We’re reporting live from the Riverside Centre where Isle of Wight Council Chief Executive, Steve Beynon, is delivering his budget proposals to stakeholders affected by the proposed cuts in funding to the voluntary sector.
Please refresh / reload your browser to see the latest updates. We will endeavour to report presentations and discussions as accurately as possible. Text surrounded by () signifies VB’s comments.[12.45] The hall at The Riverside is completely packed – lots of people having to stand.
Richard Priest gave an introduction saying it’s a “challenging time”.
Next up Michael, chair of the RCC – 1,200 strong voluntary sector on the Island. The impact of recession is only just starting. RCC has been in discussion with the Isle of Wight council (IWC).
[12:55] Update 1
Steve Beynon (IWC Chief Exec) up – Volunteers will become ever more important in the coming years. Changes of personalisation will be met. IWC has £135m spendable (not schools, etc). 35m base grant
Reliance on the voluntary sector growing. Public Sector funding of it has grown from 30% to 40%. IWC loses of external to IWC around £20m. Planned income is down around £2.5m.
Personalisation agenda is a challenge. 12-18 months will be hard.
There is a way forward if we can get through this.
Currently IWC is funding on a contract basis. If less people use it, the IWC still pays the same. Under personalisation this will change.
IWC needs to move from a provider to an commissioner / administrator, over viewing it all. IWC want to join up with Commissioning. Want to actively support the RCC in the aim for a Hub (central place for Island charities).
Yes, we are looking to reduce our spend to some of the people in this room. Two year period, we will step down funding.
Some will continue to receive a core grant, other won’t. Still £100k planned to be given after the changes.
He’s summing up now. It’s going to be tough.
No applause for him.
[12:59] Update 2
Paddy Noctor up first: £2.7m cut by IWC. Will you give a commitment to support in 2010/11?
Very few people will get benefit of Personalisation. Please comment.
Beynon: In theory yes to a 3 year contract. Unlikely to commit now, we don’t have details from government yet. Not wise to do a 3 year deal until we know about poss government changes.
One of our inefficiencies is targeting resources. A team is doing it at the IWC.
On Personalistion – right as a principle. The transition is hard. (The £20m figure from before was over 3 years). We’ve decided that Personalisation is the right way forward (so it sounds like it is a choice).
Next question: Ellie – this report is totally misleading and we’ve been misrepresented. We do 3,913 sessions in a year. £12.27 per session. How is that not good value. This report is totally in accurate.
[13:05] Update 3
Beynon – info has been provided by our contract manager. If it is incorrect we need to discuss the details
Mark Chiverton: These changes impact the vol sector workers.
Beynon: It will be difficult. We want to work with people. We are going to employ less people as a local authority – if we’re paying external people, we won’t need to have them in the IWC.
Lady: The Island is getting itself right finally. Why are you trying to take it away?
Beynon: Expecting 10-15% drop in funding from Gov over the next three years.
Nicola: Who will be affect by the removal of floating support? 900-1,900 people “over the period” helped. We have a team to try and avoid people slipping through the gaps.
I can’t guarantee that people who receive support will continue to receive it. We need to provide for the most vulnerable.
[13:13] Update 4
SW housing assoc: There’s a £1.9m funding ring fenced and the interest.
Beynon: I don’t know, but can provide a written answer.
Cllr Lumley: In a recent Cabinet meeting, talk of the IWC doing what “it should be doing”. Is £1m for a comms dept and £500k for number crunching good value?
(lots of applause)
David Pugh: I want to keep this debate between which areas we should and shouldn’t be spending on.
Pugh bringing up those over 80 yo and supporting them. (Shouts of why?) When Pugh repeats point of comparing department spending.
Beynon: I won’t comment on comms. On Number crunching – I’d love to, but gov insists on details.
Martin Bulter: On not doing the 3 year contracts – this isn’t the case across the UK. I’m negotiating 22 across the UK now.
Beynon: Maybe some that negotiate, but none with £3m subsidy on travel (think they just had £890k grant, so should be less).
[13:21] Update 5
Q: Why have we not heard about this before? It’s all been done at the last minute?
Beynon: I understand that there were meetings last year with Sarah Mitchell (IWC). We have tried to engage people in debate.
Rosemary: Hear that Westminster House will be sold and will become an old people’s home. MenCap gave that building for respite care. At best discourtesy, at worst breach of contract.
(Lots of applause)
Beynon: I don’t know the detail. Things need to be moved forward.
Fiona: (Island refuge). Supporting people. Pugh is on record of calling support a luxury. How do you think their safety is a luxury?
Pugh: There were more words around that quote that was on the Blog.
Paul: This is a potential unmitigated disaster. I’ve approached you David for a meeting. I think I can help because of people I know. This report is full of holes and people will fall through them.
Pugh: I’m not prepared to commit at a public meeting
[13:31] Update 6
David (Not just enterprises): 28% of our funding is from Local Authority (LA). Rest is raised by us. When we make applications, each time we have to show how we’ve worked with the council. Without being able to quote it, we’ll lose all of our funding.
Beynon: Working with the LA doesn’t mean you have to receive money from us (Big Lottery funding).
Riverside user (stroke victim): Us having money is like giving a child some money to go to the sweet shop.
Beynon: You won’t get a cheque, but will be able to direct funds.
Support worker: Been working with Supporting People for years. Lots of people benefit from our visits and support – perhaps five in a household.
Beynon: We’re increasing the number of children centres on the Island from Gov grants.
Lady at back: How will you support people / workers during these changes?
Beynon: There are people responsible for doing this.
(Calls of who are they though? We need to know)
Bob Blezzard: One Island mag is a waste of money, so it should be cut. Cut manager payment rates to the level you had when they came into power
[13:40] Update 7
Pugh: One Island mag will be self supporting shortly (!)
Robin: Very few questions asked today have been answered. People will come away feeling more frustrated. What consultation has actually taken place? This is actually the privitisation of services. We don’t want it (Applause).
(Massive applause on finish)
Pugh: It’s a bit late to call it privatisation. We look at it as commissioned services – some of them run it better than the council can. We’ve done lots of surveys.
Beynon: We’ve done an Audit. It’s not for me to comment on political debate.
Another Q: A lot of the pushing for personalised budgets have come from the vol service
Morris Barton(?): No council has a monopoly of wisdom. The vol sector is a huge input to the Island. I think David (Pugh) has tried to communicate. This isn’t the same for all of the people working in thr council. You don’t have to go outside the Island to find the talent to provide help to the Council. Island talent can do it
“Think about the Island David”
Cllr Pugh: We’ve worked with RCC to help local organisations get funding
Beynon: even if contract are with companies off the Island, but we’re building in that they use Island contractors
[13:57] Update 8
Bob (providing support for floating services): Come June our 124 will be out of our support and the staff without a job. What can you do to help ensure this doesn’t happen
Beynon: I don’t have any glib answers.
Bob: What advice should I give to our clients?
Beynon: We have teams working on this.
(Calls of what officers? Where are they?)
Jill Wareham: Look at other things you can cut, not the vol sector
Beynon: I’m agree with the tennet of what you say, but we don’t have extra money to spend
Lady: £1.9m pot (mentioned before) has had the ring fence lifted. It appears that you might be planning to dip into this pot
(Lots of applause)
Beynon: Need to put this in context. “We are protecting a considerable part of the grant”
We need to idenntify how we move forward
(One more question)
Chiverton: The second very well attended meeting in 2 days. Westminster House only heard about being moved to another building via the media. Please talk to people about what you’re doing
(Lots of applause from group)
Beynon: I appreciate what you say, but I’m not going to carry out an industrial tribunal in public
[14:05] Update 9
Beynon: There’s been some very strong view here. We need to go away and take not of these. There’s been a benefit for you to make your point in from on The Leader.
Write to me via email, they’re not screened. Thanks for coming along.
Michael RCC: The relationship here isn’t terminally ill, but it will be hard.
END OF MEETING
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