The council yesterday agreed on a budget for 2018-19, including the rise, of which leader Elaine Murray said: “We have no choice but to make full use of the three per cent increase.”
However, it will still leave a £7.6 million hole in the local authority’s finances over the next year.
But councillors are ploughing on with a raft of anti-poverty initiatives, including two measures specifically to support children and young people: providing meals during school holidays and making free sanitary products available in schools.
Commenting, Dr Murray said: “Both these measures will improve the quality of life experienced by many of our young people. It is totally unacceptable that there are young people in our region who are going without a meal or essential sanitary products and that is why we are taking steps to address this.”
Priority regional projects in the year ahead will also include Stranraer Waterfront, Dumfries Learning Town Phase 2 and the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
Depute leader Cllr Rob Davidson explained: “When we say that something is a priority, we mean it and we will resource it. We know that much work is still to be done on these projects but they are priorities for this administration and we will work hard to deliver them.”
Meanwhile, non spending pledges included a pledge to changing how consultations are carried out ‘to better inform decision making’, listening to service users and empowering frontline staff.
* Full story and details in this week’s paper