/16, resulting in an in year collection rate of 96.63% which is the second highest collection level achieved in the last 10 years.

“Of course there are areas for improvement. This includes ensuring that as many children as possible are in family-based placement, continuing to invest in our roads, our ongoing work with partners to reduce road accidents and ensuring that all complaints are dealt with, within timescales set nationally.

“Our regular performance reports each quarter should demonstrate to the public that their money is being used effectively and that investment in key areas is having a positive impact, for example on the wider economy and on quality of life.”

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