Labour and Lib Dem Councillors propose lower council tax increase

As part of their alternative budget, the two Labour and one LibDem councillors propose 1.99% increase as opposed to the 4.99% increase being proposed by the Conservative UKIP Alliance.

calculator glasses and paperwork

Labour councillor for Newport East, Geoff Lumley, shares this latest news.

This follows the release of the proposed budget by the Conservative Alliance administration at the beginning of the month. Ed


The IW Council Labour Group, together with Reg Barry (LibDem), ​have today submitted an alternative Budget to Wednesday’s Full Council.

Their budget alternative proposes a 1.99% increase in Council Tax whilst reducing cuts by £1.​7​m, particularly those to social care services for vulnerable people. It does this by using £3m from the £17.5m Asda capital receipt – a frequent suggestion by Islanders – and £​6​00k from allegedly ‘earmarked reserves’.

Islanders will recall that the new Tory/Ukip Alliance running the Council has proposed the maximum possible 4.99% increase in Council Tax and £7.5m of cuts.​ They also plan to use all of the ASDA receipt on capital projects that would usually be funded though borrowing, if done at all; contrary to the policy agreed across the Council last February.​

Highlights of budget
The Labour/​Reg Barry alternative Budget:

  • ​halves the ​​​dubious ​’​​efficiencies​’​ in adult social care by £1 million;
  • retains the current opening hours at recycling centres (eg Lynbottom);
  • removes the ​proposed ​50% increase in Floating Bridge charges;
  • limits the cuts to Family Centres to 5% rather than 15%;
  • limits the cuts to youth services to 25% rather than 50%;
  • provides for more planning enforcement;
  • ​restores support for the Adult & Community Learning service;
  • allocates more money for Rights of Way maintenance;
  • removes a £​20​0k proposed saving on the Highways PFI contract that roads should be kept to a high standard for seven years after the Island Roads contract ends.

Many ​Tory/UKIP efficiencies “unacceptable​ and unachievable​”
Geoff Lumley, leader of the Labour Group said,

“We are advised there is a £7.5m gap in the next Budget and the ​Conservative/Ukip Alliance have ​now ​​published a range of service cuts, many of which will hurt services to vulnerable people​ particularly through some dubious ‘efficiencies’​.

“​We consider ​many of ​them entirely unacceptable​ and unachievable​. We have identified ​a technical method by which a small portion of the ASDA receipt could be used to protect ​these ​services for another year and keep the Council Tax increase down.

“We have always believed that we should protect services for another year so that Islanders will have a choice at the May elections. Between a service slashing Tory-Ukip Alliance or candidates committed to protecting services to vulnerable people. After May Islanders will have made that choice. We want the elections to be a referendum between austerity and cuts or the protection of public services.”

Reg Barry said,

“As well as a 1.99% increase we have decided that Council Tax payers should not have to pay the 3% extra precept for Adult Social Care permitted by central Government.

“We believe that most hard-pressed Islanders cannot afford a 5% increase at a time when wages are depressed and inflation rising. Government should be properly funding Adult Social Care and the NHS.”

Budget papers
Full detail can be read in the papers below. Click on the full screen icon to see larger version.


Article edit
Budget papers added 16.34

Image: reynermedia under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 20th February, 2017 4:11pm

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ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2f1v

Filed under: Budget Cuts, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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7 Comments on "Labour and Lib Dem Councillors propose lower council tax increase"

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electrickery

Remarkably similar to the amended budget now proposed by the Independent group. Seems everyone agrees on a sensible and legal way forward except Tories/UKIP. Perhaps they will see their failure reflected come elections in May.

Full Council on Wednesday will hopefully agree common ground between the two amended budgets and then approve it.

Then we can start on the real problem: our much-loved Conservative government.

Geoff Lumley

There is the huge difference of 2% in the proposed increase. It is that that separates us. We do not feel we need to do the government’s work on seriously underfunded adult social care services given the Asda windfall. They do.

juliancritchley
It’s this kind of alternative to the Tories the island needs. Frankly, it’s ridiculous that Labour has had such little presence in the council for so long. Having watched first the LibDems, and more recently the Independents, fail to offer any worthwhile alternative to the Tories, let’s hope that in the May elections, islanders realise that the only way to stop more Tory service cuts and tax… Read more »
tiki
I’d pay up to 2% more council tax only if it was guaranteed to go directly to adult social care and not syphoned elsewhere. Apart from Mr Lumley I can’t name a single other labour candidate. Where have they been for the last 4 years? Not door knocking or raising their profile. They aren’t the only ones who have let the electorate down. Stubbings and Bacon let… Read more »
Geoff Lumley

IW Labour canvassed almost the entire Island in 2014-15 and has been out door-knocking in numerous wards since the start of the year. Let me know where you live and I will ensure your local candidate prioritises a call on you

Alan Price
Cllr Lumley, I have finally had a chance to digest the attached budget proposal, it makes for interesting reading, I have a few points that I would be interested to hear from you: in 18-19 you have forecast an income from Collection fund of £78.29 ish million, which compared to 17-18 proposal figures represents a 4.9% increase in council tax, is that what you would have proposed?… Read more »
Craig

Alan – have you had a chance to digest the Con-UKIP budget yet? I’m sure that those who follow your comments would be interested to hear your views on the proposals that were voted through last week.

But I guess that discussions is for another thread.