The Isle of Wight Council have today put forward a revision of their budget proposals, prior to the full council meeting tomorrow evening.
The revisions are in response to the feedback received from residents, service users and take into account the alternative budgets put forward by Geoff Lumley, Ian Stevens and Reg Barry.
Community Services gain
A statement from David Pugh informs us that with some revisions to the budget, an extra £750,000 will be allocated to the
Supporting PeopleCommunity Services, which provides help for vulnerable people on the Island. More to come on that on VB later today.
Parking charges frozen, permits temporarily abolished
It also states that the proposed 10% increase of parking charges will be frozen this year.
It looks as though some of the £750k for Supporting People is going to come from the abolition of resident parking permits, which will be “discontinued for the time being, pending a full review of parking provision as part of the Council’s transport policy.”
The release states “It is estimated that abolishing the residents’ permit would further affect income (over and above the income that would have been generated by the original proposed increase) by £600,000 during a full year; thus enabling additional funding to be realised for other services.”
We’ve listened to the public
David Pugh Leader said: “All three budgets recognise that it is necessary to review expenditure in areas of care and support for older and vulnerable residents, and all of them propose reduced spend in relation to a number of different service areas.
“The broad consensus is to focus our increasingly limited resources as effectively as possible on the clients with the greatest need – this must be our priority in difficult times such as now.
“We remain committed to implementing significant changes to the delivery of care and support that will give clients a greater say over the services they receive – as outlined in our original proposals. However, having listened carefully to the feedback received in recent weeks, we recognise that there are some genuine anxieties being expressed regarding the transition and the potential impact of withdrawing particular services to some
“Recognising this particular concern, and the need to manage the changes as effectively as possible, we are proposing to allocate an additional £750,000 to Community Services to help those clients in greatest need of continued care and support, and also to look at where the greatest risks exist in terms of potential impact on other council service areas.”
On the future of Westminster House, Cllr Cousins said
“The future of Westminster House and other facilities will be considered as part of a whole-life review of the provision of services for residents with learning disabilities.
“As part of this review we will be exploring how we could integrate both care and support services for LD clients of all ages, which will be assisted by our £2m increase in spending on adult social care. I look forward to engaging with user groups and representatives as part of this ongoing process.”
Labour Councillor Geoff Lumley said “These revisions are a cynical Conservative attempt to defuse valid protests about their proposed closure of Westminster House and the total abandonment of car park permits. They propose a community services ‘rescue fund’ that will operate in a very randomised manner and a vague future review of parking policy, and they claim that no decision has yet been made about Westminster House. All they are really doing is delaying the decision-making until the protests disperse.”
He continued, “The Council meeting on Wednesday will offer a stark choice between the uncaring Conservatism at the heart of their budget proposal, the first LibDem offering for some years, and what I consider is a coherent alternative budget compiled by councillors who have put their differences aside to work for the benefit of the disadvantaged in our community.”