The Isle of Wight MP’s letter consists of an evidence-based case outlining the additional costs of providing public services on the Isle of Wight. There has been a wealth of evidence to show the significant additional cost of providing public services on islands to the same level as that enjoyed on neighbouring mainland. The Isle of Wight is no exception, as several research studies have proved.
Bob has told the Prime Minister that he believes that any Island Deal should cover 6 areas: Local Authority Services, the NHS and healthcare, Island infrastructure costs, housing and the need for exceptional circumstances, a combined Public Service Model, as well as transport and ferries.
Mr Seely has called for support for the Isle of Wight Council to buy a majority share in one or both of the ferry operators and put it into a franchise/concession model. He has also called for money to purchase port facilities to allow new entrants to the cross-Solent transport market.
The key elements included in the letter are:
- £6.4 million for local authority public services
- £10.9 million for the Island’s healthcare system
- A combined funding pot for public service provision on the Island to integrate the Island’s health, social care and public services
- A £5 cap on the cost of patient travel to the mainland to access vital NHS services
- Investment in the Island’s rural economy
- Reduced housing targets for the Island
- Support to address cross-Solent travel monopolies
“Ensuring the Island gets the funding it deserves to maintain and develop first-class public services has always been, and remains, a priority for me. This is the next stage in a campaign to get the Island better services. I have convinced the Government in principle that the Island needs greater support. We now have to work out what that will consist of.
“We have had some good wins to date: £26 million for Island Line, £20 million for Ryde Railway Pier, £48 million additional money for the NHS, the Arts Council giving the Island priority status, recognition that the Island is an island. We have had £100 million of additional government funding for the Island in the past 12 months but there is always more to do.”
Mr Johnson first publicly indicated his support for an Island Deal in June during a visit to the Island – and reaffirmed his commitment to this last month in a public statement in the House of Commons.