The Isle of Wight Council has made additional savings of £5 million this year — but council tax will still go up next April.
A report to the council’s scrutiny committee last night (Tuesday) said the overall revenue budget looked set to underspend by £2.9 million however, cabinet member for finance, Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, confirmed the final figure was closer to £5 million.
The revenue budget includes money spent on the floating bridge, children’s services, adult and social care — among other ongoing expenses.
Still have £16.5 million of savings to find
Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, welcomed the news and said the savings had been made due to good management of council finances.
Cllr Stuart Hutchinson said:
“You might say we will not have to increase council tax at all next year. Well, yes we shall.
“We have still got £16.5 million to find over the next three years.
“An awful lot of what we do is actually quite technical, at the end of the day all that the public see is the increased cost of the council tax.”
Six per cent rise this year
Last year, council tax rose by six per cent, with the additional three per cent rise used to fund adult social care.
Cllr Hutchinson confirmed an additional three per cent rise would not take place next year.
“We don’t have that next year so we have to find that loss of £2.3 million from somewhere. That will be built into the £5.5m we are looking for.
“Every year the saving that you have to make gets more difficult because you have already made £75 million in savings which is a huge amount for a small council. That’s why we are having to re-engineer what we do.”
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed
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