The £13.5m the Council has been set to find this year is not sustainable, in fact providing balanced budgets in future will not be possible. The well known projected “£28m”, much talked about, has provided the excuse for us, “having some more medicine” seeing as we are “managing” and “coping” and particularly as other councils in the land are doing the same.
The time has come for the IOW Council to express its difficulties and so:
A . The IWC has got to go to Government to restore Grants.
B. It has got to go to the LEP to secure Funding.
All areas of Funding have to be forthcoming for Investment not just Assisted Area Status. The IWC cannot afford Investment because of deficit savings and funding services.
The IWTUC says this deficiency is caused by the Government. Also the IWTUC believe any IWC of any Political persuasion would not be able to manage and balance the budget and has to be done by restoring Government Grants.
Austerity and grant cuts are political just as much as the crisis has been caused by politics and can only be dealt with politically and not by economics.
Has anyone considered how the element of funding and the responsibility for it should be concluded?
Any Investment in Growth has to be down to the LEP. It is their responsibility.
They were set up by the Government and the EU for this reason.
Previously several millions was allocated for industry to invest on the island such as BT and the investment in Broadband. Should this have come out of the Council funds supported by our taxpayers? Would this not be a saving if the responsibility was placed at the L.E.P’s front door?
The L.E.P has so far concentrated on Portsmouth. It’s population is only twice that of the IOW yet the unelected L.E.P has allocated funding several times higher to it. We do not wish to take away from others but this means we have not succeeded in persuading the L.E.P of our case.
We should not be providing for the investment needed to support Tourism, rundown areas like Sandown, associated business or manufacturing and industry.
What would happen if growth was stimulated through investment?
Companies, big and small could thrive properly and more jobs created increasing Business Rate contributors and more possibilities to collect Council Tax also existing business on the Island could be sustained and more money would circulate in the local economy