Cllr Geoff Brodie (Newport East, Independent Labour) has submitted an Isle of Wight Council budget amendment that will see the Conservative’s proposed Council Tax increase reduced from 4.99 per cent to 1.99 per cent.
His proposal also seeks to
- reduce the Conservative’s proposed increase in crematorium fees from 7 per cent to 2 per cent
- remove their proposal to increase overnight parking charges by 100 per cent
- keep Newport’s Lord Louis Library – the Island’s County library – open six days per week
- retain Local Council Tax Support for town, community and parish councils
Cllr Brodie had also sought to reverse last month’s decision (catch up here) to reduce Council support from 70 per cent to 65 per cent, but has been stymied by financial notice requirements.
How it will be achieved
All of his proposals will cost £2.8 million, which he funds next year by cancelling Tory plans to salt away £1 million (or more than 1 per cent their proposed Council Tax increase) into the so-called ‘Transformation Reserve’ and by cancelling £1.8m Council Tax funding (more than 2 per cent of their increase) of their planned £40m coastal protection works for 2021/22.
Part of the largest capital programme in years at a time when spending should surely be more cautious. Funding of the £2.8m in future years will be in the hands of a new, hopefully changed administration at County Hall after the May elections, when the books have been fully opened.
Brodie: A complete lack of empathy for ordinary people
Cllr Brodie said,
“I have engaged in every Budget round over the last 16 years, bar one, but this is the most cruel I have seen since the first Tory austerity budget of David Pugh and the rest of his gang back in 2011. At a time when most people are fearful for their futures due to the seemingly, never-ending Covid pandemic, to shake down Council Tax payers for a 5 per cent Council Tax increase shows a complete lack of empathy for ordinary people. And to use £3m of that increase on capital projects that can wait or as funding for pet schemes is just disgraceful.
“In addition, their plans to rip off the bereaved at a time of national pandemic is just entirely shameful.
“However, I suspect there will be a number of their party’s councillors who are uncomfortable with this.
“I urge them to join me and hopefully other opposition councillors in supporting my proposals.”
NB: Cllr Brodie is also the Finance lead for Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council who have reduced their planned expenditure in 2021/22 by 2.4 per cent.
10.55am 19th Feb 2021 – NB added
3.15pm 19th Feb 2021 – Intro corrected to “remove the proposal to increase overnight parking charges by 100 per cent” rather than abolish overnight parking charges
News shared by Cllr Brodie in his own words. Ed