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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 15:20 GMT
Borders council leader quits
Protest outside
Opposition to proposed cutbacks has been fierce
The leader of a council which has been forced to make sweeping service cuts because of a budget overspend has resigned.

Drew Tulley, of Scottish Borders Council, has been under fire from local people for months because of the problems arising from the education department's cash crisis.

He was due to face a vote of no confidence at a full meeting of the authority on Wednesday, but a statement was issued on Tuesday afternoon to say that Mr Tulley was resigning.

The Independent councillor informed chief executive David Hume of his decision in a letter.

Councillor Drew Tulley
Drew Tulley was under pressure to resign

The move was announced in a statement, which added: "Cllr Tulley will remain a member of Scottish Borders Council and intends to continue to represent his Galashiels Netherdale constituency until the next council elections in May 2003, as he has stated previously."

The council said it would be making no further comment on the matter ahead of its full meeting.

The twist comes after the council said a parliamentary report into a 3.9m education budget overspend was a chance to "draw a line" under the financial problem.

MSPs on the Education, Culture and Sport Committee spent five months investigating the funding crisis.

The committee report said it had come about as a result of an "inexcusable" lack of financial control, a lack of "robust internal structures" and leadership failures.

In response, the council said it agreed with all the report's recommendations and that action had been taken to prevent a similar situation occurring in future.

Political correspondent Kirsten Campbell
"The overspend led to cuts in services"
See also:

26 Feb 02 | Scotland
Council accepts budget crisis report
14 Feb 02 | Scotland
Council agrees to service cuts
14 Feb 02 | Scotland
Council to cut services
05 Nov 01 | Scotland
MSPs probe Borders education
16 Oct 01 | Scotland
Budget cuts to aid education
09 Oct 01 | Scotland
Damning report over budget woes
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