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.
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.
Full details can be read in the papers below