The Isle of Wight Coroner is safe from merger after Portsmouth City Council cabinet members voted to merge with Hampshire instead.
As reported last week, the possibility of the Island’s coroner merging with Portsmouth was on the table, but following the decision made on Tuesday, existing services in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, Southampton, Central and New Forest and North East Hampshire will now be combined.
Portsmouth City Savings
The Hampshire merger is thought to save Portsmouth City Council £25,000.
A second proposal put to cabinet members, to merge with the Isle of Wight, was predicted to save £15,000.
When Chris Ward, the Finance Director for Isle of Wight (also Portsmouth and Gosport and Chief Financial Officer for the Solent LEP) and was asked if he could do an equal offer with the Hampshire model he replied, “No comment”.
Going with the Hampshire model
Speaking at the meeting council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said:
“It seems to be sensible that we go with the Hampshire model.
“The needs of families and the people who have died need to be at the centre of this and we have had the reassurance that will be so. Therefore it seems safe to take the Hampshire route.”
Families in Portsmouth will continue to use the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire service as usual – as well as the court in Guildhall Square for inquests.
No coroners courts will be closed as a result, but one office – in Basingstoke – will shut
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. With several additions made by OnTheWight. Ed