The first in a series of budget roadshows took place in Ryde on Thursday with more than 30 people attending the event, including representatives from local town and parish councils as well as local ward councillors and members of the public.
Following presentations from council leader Ian Stephens, deputy leader Steve Stubbings and council managing director Dave Burbage, the public engaged in discussion and debate about the council’s financial situation and the future prioritisation of services, especially discretionary services where savings might more easily be made. There was a particular focus on how other organisations and groups might be able to take on the operation of some services.
Questions and issues raised included: whether volunteers taking on services could be helped with ancillary costs, such as training, insurance and certification; what discretionary services were and which council services were included in this description; whether town and parish council area action plans could be fed into the budget consultation process; whether the process for outside organisations or others to bid to run council services could be fast tracked; and the idea of raising town and parish council precepts to help cover the costs of some services that the Isle of Wight Council might no longer be able to afford to run.
Altogether seven roadshow events are being held.
The next roadshow takes place tonight at East Cowes Town Hall at 7pm.
∙ East Cowes, Friday 18 October (East Cowes Town Hall).
∙ Sandown, Monday 21 October (Sandown Bay Academy).
∙ Newport, Wednesday 23 October (Riverside Centre).
∙ Ventnor, Thursday 24 October (St Francis Primary School).
∙ Freshwater, Wednesday 30 October (Memorial Hall).
∙ Cowes, Thursday 31 October (Northwood House).
All roadshows start at 19:00 and are expected to last an hour-and-a-half.
As well as the roadshow events, an online survey has been launched for residents to have their say about the council’s future spending.
For more information – and to complete the online survey – please visit: http://www.iwight.com/news/Have-your-say-on-the-future-of-local-services