Conservative alliance budget proposal sees cuts, service reductions and increased prices

A 4.99% rise in council tax, cuts to Personal Budgets for those with learning disabilities, youth provision budget slashed in half and reduced opening hours at the recycling centres are just some of the proposals in the Conservative-Alliance budget being debated later this month. Here’s the detail.

axe in hand

Earlier this week the Isle of Wight Conservative-alliance council administration, released their budget proposals for the 2017-18.

As the government is cutting £7.5 million in the next year from the council’s money, the proposals to ‘find savings’ in the next financial year will be debated and voted upon by 39 Isle of Wight councillors on 22nd February.

In summary proposals include:

  • 4.99% rise in council tax
  • Cuts to Personal Budgets for those with learning disabilities
  • Youth provision budget slashed in half
  • Reduced opening hours at the recycling centres
  • Cuts to Family Centre budgets
  • Increase charges on the Floating Bridge
  • Rise in Lease and License charges

£60m of savings in last five years
Over the last five years the Isle of Wight Council has had to make a staggering £60,000,000 of savings due to cuts in Government funding and other “inflationary and unavoidable” cost pressures.

In addition, the council’s £145+m budget for 2016/17 is currently being forecasted to see a £750,000 overspend.

4.99% council tax increase
Budget savings of at least £7,500,000 pa over the next two years will lead to a number of job losses within the council.

In an attempt to offset some of the reduction in Government funding (£7.7m), Council Tax will be increased by 4.99% (1.99% general increase, plus 3% ring-fenced for Adult Social Care).

Of note, the total Council Tax income for 2017/18 is estimated to be £76,873,414.

Adult Social Care & Public Health portfolio
Nearly £3,500,000 is expected to be saved within the Adult Social Care & Public Health portfolio through cuts and changes service delivery.

As an example, £1,400,000 is expected to be saved each year in the next three years by reducing the personal budget allocation for existing users (approximately 320 service users). In addition, around 110 people with a physical disability (aged 18-64) will receive a reduction in their Direct Payments.

Resources & Children’s Services Portfolio
This area sees the second largest budget savings with an expected £2,225,500 pa savings for the next three years.

Changes include items such as savings of £587,000 by scrapping the empty property council tax discount.

Budgets for the provision of youth services is being slashed in half, with £192,000 being cut each year for the next three years. The IWC will expect an increased emphasis on targeted support, with providers demonstrating how they will work with the most vulnerable groups.

A 15% (£204,000) cut to the budgets for family centres will have to see a change to the way the service is delivered. The Home to School Transport contract will be rationalised (by £116,000 pa for next three years) seeing a necessary renegotiation with providers (Southern Vectis).

Funding for Adult & Community Learning and Schools Training will be scrapped to save £100,000pa. The service will have to rely solely on government funding and income raised from public.

Contract Management & Car Parking Portfolio
There are planned savings to the budget in the Contract Management & Car Parking Portfolio of almost £900,000.

There’ll be a reduction in the opening hours of Lynnbottom and Afton Recycling centres. The waste facility will close at 6pm in the summer and 4pm in the winter, as well as being closed one day a week.

Savings include the introduction of a £10 fee for the replacement of waste containers (bins) and £89,100 is expected to be raised by charging £55 pa fee for green waste collection.

Reducing PFI requirements
Nearly half a million pounds is planned to be cut from the budget each year for the next three years through a range of savings in the Highways PFI Contract. This would include reducing or removing lighting from areas such as cul-de-sacs and areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

More importantly however, the condition of Isle of Wight roads at the end of the contract will no longer have to meet the seven year life requirement and some roads will be maintained with “alternative but suitable surfaces”.

£40,000 will be saved by removing responsibility of soft landscaping from the Highways PFI Contract and transferring the Grounds Maintenance Contract, but with a reduced level of maintenance.

Environment, Fire & Local Engagement Portfolio
According to the budget papers moving the Fire Control from Surrey to Hampshire will save 100,000 each year for the next three years and £200,000 is expected to be saved in 2018/19 and 2019/20 by reviewing the Fire Service provision on the Isle of Wight.

Planning, Tourism, Recreation & Culture Portfolio
Changes to many aspects within the planning portfolio aim to save around £437,00 each year for the next three years and Islanders will see an increase in Leases and License charges.

Plans are also afoot to increase the foot passenger charges from the opening of the new floating bridge, increasing charges to £1 and £1.50. A review of leisure centre charges is expected see savings of £80,000.

General Reserves will be maintained at £5,000,000.

The Papers
Full details are st out in the papers below. Click on the full screen icon for larger versions.

Isle of Wight Council Budget Proposal Feb 2017 Paper B by OnTheWightNews on Scribd

Budget Proposal 2017-18 PAPER B – APPENDIX C by OnTheWightNews on Scribd

Image: sterlingcollege under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 3rd February, 2017 3:09pm



Filed under: Budget Cuts, Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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53 Comments on "Conservative alliance budget proposal sees cuts, service reductions and increased prices"

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How much does it cost us to have IW Cllrs? Perhaps a reduction in those would save us some money .. I thought it was the Cons who came up with the idea to move fire services to Surrey to start off with (?), so now we’re bringing them back to save money? You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. Several cuts to the highways… Read more »
I share tiki’s desperation. This PFI appears to be a very fluid arrangement: fluid enough to be scrapped entirely and taken back into local operations? Ah, but those would be the same local operators who neglected the road network for 30 years and got us to where we are now… Government is very busy telling local authorities what they can and can’t do. What about LAs responding… Read more »
IWC is still able to spend cash on pursuing a ridiculous court action, thousands on parking report, hundreds of thousands on consultants to look at PFI, spend millions on tidal and solar projects, plus thousands on advertising, hundreds of thousands on health campaigns (“dont eat too many pizzas its bad for you) that simply will have zero effect, hire more bureaucrats in non jobs and so on.… Read more »
Luisa Hillard
1. The Court action is paid for by government. 2. The parking report has yet to prove it’s value, I’ll give you that. 3. The Consultants to look at the PFI could save the Council millions over the term of the contract by sorting out the mess. 4. The money spent on tidal is a project still underway which could have huge benefits to the economy of… Read more »
An unintended consequence of the IWC dumping millions into non fossil electricity generation to make a return is that power bills go up and increase fuel poverty. The only reason the solar plant is ever going to make money is via the subsidies which are then passed onto the end customer. The nature of these green taxes is to hit the poorest hardest as they are levied… Read more »

Have to laugh at a Brexitoid getting all righteous over fuel prices.

Fossil fuel is paid for in dollars, the value of the pound has plunged against that currency so the price we pay has shot up.

You voted for this.


Pound in decline against dollar since 2009. Brexit effect is minimal by comparison.

Steve Goodman


It might be worth checking the figures before deciding the significance of the changes.


Good old fedup. Keep believing the alt-facts.

The Pound has dropped 17% against the US dollar since the referendum.

That is simple maths. But don’t let that spoil your purple tinted world view.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the UKIP symbol features a “£” sign.


2 dollars to the pound in 2008/9 1.7 in 2013/4 1.4 just prior to referendum. slide had been on for years.


Ha Ha. Keep it up, fedup. We’ve had Alt-Right, Alt-Facts, and now you’ve invented Alt-Maths.

Steve Goodman
A possibly unintended consequence of our government and others dumping millions into tax breaks and other subsidies for the dirty and damaging fossil energy generation and use industries to boost profits is that taxes and power bills go up and increase fuel and other poverty. The polluters are not usually having to pay for the results of their damage, and as was agreed at the last global… Read more »
Steven Goodman
‘And a presumably intended consequences of the government dumping £1.3 million daily (from the 2015 figures, and by now possibly up to £1.6m: more info available to followers of Biofuelwatch, Private Eye, etc.) into the single hugely polluting Drax fossil and forrests electricity generator to make a return (‘profit’ that year – £46m, or just under a tenth our our subsidy for the wood burning alone –… Read more »

We shouldn’t have councillors ?

Luisa Hillard
After the Conservatives neglected to maintain the highway network for years, and after selling the Island the idea of the wonderful PFI contract which would give us first-rate roads, we are now being told that we now have a contract which is going to use sub-par materials with a short life-span? Does anyone else see the foolishness in seeking short-term gain which will lead to long-term extra… Read more »
sam salt

Your wrong Luisa. It was the Lib Dems and Island first who neglected to maintain the highway network for years. The cons like the Independents inherited the problem.


Marion your wrong it was the last eight years of Pugh Sutton and co.

No Marion, she’s not wrong – the Tory administration spend virtually NOTHING on maintaining the roads, in the run up to the PFI award – money instead was spent on the contract negotiations. In the year before the PFI the IWC spent less than a million in total on road maintenance – the roads were literally falling apart, so we could all ‘feel the benefit’ of £7m… Read more »
sam salt

Perhaps I am older than the two of you above but I remember how useless the group before Pugh was. But more than that I will remember when we had a chance we were let down by Stephens, Bacon, Stubbings and Jordan. I would still vote independent in the future but not with 2 dippy women from East Cowes trying to run the Island.

Luisa Hillard

I suggest you vote for the best candidate in your ward.

Steve Goodman
And perhaps because some of us are mature enough to recognise not only the faults of the groups led by Pugh and previous, precipitating the progress associated with the Indy’s election, but also unjustifiable comment suggesting the user’s own level of dippyness and dopeyness, it is possible to remind those who need it that OTW has a much more reliable than marion record of useful information on… Read more »
Luisa Hillard

Marion, I expect that the roads have been somewhat neglected, or at least low standards accepted, for many years. We only have to look at the fact that pavements in my town hadn’t been resurfaced since the 1960’s, or so I’m told.

However, as others have pointed out the most neglect – failure to repair potholes etc – happened under the Conservative administration.


Why not put a toll on the Yarmouth Swing bridge Surely that must take alot of money to run?

But as you say its the (Independent cllr’s) E/W Cowes Areas that will take the brunt of the pain

Luisa Hillard

The Yarmouth bridge is paid for through the PFI and I would not throw the West Wight to the wolves to benefit the Cowes area.

However, we are led to believe that the Floating Bridge already makes money for the Council, in which case it seems ‘unfair’ and excessive to increase charges by 50%.

Interesting comment Luisa regarding use of ‘sub-par’ materials on our roads! It would seem current materials are hardly adequate; have a look at how parts of Arreton Valley Road are falling apart, and again from Newport alongb the Ryde Road on the Racecourse leading ton the roundabout and East Cowes turn off. These roads (and others) need proper pot hole repairs. This workn seems to have been… Read more »
Luisa Hillard
With regard to potholes it is my understanding that the contract defines different types with different timescales for fixing. I have seen the “throw a shovel full of tarmac in the hole and tamp it down” method many times in my ward. There was a particularly deep hole on Adelaide Grove which the buses used to go through. Every few days the repair truck would turn up,… Read more »
Rod Manley
As the Trades Councils have pointed out the Conservative plan for the Isle of Wight Council to become a business, rather than a community authority, is a scheme to practically implement their ideology. The fight is now against the government and their authority who are implementing austerity. It includes the fight against transformation into a monopoly serving business authority operated by the local politicians acting in cohorts… Read more »
Philip Storey

Have alternative delivery vehicle’s been explored for leisure services?


As usual lots of brickbats but no sensible solutions….whoever has the responsibility of running our public finances will have the same problem!

Marc howland

With £12 BILLION a year spent on Foreign (Despot) Aid & (still) £55 Million a day given to the EUssr, it’s incredulous that budget cuts (essentially) from Central Government funding can be allowed.

I continue to lobby my MP on this subject …..

billy builder
Marc, why do you persist in quoting BRexiter lies and misinformation that have been proven to be just that lies and misinformation. The net 8 billion a year that is currently paid into the EU pays for shared services such as customs services, product standards, trade negotiators and wealth of other services, all of which will need to be replicated in the UK once BRexit happens. Providing… Read more »

But when has the truth ever got in the way of an Alt-Right rant using Alt-Facts and Alt-Maths.

Also note the use of the term’s “EUssr” and “Foreign (Despot) Aid)”. Because making up silly names for things obviously makes your Alt-Facts about them so much more believable.

iain mckie

I am not convinced that the EU can survive post Brexit. We shall just have to see how things unfold.

billy builder

Iain, you might be right, but I certainly hope not, as if the EU collapse Europe we will be doomed. We have a Russian dictator to our east and religious extremists to our south, both of whom would move into the void.

One possible consequence of BRexit was always world war 3.

Haven’t you and every other BRexit voter done wel.

iain mckie

The possible end of the EU does not mean the end of european co-operation I don’t think. So, that should be OK(Ish). Personally, I don’t consider Russia to be a threat to the UK. I might well be missing something, but I simply don’t see that it is in the interests of Russia to aggress Europe.



Vladimir Putin:

This is a man who is in charge of the worlds second most powerful military.

A man whose rise to power, and the way he holds on to it, is extremely questionable.

A man whom the new American President seems all too keen to grovel to (why?)

And you don’t consider him a threat?


You’d better hope that the EU isn’t actually that unstable and close to breakup.

Desperate people do desperate things, and the more concerned the likes of Junker are about a break up, then more likely they are to make a bl**dy and messy example of the UK.

Well, I see where you are coming from Suruk. of course, Juncker doesn’t have a country to run and a business economy to manage, but Merkel does. I am really interested in watching the interplay, the power game, between her and the other country leaders, and the feather bedded presidents, Juncker, Tusk and Co. Our PM was right to take time before invoking Article 50, and not… Read more »
iain mckie

I don’t doubt that Putin etc err on the side of dodgy and they are not my cup of tea, but I do not think that Russia pose a threat to the UK. I don’t believe it is in their interests to (I presume) invade Europe). What can they possibly win/achieve?

tr: The bizarre thing about any kind of break up of the EU is that of all the countries in it, Germany is probably the best placed to go it alone. It is the 4th largest economy in the world (50% larger than the UK) and (unlike the UK) still has a decent manufacturing base. France, too would probably survive outside of the EU. The real worry,… Read more »


Putin won’t need to “invade” militarily.

Eastern European EU countries have received a lot of support from the EU and are developing modern industrial / technical economies.

Putin would eye them with great interest as potential members of the Russian Federation. And with his hold on the supply of fuel to these countries, he could easily force them into capitulating by financial pressure alone.


Hang on a minute, not everyone is experiencing a budget cut! The MP’s gravy train continues, gold plated pension, over generous allowances, salaries and benefits decided by a committee run on the buddy system. Oh and nearly half a billion to do up Buck House! Austerity isn’t for all!

iain mckie

Our MP charged the taxpayer £13 grand last year ( despite him having a taxpayer funded flat 1.2 miles from Parliament, the rental proceeds of which now go solely to Carole Dennett

iain mckie

sorry, I should have written “13 grand for hotel accommodation”


Her Majesty will sadly be gone by the time Buckingham Palace is fixed so your comment is hardly fair. MP’s salaries should be doubled to attract better people.

The roads PFI has been a shambles from even before day one. The IW council of the time spent miilions on PWC and their ex-employers drafting up a contract so full of holes that five years later has still to be resolved. And now the, er, “caretaker” administration is proposing to remove miniscule amounts from the contract (in comparison to the overall PFI figure) in order to… Read more »

that would be “employees” , not employers

Alan Price

Colin, if you require help writing your will I hear Johnathan Bacon is very knowledgable with legal stuff, although if he requires clarity on any of your requests be prepared to be taken to the Supreme Court…..


Oh look, another off-topic attack on the independents from “an honest council tax paying resident” who also said “I can assure you I am not here to cause ‘mischief'”.

I can’t recall the word for this sort of behaviour. Whatever it is, I don’t think he should be fed by us anymore.

Thank you for your reply, Alan. If you take the trouble to read some of my posts on the subject of the court case, you will understand why the council took the action they did. The media has been extremly selective in it’s reporting of the case and before you make further comment on Cllr Bacon I suggest you read up on the court cases involved. There… Read more »
Robert Jones
Iain McKie – the EU may contract somewhat, and may even be in greater danger should the allies of LePen win presidential or governmental elections in France, but it’s likely to exist long after you and I are sitting in urns above our respective families’ fireplaces. The more immediate question and worry is whether the UK will continue to exist, and under what conditions, now that we’ve… Read more »
billy builder

Robert, well said, we’re on a road to nowhere, which will make the UK all but irrelevant. The future for our children and children’s children is blighted!


“There’ll be a reduction in the opening hours of Lynnbottom and Afton Recycling centres. The waste facility will close at 6pm in the summer and 4pm in the winter, as well as being closed one day a week”

I always believed that there was a contract between IWC and Amey. So how can any savings be made if there is an agreed figure?