Live Coverage of Steve Beynon’s Budget Cut Presentation (update 9)

Follow the presentation and response to Isle of Wight Council’s budget cut proposal

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
Q+A now
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.

(large applause)

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

(-summing up-)

[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.


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Image: Lazlozian

Friday, 5th February, 2010 12:46pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Live coverage, Newport

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28 Comments on "Live Coverage of Steve Beynon’s Budget Cut Presentation (update 9)"

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Looks like Pugh and Beynon are getting it in the neck from those likely to be affected by the budget cuts. What I don’t understand is why they have such a large deficit. When they came into power there was a massive reserve. Where the hell has it all gone?


Not on any of our theatres that’s for sure. ;)

Money for these services used to be ring-fenced therefore Councils couldn’t use it for any thing else. Now it’s not, and they can (and not surprisingly, are) . How they expect the voluntary sector to be able to survive, let along provide services for vulnerable people beats me. The worst thing is the people who benefited by these services will then have to fall back on other… Read more »
Geoff Lumley

Undercliff Drive investigation; mainland consultancies to fill gaps in senior officer expertise; a long running list of interim appointments costing even more than our own chief officers; spending on pet schemes rather than saving for a rainy day….the list goes on. They inherited reserves of £40m back in May 2005.

Brian W

£40million reserves gone in four years!!!!!!!!

These people need to go. Now!

Geoff Lumley

To be fair they still have half of it left, though only £7.6m is actually usable. Give them some credit !


Quote :”Beynon: I don’t have any glib answers.”

(and this from the King of Glib himself)

This is quite simply a disgusting attack on the most disadvantaged in our society

Shame on you Benyon and Pugh


We pay Council tax and Business rates to support The Pugh and Beynon Comedy Duo.

Kelvin Currie

Social Services are always the first things to be cut. Councillors perks will be the very last, if at all!

I notice that they didn’t want to discuss any reasoning behind their decisions at a public meeting. I take that to mean they don’t want us to understand exactly how useless the whole lot of them are. As if we hadn’t guessed that.


Tory Councillors in their local wards, how can they look people straight in the eye without being ashamed.


Beynon is the Prince of Darkness.

They’re spending millions on the PFI initiative – and I swear they know it will never happen. This is bad politics. They can’t admit it’s doomed without losing face. After all, they claim this as one of their great policies. If they keep spending on the plan, consultants etc they can blame someone else (The Government) when it finally has to be revealed that PFI’s are finished… Read more »
Maggie Currie
Why won’t David Pugh discuss matters at a public meeting? I was under the illusion that the council employees, including the leader of the council, were public servants paid for by us, the public. Therefore all matters relating to the council should be able to be discussed in public. If they can’t be so discussed, then there is something seriously wrong with the way the council is… Read more »
Time for another referendum on an island Mayor? (There’s a good letter in this weeks County Press on the subject.) Instead of a spineless group of councillors choosing yet another useless leader we’d have someone answerable to the electorate – directly elected and removed. I can’t really see how this could be any worse than what we endure now and there is a very good chance we’d… Read more »
Lots of good points made above, and in the other related items. Think this is unjust? badly communicated? undemocratic?, unlawful? Think there should be a safeguard to stop the council doing this to vulnerable people? Perhaps there is. In the long list of appendices for Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, there is one, Equality impact assessment, that may hold the key. It is claimed that the changes are minor… Read more »

Thanks Steve – I’ll pass this on. I just can’t believe there’s no way to fight this injustice. My blood is boiling – and I know many others too. The council meeting is going to be interesting.


To be honest its not un-democratic, not unfair..they got to this position by being elected into it and we will have our democratic chance to change that at the next election.

The real shame is that despite the slagging off this council gets, it was still re-elected and given a mandate to block vote.

Gruntled of Bembridge

In the meeting SB was asked about the £1.6 “underspend” of ring-fenced Supporting People money and he waan’t aware of it.

Question! How can the CX of the Local Authority staring an £11m “hole” in its budget not know where £1.6 million quid is. No wonder the finances are in a state. If they were a firm they’d go belly up!


remenber you can go to the cabinet meeting if you want your voice heard.

Deborah Gardiner

For anyone who is interested in coming along to the Cabinet meeting, there is also a lobby of Councillors at 5.15pm outside the main entrance of County Hall. It is organised by UNISON and there will be other groups there too. Do come along if you can and join the protest against the cuts.


Cuts that are only necessary because new Labour won’t stand up to greedy bankers and new Labour is supported by Unison.

Sally Perry

We’ll be reporting live, but coverage won’t be going out until 6.30pm.


Oh good, I can have my tea before settling down in front of the computer for the evening.

Gruntled of Bembridge

Public are allowed to atrtend but Committee Room 1 is not that big – 15 or so seats for the public.

Will they moe it to the councl chamber and relay to public who can’t get in. They did it for the schools decision.

Sally Perry

It has been moved to the council chamber.

Gruntled of Bembridge

Thank you Sal – VB first with the news again!

Even more digruntled of Bembridge

Disgruntled of Bembridge, the boy Pugh is speaking tomorrow night (Wednesday 10th Feb)at Bembridge Village Hall at a Public Meeting. If you can’t get the answers from Mr Benyon come and get the answers from Pugh. Entrance guaranteed.