LEADER RECOMMENDS CAUTIOUS APPROACH TO BUDGET DECISION

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Cllr Dave Stewart

Next week the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet is being asked to reflect upon the outcome of a consultation with non-residential care users earlier this year, about the possibility of changing the way that the council manages care charges and provides equity for all.

On Thursday the Cabinet is expected to defer any decision on the outcome of the consultation until all options to assist the Council in saving £7.5 million in its budget planning for 2018/19 are known.

Councillor Dave Stewart, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, has said:

“Other councils across the country have already introduced this proposed change, but I don’t want us to make a snap decision without first considering all the options available to the council when designing our 2018/19 budget. In order to best inform our decision making, we have sought the views of our community about an option to provide equity for all recipients on how this benefit is assessed as income in relation to care charges.

“Our budget gap for next year is £7.5 million, and in order to meet this target all options should be considered. I think before we take any decision, especially one that impacts on some of our more vulnerable residents, we must consider the entire council budget and options available elsewhere across the organisation.

“We are working very hard to identify how we can increase our income and make savings, to ensure that we can deliver a sustainable and balanced budget next year, which will enable us to support all our Islanders and meet our corporate priorities, now and into the future.

“I’d like to thank “People Matter IW” for assisting our engagement with the community and to those who have offered their passionate responses; it is clear that people gave a lot of thought and consideration to the consultation.”

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