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Councillors meet to discuss social work spending in D&G

Councillors will meet to discuss the financial management of social services in Dumfries and Galloway.

Members of the Council's Social Work Committee will be presented with a report compiled by external auditors, which revealed a series of failings.

The investigation was carried out following worries about a series of overspends and local MP Russell Brown says the department isn't fit for purpose.

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Flood prevention scheme could cost £4 millon

Potential plans for future flood defences in Dumfries would see the whole of the area between the town centre and the River Nith redeveloped.

The flood prevention scheme could cost up to £4 million and would be funded by the council and the Scottish Government.

The Labour group on Dumfries and Galloway Council will ask for detailed plans to be drawn up within six months at the planning meeting.

Any plans would then need to get planning permission and the scheme could take up to three years to complete.

The scheme would involve a green bank barrier being built along the River Nith at the Whitesands, which would reach a height of two metres at its highest point.

That would protect against most flooding but not against a severe flood described as a "one in two hundred year event".

Flood masterplan would 'regenerate Dumfries Whitesands' says councillor

The Whitesands in Dumfries is often flooded when the river Nith swells Credit: ITV Border

Nith Ward Councillor John Martin said:

"I think most people will be quite pleased with the rough proposals in the masterplan. It would help regenerate the Whitesands area.

"In the long term the proposals for the wider town centre would also make a real difference to regenerating Dumfries. But there is a real difference between a consultants report and implementation.

"Until we see bricks being laid on the ground, local residents and businesses will be skeptical about whether this will actually happen".

Shop owners on the Whitesands have spent years campaigning for flood defences Credit: ITV Border

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Council meeting on Dumfries flood defences

A council meeting is being held to discuss the future of flood defences for Dumfries Whitesands.

Councillors from the planning, housing and environment committee, will discuss a 'masterplan' for flooding problem areas in the town.

Some councillors are concerned that there is still no timescale set for the project and no funding proposals are in place.

"The masterplan is a step forward but the report coming to the committee doesn't really tell us much more than we heard in September when the council held a charette to discuss proposals for a flood prevention scheme.

"There is still no clear timetable, no costings and no evidence that other than £150,000 for yet more design work, there is any funding.

"We need to see clear timescales set for when work would actually begin on flood prevention measures and have discussions with the Scottish Government to ensure that funding is put in place. "

– Colin Smyth, Nith Ward Councillor

New archive centre for Dumfries?

An archived letter Credit: PA

Plans for a new archive centre are being proposed by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The council are asking the public for their views on the plans, which include a centre to house local studies books, archives, newspapers, photographs and maps, with some dating as far back as the 15th century.

The ambitious plans are part of a major 'Archives Strategy', where the council hope to give the public easier access to archives across the region, and help preserve them.

Borders Conservative "alternative budget"

Before the Scottish Borders Council's budget was passed, the Borders Conservative group presented it's own alternative budget.

In the budget, the party outlined plans to save £11 million, including an end to the no-compulsory redundancy policy and a cut-back on early-retirement pay-offs.

"We brought forward an alternative budget, because we wanted to scrutinise the council's budget, and we found there were a couple of things that were missing or needed adding.

"We are very concerned that they are cutting the early intervention and prevention for young people, through the children's young people and planning partnership.

"We were also concerned that they are getting rid of the wardens before we felt we had a chance to really look at what we could do with the service, and we don't want to see an increase to primary school meals."

– Councillor Michelle Ballantyne, Conservative Group Leader

The Scottish Borders Council's budget was approved by 20 votes to 10.

£450k possible funding for Theatre Royal in Dumfries

Theatre Royal in Dumfries, Scotland's oldest working theatre Credit: ITV Border

The leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ivor Hyslop, has invited the Theatre Royal in Dumfries to discuss potential funding of £450,000, to help redevelop the historic property.

The invitation comes after the council approved the budget for the next financial year.

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