This in from Cllr Ian Stephens on behalf of the Island Independent Group. Ed
The Island Independent Group will be putting forward an alternative budget for consideration by the Isle of Wight Council next Wednesday.
Details will be announced on Friday, but will include an innovative proposal to refinance the PFI Highways Contract and a prudent financial re-structuring of the Council’s corporate loans to release up to £3.5m of revenue to mitigate the Council’s desperate financial position.
Avoiding unpalatable cuts
The money that may potentially be released from refinancing the PFI Contract and corporate loan re-structure, can be used to avoid many of the most unpalatable cuts proposed by the Conservative Administration.
Councillor Ian Stephens, Leader of the Island Independent Group, said:
“The Independent Group have been working hard on our budget proposals. It is a difficult task as there are very few opportunities left to make acceptable savings, after having over £70m of cuts imposed on us by the Government in the last few years, so we have had to be innovative and creative.
“The plan to refinance the PFI is just such a proposal and has the potential to release over £1.3 million back into the Council budget. The Independent Group have always worked to try and minimise the effect of Government austerity on the Isle of Wight and this approach is once again our key consideration in making these proposals.
“Together with a sensible restructuring of various loans, overall there is scope to put £3.5million back into the annual revenue budget to protect services for the community.