If you watch, read or listen to the national news, you’ll be well aware that yesterday (Wednesday 26th June), George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced his latest Spending Review.
As expected, government funding for local authorities will be reduced by 10% in the year 2015/16. The early indications are that the council will need to manage a budget gap of £24m over the next three years.
Councillor Jonathan Gilbey, Cabinet Member for Resources for the Isle of Wight Council, said
“The council faces significant budget challenges over the next few years. The resources it receives from Government have been significantly reduced – some £21m on-going – since 2010-11, with at least a further £6m reduction in grants already announced for the next financial year 2014-15. This, coupled with increased need for services, particularly in children’s and adult social care means that, even before today’s announcement, the council faces an estimated total revenue budget gap of some £24m over the next three financial years.
“Yesterday’s announcement, which is still being studied in detail, just confirms the enormity of the financial challenge the Isle of Wight Council faces.
“The council has already delivered significant on-going efficiencies and savings of £34m since 2010-11, thanks in part to the support of voluntary and community groups and town and parish councils who have taken on the delivery of some services, but it now faces some very difficult decisions on how it allocates its remaining resources and where it will have to make further savings.”
Isle of Wight Council Leader, Councillor Ian Stephens said,
“We are determined, through a root and branch review of all services and through consultation with the community, to ensure that the council meets these challenges and that the services it is able to deliver are relevant, effective and affordable.”