Cllr Andrew Garratt shares this latest news from Isle of Wight council Liberal Democrat councillors. Ed
A budget amendment from the Isle of Wight Council’s Liberal Democrat group aims to protect and improve vital services for vulnerable adults and children, stop the new £1 overnight parking charges, and bring in new initiatives that invest in local communities, boost local entrepreneurial spirit, and encourage environment-friendly transport.
Lib Dem group leader, Cllr Andrew Garratt, says:
“Massive funding cuts from central government are forcing the Isle of Wight Council’s hand.
“But it’s not ‘Hobson’s Choice’.
“The Lib Dem budget amendment shows there is a better approach than the one being taken by the Conservative administration.
“Our proposals draw on the liberal principles set out in our party’s constitution: ‘to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.’
“And our plans are prudent. They are paid for by redirecting money that would otherwise go into the Council’s transformation and general reserves. It will still see a robust ‘rainy day’ balance, well above the bare minimum required.”
The Lib Dem budget proposals are set out below.
Adult Social Care and Children’s Services:
1. £20,800 provided to stop increased charges at Adelaide and Gouldings
2. £75,000 funding for Mental Health Day Centres
3. £150,000 to stop the re-organisation of Disabled Children’s Intervention Team, Resilience Around the Family and Early Help Co-ordinators
4. £75,000 for Smart Tech for individuals at home provided by the Living Well Service to people who are not eligible for Smart Tech via the Adult Social Care scheme
5. £50,000 Funding for Youth Offer grants
Investing in communities
6. £250,000 for Establishment of a Community Capacity and Local Area Co-ordination Fund – this will allow community organisations to take forward ideas on how to build community strength and spirit, particularly where it helps individuals to find help that they most need
7. £100,000 Community Fund for Town and Parish Councils – these councils are the closest to their communities; this fund will help them make improvements to public spaces that enhance community life
8. £5,000 extra to support Community Libraries, which are an important part of community life for many people
9. £20,000 for a Community Engagement and Consultation Fund – too many council reports say that consultation has not taken place because it is not statutory; this fund will help refocus the council so that it has a far stronger community engagement and consultation culture
10. £10,000 Funding for Community Safety data analysis – lack of dedicated analytical capacity has been highlighted on more than one occasion; good statistical analysis improves decision making and priority setting, and help all those who are dedicated to keeping our communities safe
Boosting business and entrepreneurial culture
11. £147,500 to withdraw the proposal the £1 overnight parking charge – ar parking review is promised so it makes no sense to bring in a new charge when a review is to be held; the charge risks becoming the thin of the wedge for future rises
12. £100,000 Enterprise Fund – to support entrepreneurs as they get their businesses under way. As the Isle of Wight draft local plan strategy notes: “The Island also benefits from an entrepreneurial culture with micro businesses (with five or fewer employees) accounting for 85% of local business.”
13. £25,000 for Careers advice in Schools – this is to support and enhance the offer that schools can give; good advice now can pay a dividend in the future
Promoting environment-friendly travel
14. £50,000 for Active Travel initiatives – more and more people recognise the environmental and health benefits of cycling and walking
15. £50,000 to install further electric car charging points – more and more people are considering the switch to electric cars; they need to know that there will be places to charge them
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