Local Community News


budgetA series of public forums giving Island residents the chance to help shape the council’s spending and priorities for 2015/2016 are to get underway from today (Wednesday).

The public forums, together with an online survey which has already attracted more than 820 responses, are part of an ongoing review of the council’s budget and financial challenges which it has been undertaking throughout the year.

The public forums are taking place over the next month or so, at the following locations:

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  • Wednesday 12th November – Newport – Riverside Centre, The Quay.
  • Thursday 13th November – Ryde – George Street Centre, George Street.
  • Monday 17th November – Freshwater – All Saints’ School, School Green Road.
  • Tuesday 18th November – Cowes – UKSA, Arctic Road.
  • Monday 24th November – Ventnor – St Francis School, Newport Road.
  • Wednesday 3rd December – Sandown – Main Hall, Broadway Centre.
  • Thursday 11th December – East Cowes Town Hall, York Avenue.
  • Monday 15th December – Shanklin – Shanklin Theatre, Prospect Road.

Each event starts at 18:30 and finishes at 20:30.

As part of the budget consultation process, other events being staged include focus groups with the business and voluntary sectors, as well as with council staff, unions and the Island’s youth council.

Council leader, Councillor Ian Stephens, said:

“The level of public response to the online survey in its first two weeks has been extremely encouraging – and hopefully over the coming month many more people will take the time to share their views.

“Running alongside the online survey will be our public forums in towns across the Island. At these we will be explaining the very serious financial situation facing the council next year and beyond – we are tasked with making savings of approximately £13.5 million in 2015/2016 – and we will be inviting members of the public to contribute their views and suggestions on how we should prioritise our spending.

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“I would strongly encourage people to attend and take the opportunity to contribute to the future direction of their council and how we address the difficult and challenging choices we face.”

The online survey  at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/budget_engagement was launched on 22nd October and continues until 17th December.

Paper copies of the survey are available on request from council help centres and libraries.

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