Isle of Wight Council: We’ve cut everything, now we need Regeneration

The Isle of Wight council admit that whilst they’ve been very effective in making savings in response to cuts from Government funding, they’ve not focused enough on increasing their income. A proposal to address this, with the creation of new Regeneration posts has just been published.

John Metcalfe - Now CEO of Isle of Wight council - 25 Nov 2015

During the Secretary of State, Greg Clark’s recent visit to the Isle of Wight, he made it very clear that the Island would not be given any additional cash to solve the council’s current financial challenges.

A paper being presented to an Extraordinary meeting of the Isle of Wight council (IWC) Employment Committee seeks to address the current and medium-term financial difficulties. The current financial year has a £4.4m forecast overspend and the IWC also needs to address savings in 2017/18 to 2019/20 of around £22.4m.

A ‘step-change’ required
Presented by the Chief Executive, CEO John Metcalfe, the paper sets out proposals to deliver what is being referred to as a ‘step-change’.

Mr Metcalfe states,

“It is clear that it [the IWC] needs to make big, bold and ambitious bids, of sufficient scale to deliver a ‘step change’ in the council’s and the Island’s economic position.”

Regeneration the focus for new officers
The paper sets out a proposal to create the new position of Director of Regeneration, along with two dedicated regeneration officers at senior level, and a property management specialist.

The devolution growth funds, local growth deal funds and other schemes such as the £90 million coastal communities fund, or the starter homes fund will be targeted by team in a “new and proactive focus on regeneration activity and economic development, to stimulate growth in the council’s income and the Island’s economy”.

In order to do this, the council are being asked to agree allocation of £2m from the ASDA capital receipt across the financial years 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Other recommendations
The Committee will also be asked to approve recruitment of a Director of Adult Social Services, support the replacement of the post of Deputy Managing Director and Head of Place with a Head of Place and

“Agree and recommend to Full Council that it delays any changes to the operating model at this time in order to sustain the organisation’s capacity to change and that the cost of this action is funded by £6.0m from the ASDA capital receipt across the financial years 2016/17 and 2017/18 to defer any changes that would have the effect of diminishing the council’s capacity to transform or regenerate the Island Economy.”

The proposal will be considered by the committee on Monday 11th July.

The papers
Full details can be read in the papers below

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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34 Comments on "Isle of Wight Council: We’ve cut everything, now we need Regeneration"

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Rod Manley
Metcalf needs to keep his hands off our ASDA money and the interest it has accrued to account for depreciation. Greg Clark should now be ignored post Brexit and the demand that Government should fund our council. Workers should be reinstated when the conditions, post Brexit, change and new political priorities take over when the Government changes. It is not Metcalf’s little empire that should be looked… Read more »

It seems to me that during the sixteen or so years Mr Metcalf has been employed by the IOW Council, he would have seen far too many “ambitious” schemes involving the employment of highly paid consultants or employees with disastrous consequences. It seems the height or irresponsibility to consider using Asda funds in this way.


Another ‘spend to save’ initiative. The council might appear to be good at the former, but not so effective with the latter.


In a word, vote No, it’s just not worth the funding

Regeneration and growth should have always been the FIRST plans of the IW Council. This is the problem when you have accountants and budget holders running local Councils is that they know how to distribute and keep track of money. But they don’t know how to attract it. That takes a very different skills set – different than traditional “planning”. Whilst I support a local council immensely,… Read more »
Barbara Penman

Have Amey paid back the 70 million the Council loaned them?

Luisa Hillard
The Council have not ‘loaned’ £70 million to Amey. They get paid a yearly fee minus penalties and profit share on the sale of recyclables and energy generation from food waste. The money you refer to is capital funding for infrastructure that the Council will own during and after this contract. By providing the finance the Council saves money because we can borrow at a lower interest… Read more »

what she did not say say is we paid amey 70 million .in that there are new trucks new site facilities ,Also when it went to full council there was only 2 choices 1 amey or no waste contract at all i am sending a freedom of information request next week to find out what has gone on in the council

Luisa Hillard
Actually when it first went to for a decision it was to make Amey (highest scorer) the preferred bidder with a second company (second highest scorer) the back up, should the contract negotiations have failed. It is ridiculous to suggest that we should have abandoned the results of our own legally defined procurement process to discard the winner with the highest score. Anyone who suggests such a… Read more »
Morris Barton

When are the Council going to reveal the Devolution proposals sent to the Council last week which rule out new money and propose we become an urban suburb of Southampton, Portsmouth and Eastliegh. I understand we have until July 11 to reply to these proposals

Jonathan Bacon
I don’t know about those proposals. What will be published next week is the Governance Review looking at whether a Combined Authority will potentially help the areas involved. These will be part of the papers for the next Executive published in accordance with the usual timetable – Portsmouth published earlier as they are having their Executive meeting earlier than us. There is no deal yet, we are… Read more »
Jonathan Bacon

I posted a response to this comment which appears to have been removed without notice. Any particular reason?

Jonathan Bacon

It has reappeared now. Thank you. I did mean to add that Eastleigh aren’t even part of the current suggestions/proposals!

Jonathan Bacon

Gone again!


I’m now awaiting your comment’s release from the moderation “sin bin” with breath well and truly bated.

I hope it doesn’t disappoint!


Let’s hope we don’t flinch from all the asterisked bad language :)


Good point. Jonathon swears like a ****ing sailor.

retired hack

If it includes a hyperlink it will be automatically moderated until checked manually.

Island Monkey

And it seems we’ll get a Mayor, at last. So what if he’s from over the water, the politicians we’ve had in power here on the dear old Island, are not even third rate. We need better, we deserve better.


… s/he’s from over the water …


…they’re from over the water…

Luisa Hillard

Last time the Island held a referendum on whether to have a Mayor the answer was ‘no’.


there has never been a referendum on that issue it was a failed partition to call a referendum it turned out people on holiday etc put there name to it IF YOU HAVE THE RESULTS POST THEM UP THERE ARE NO EXISTENT

Geoff Lumley

There was a referendum on this in 2005. I organised the NO campaign.

From Wikipedia “A local referendum on the issue of a directly-elected mayor of the Isle of Wight was held at the same time as the local elections – this failed to pass, with 37,097 against to 28,786 for.[9]”. That is 56%-44% against on a 60% turnout.


Watch out though Geoff.

There are those who would argue that if politicians lied during the referendum process then the electorate would’ve been befuddled and unable to comprehend the information placed before them, thus rendering the referendum void…

Those people are idiots of course, but they seem to be particularly vocal idiots!


wow i must have missed that dont think i was on the iow in 2005



I guess that’s aimed at people like myself. That’s a massive simplification of one part of the argument and you know it.

But obviously the normalisation of the political class constantly lying about everything with no consequence is very good for democracy. You do your masters proud.


*I* can’t see Jonathan Bacon’s original comment, just the 2 referring to possible removal and reappearance.

Maybe it went into moderation – then only the person posting sees it until it emerges, I believe.

I’m in the same position. The rules for posts going in to moderation are a mystery to me. I had one go (I presume) for using a colloquial term for cigarette. Another (I guess) for using the adjectival form of blood. Other I’m told for being too long. And others for no reason I’ve fathomed. If Alan Turing was still around, I’m sure he’d be able to… Read more »
Black Dog

This, in my opinion, is going to be train crash. When you have people without imagination or business acumen setting the benchmark it can go only one way.

There is a potential for yet more consultants to help reduce the limited resource held by the council

billy builder

Black Dog, Unfortunately the council has lost the very very few staff they had of any quality in management roles, so you have the blind leading the blind. This is certainly a recipe for disaster.

Perhaps councilors could reach out to islands with skills that could be usefully employed.

I would say come back Steve Bynon, all is forgiven – but its not

Black Dog

BB. Unfortunately councillors also lack the necessary skills to drive this, sadly they don’t realise their very obvious shortcomings and believe the contrary is true.

If this continues we will see the usual suspects involved with the same old results.