A consultation over next year’s budget plans is now underway, after the proposals were put before council bosses on Thursday night (catch up with live coverage).
Budget plans include a three per cent council tax rise, paying for parking in key locations — such as Nodehill and Crocker Street in Newport, and Union Street in Ryde — and even shorter tip hours.
Cabinet members quizzed Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, and deputy councillor and finance cabinet member, Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, over the plans, asking them to reconsider some of the savings.
Reconsider parking charges
Cabinet member for regeneration and business, Cllr Wayne Whittle, alongside other cabinet members, asked that the introduction of parking charges in Newport and Ryde be reconsidered.
Cllr Whittle said:
“Small, free, limited wait spaces are essential to traders. They have already got the Internet against them, and we really need to help them.”
He added the proposals went against his aim of getting people back into the high street.
Reconsider Wight Care charges
Cabinet member for adult social care, Cllr Clare Mosdell, also asked the cabinet to reconsider the three per cent increase in charging for Wightcare.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Paul Brading, asked that the £50,000 reduction to Island Futures be reconsidered.
“Our a-level results this year were not where they should be.”
In total, cabinet members queried £312,500 of savings.
Savings will have to be found
Responding, Cllr Hutchinson said:
“That money would have to be found in other savings.
“We have already made £76 million in savings, so all the easy savings have gone.
“Even if we don’t make these cuts this year, we still have to make £5.5 million in savings next year, and the following year.
“Even if services do not need to be cut in this budget, we could likely need to cut services next year.”
Both Cllrs Stewart and Hutchinson ruled out using the council’s £11m in reserves.
The plans will go before the full council in February.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed