Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley shares this latest news. Ed
The Tory administration at the Isle of Wight council today announced that it will be ceasing gritting operations this winter on a large number of rural roads, with South and West Wight particularly badly affected, but with other cuts on routes between Ryde and Sandown.
These cuts risk isolating some of our rural communities, rendering our roads less safe on an Island which already has an above-average problem with road traffic accidents.
These cuts appear to have passed through the Isle of Wight Council without proper scrutiny, and with no public consultation. They have been recommended by the council’s £16,000 a month consultant.
Critchley: Out of the public eye the endless cuts continue
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said:
“I notice that the council have not released a figure for the cuts which will be made. Given the lack of consultation and scrutiny of this decision, I can’t help wondering if that is deliberate.
“Perhaps they don’t want a comparison to be drawn between the huge salary they’re paying to their consultant and the costs of the cuts he is recommending to Islanders’ services. The council should tell us immediately what the cost of these cuts is going to be.
“It’s not good enough to say that we grit a higher proportion of roads than ‘the average for local authorities in the southeast’. Most local authorities in the southeast are not rural, and don’t have isolated rural communities who desperately need safe roads in order to get to work, to the shops and to the local services they need.
“Time after time, we have our Tory MP and our Tory council telling us that austerity is over, that there’s new money flooding in. Yet the reality is that out of the public eye, with no consultation or scrutiny, the endless cuts continue.”