3 amendments to the Isle of Wight Council majority Conservative party 2021/22 budget have been put forward.
If the Conservatives’ plans are approved, council taxpayers on the Island will see a 4.99% increase in their bill with cuts being made to some services, a rise in charges and money for projects.
The budget includes no more mobile library service, a 7% increase in crematorium services and £300,000 for 2 sets of average speed cameras.
Proposing to scrap the doubling of overnight parking charges, Councillor Geoff Brodie, independent Labour representative for Newport East, is also looking to only raise council tax by 1.99%.
To fund his budget amendments, Cllr Brodie is proposing to reduce the contribution to the transformation reserve, which funds the council’s ‘spend to save’ schemes, by £980,186, and postpone the coastal protection scheme for the Cowes and Gurnard seawall, saving £1.8million.
Cllr Brodie would also like to reduce the increase in crematorium and cemetery fees to 2%, retain the £31,000 support for local councils and stop cuts to opening hours at Lord Louis Library in Newport. He is also proposing a savings programme over the next 3 budgets, from 2022/23, to achieve £11.8million, instead of the £9million Conservatives’ are considering.
The largest opposition group, the Island Independent Group (IIG) is proposing :
- £300,000 sustainable transport fund
- £20,000 citizens’ engagement fund
- £225,000 empty property regeneration fund which would provide interest-free bounce back loans
- £35,000 worth of support for local town, parish and community councils
The IIG would scrap the £300,000 investment for average speed cameras and the £30,000 proposed for video conferencing facilities while reducing the vehicle replacement programme funding by £150,000 and the programme for ICT equipment replacement by £100,000.
The Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) are proposing £900,000 worth of changes to the budget, funded by the withdrawal of investment in speed cameras and a £600,000 reduction in the transformation reserve.
The Lib Dems would reverse changes to the library book fund, mobile library service and cut in opening hours at Dinosaur Isle, Newport Roman Villa and Lord Louis Library and stop the doubling of charges in overnight parking charges.
The group would introduce:
- Free 30-minute parking in Newport
- £275,000 climate emergency initiative fund
- £100,000 enterprise fund for businesses
- £100,000 community public realm fund for projects working together with local councils.
- 2% cap on increase in crematorium and cemetery charges
- £25,000 community resilience transformation fund
A final budget will be decided tomorrow (Wednesday) at a meeting of the full council where the amendments will be voted on.