THE state of council buildings has been called into question after it was revealed that the Borders is lagging behind other areas of Scotland.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) executive committee earlier this week, the “satisfactory condition” of buildings across a number of local authorities was discussed.

And according to an SBC graph, only 61.3 per cent of council buildings in the region met that criteria for 2019/20.

That figure is significantly lower than the Scottish average of 88.6 per cent.

On the graph, Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler said: “What depresses me is when you look at our buildings.

“There’s definitely a distinct improvement in terms of suitability in our buildings for current use but we seem to be flatlining in the satisfactory condition of our buildings.

“There’s quite a significant difference between us, our peer group and Scotland. We need to keep an eye on that and take some action.”

Neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway saw 83 per cent of its buildings labelled satisfactory for 2019-20, according to the graph.

The Shetland Islands topped the Scottish charts in this metric with 99.7 per cent of its buildings passing the threshold.

In the three years previous, 59.9 per cent, 62.1 per cent and 61 per cent of council buildings in the Borders were deemed to be in satisfactory condition.

In response to the latest figures, a Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “We have a significant estate with over 1,500 assets. To address many of the operational challenges we face, we are developing an estates strategy that will seek to provide a framework for how we invest and manage our estate.

“This will align corporate strategy and service needs with available resources. This work has just started but is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2022.”

Meanwhile, the Borders outperformed the Scottish average for suitability of council buildings for current use with 84.9 per cent in 2019/20 – the Scottish average being 82.5 per cent.

The Borders’ percentage was up on the previous year’s recording of 83.4 per cent.

The Shetland Islands again came out on top with 93 per cent.

A council spokesperson later added: "For 2020/21 we are now at 67.9 per cent on the back of school replacements and more accurate data. We are also about to start a complete resurvey of our operational buildings, which will pick up on capital improvements that have been carried out since the last surveys were done."