Five cross-party councillors have called-in the decision made at the recent Isle of Wight council Executive meeting to allocate funding for several projects, including Undercliff Drive and Totland Seawall.
The decision on the ‘Capital Programme Contingency Budget – Bids for Resources and Prioritisation of Key Capital Projects’ is the subject of the call-in.
A call-in paper led by Cllr Bob Blezzard (Ind) and signed by Cllr Geoff Lumley (Lab), Cllr Wayne Whittle (Con), Cllr Conrad Gauntlett (Con) and Cllr John Nicholson (Con) states:
- Inadequate consultation with stakeholders, partners or the public
- absence of evidence for decision
Brief statement supporting reason for call-in :-
The report presented to members was incomplete as it did not include costings for a number of items which were discounted without reasonable explanation. The Scrutiny Committee did not have the opportunity to review the priorities at the pre-decision stage as the priorities were only decided at the Executive meeting.
The setting aside of the above decision and the deferral of a decision on the Capital Contingency Budget priorities for 2014/15 until projected costs have been obtained on all projects identified in the report on this matter.
Unknown costs for missing items
At the Executive meeting on 9th September, deputy leader, Cllr Steve Stubbings took the opportunity to explain why three items were not being considered for funding that evening. He said,
“There are three items on this list which we can clearly consider as not ready for moving forward on yet. One is the Shanklin Lift because there are conversations taking place with other parties with a view for the potential of that being operated in a different way.
“One is the Shanklin railway cutting/Rush Close landslip where exact sums are not known and there is also a potential dispute in regards to this.
“The third of the items which I would consider falling in that category is Cowes Enterprise College where this Executive continues to await a report from Hampshire colleagues in regard to the exact expenditure still to be allocated to that project.”
He went on to add,
“I absolutely disagree with the suggestion which came forward from Scrutiny on this one Chair, there is no question that as an Executive member, given the urgency of these issues and they sheer weight of public opinion around them that I think a deferral from this committee would be appropriate.”
It was also later explained that the three items mentioned above were not being removed from the Forward Plan and would be considered once full costs were forthcoming and any possibility of legal disputes resolved.
The call-in will be discussed at the 2nd October Scrutiny Committee.
Article edit: Removed reference to Scrutiny meeting being held on a Tuesday