Marshall’s SBC jobs blow fears

Councillor Stuart Marshall.
Councillor Stuart Marshall.

Councillor Stuart Marshall is seeking high-level talks to find out how many people in Hawick could be affected by Scottish Borders Council’s decision to axe up to 130 jobs.

Yesterday (Thursday), the local authority announced its budget plans which include an £11million cut to revenue spending over the next financial year, and council leader David Parker admitted an impact on staffing levels was “inevitable”.

That savings target is the result of a reduced local government settlement from the Scottish Government and a freezing of the Council Tax for a ninth successive year.

Councillor Marshall told the Hawick News: “The prospect of any employer shedding 130 jobs is a real concern and today [Thursday] I’ve asked the chief executive if she can inform me of how these proposals could impact directly on Hawick.”

Around 48 of the jobs to be shed are in management and related administrative grades across the council. While another 40 will be additional needs assistants in the region’s school.

Councillor Marshall added: “During the past four months the town has lost in the region of 220 jobs and while around 50 people have managed to find other work, we can’t hide from the fact that we have a problem in the town and the thought of any more jobs lost is a major concern to me.”

Councillor Watson McAteer commented: “I’m very worried that Hawick will suffer a significant number of the announced council job losses given our obvious proportional position as the largest town in the Borders.”

The budget, which includes £3.2million for the initial design phase of Hawick’s flood protection scheme, is due to be ratified by the full council at next Thursday’s meeting.