Julia Baker Smith shares this latest news from the Island Independent group of councillors, with comment from Labour Cllr Geoff Lumley. Ed
Just four weeks after the Conservative-UKIP takeover of County Hall they have agreed to “blow” the fabled “Asda” windfall of £17 million.
The money, which the Full Council had democratically agreed last October under the Independent administration to keep intact for a rainy day, has now been included in the capital programme, with no agreement from the full council as to how it would be spent.
A cross party working group, which was chaired by Labour’s Geoff Lumley, but included members from all political groups, undertook a significant piece of work last year to look at how the windfall money could be best used to support the future needs of the Island.
Baker-Smith: ASDA money to be “frittered away”
Cllr Julia Baker-Smith, Leader of the Island Independents said:
“The full Council met last October to agree the Medium Term Financial Strategy. This is the financial plan for the next five years.
“We all agreed that the Asda money should be left intact for a rainy day, however now it is raining, it’s raining huge cuts to adult social care, children’s services and other valued services used by Islanders proposed by the Con-UKIP so called Care-Takers.
“A small amount of the Asda money could buy us some time this year to keep services running while the Council gets back on its feet following years of central government austerity, yet now we are told that money is to be frittered away on frivolous things like refurbishing county hall and gym equipment!”
Lumley: “An insult to hard working Islanders”
Labour’s Geoff Lumley added:
“I led a working party to look at the responsible use of this money and made a clear recommendation last year.
“To now find out that the Con-UKIP temporary administration have come in and unilaterally decided to spend our windfall, money that could protect Islanders from the effects of the Tory Government cuts, once again shows the complete lack of regard the Tory’s have for the democratic process on this Island.
“This is quite frankly an insult to hard working Islanders who are having their Council Tax put up while paying for running machines and new desks.”
The Budget Paper
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