Report highlights ‘perceived level of unfairness’ of how Public Health grants distributed

A Task and Finish Report is recommending Scrutiny Committee investigate the “perceived level of unfairness” of how Public Health grants are distributed, with community-run sports facilities unable to access the grants.

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This afternoon at the Isle of Wight council (IWC) Scrutiny Committee, Cllrs Michael Lilley and Andrew Garratt will present an interim report of the Task and Finish Group looking at commercialisation.

One item that jumped out from the report was the finding of a “perceived level of unfairness” of how Public Health grants are distributed, with community-run sports facilities such as Waterside Pool and West Wight Sports and Community Centre, unable to access the grants.

Both facilities clearly provide a positive impact on the health and well being of Islanders that use their facilities, and so the report is calling for Scrutiny to investigate this further.

Griffin: An inequity in provision of finances
Ahead of today’s meeting, Clare Griffin from West Wight Sports Centre told OnTheWight,

“There does appear to be an inequity in provision of finances to support public health and well-being across the Island.

“IWC may well argue that anyone on the Island can access services at Heights or Medina. It is of course not practical, financially affordable or indeed even physically possible for residents of West Wight to travel to Newport or Sandown on a regular enough basis to improve their health and well-being.”

Griffin: We support people’s wider well-being
Clare went on to add,

“West Wight Sports and Community Centre provides a vast range of services that support our communities physical and mental health and well-being. We are a hub, providing not only physical activity and sport but also services that support people’s wider well-being.

“This includes drop in sessions where people can receive emotional support, break down social isolation and receive support from professionals and volunteers in areas such as housing, benefits, bereavement, debt, education, employment as well the many other challenges faced by individuals in our community.

“The centre provides training and volunteering opportunities for vulnerable people and has become the ‘safe place’ for people to come, knowing they will be welcomed and supported at all times no matter who they are.”

No support from IWC
Concluding, Clare added,

“We do this with no support at all from IWC. In fact we pay them for the privilege as we have to pay £3,000 a year ground rent to them. It does seem somewhat unfair, particularly as we seem to be often held up by IW councillors as an example of good practise in this area.

“We do feel that it’s perhaps time that our work was recognised with some financial contribution from them.

“The reality is that we won’t be able to continue doing these things for nothing for ever and if we do have to withdraw services it would be a significant loss to the West Wight community.”


Image: leejordan under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019 4:48pm

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Filed under: Freshwater, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Sports, Top story

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