Wednesday this week is Budget Setting day, when the 40 Isle of Wight councillors have to approve a lawful budget (one that does not take them into the red) for 2016/17.
After having to carry out £50m of cuts to services in the last five years due to a reduction in funding from the Government, the council must now find £16.753 million of savings in the coming year.
Almost £10m of cuts for that period have already been agreed by the council. That, along with a proposal to use £4m Reserves, leaves the council needing to save roughly an additional £2.8m in the coming year.
Alternative budget recommendations
The Independent Members’ Group (Cllrs Blezzard, Chapman, Gilbey, Jones-Evans ands Priest), Labour (Cllrs Hollands and Lumley) and UKIP (Cllrs Perks and Pitcher) have all submitted alternative budget recommendations (see below).
The Conservative group of councillors failed to submit an alternative budget by last Friday’s deadline.
Conservative group amendments?
OnTheWight asked leader of the Conservative group of councillors, Dave Stewart whether they were planning to submit amendments on the night.
He told us,
“I can confirm we do not anticipate submitting a completely alternative budget to that which the Independent Administration have proposed and we will not prevent a lawful budget being set.
“Beyond that position I cannot comment until we as a group have considered all options on the table at our group meeting on Wednesday prior to Full Council”
In previous years, the Conservative councillors have submitted amendments on the night of the budget-setting meeting. This scenario means the Section 151 Officer does not have time to ensure any suggested amendments will result in a lawful budget.
Independent Members Group budget