Council Tax rise still possible

By Martin Neville

Friday, February 7, 2014


A COUNCIL tax rise has not been ruled out according to Isle of Wight Council deputy leader Steve Stubbings, just a week after Independents proposed a freeze.

The recommendation to freeze council tax for another year was included in budget plans drawn up by the ruling Independent Group, published last Friday.

But, at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee last night (Thursday), Cllr Steve Stubbings said they would be "open to the suggestion" of a near two per cent rise, when a decision was made at the budget-setting meeting on February 26.

His comments came after committee chairman, Cllr Geoff Lumley, urged a re-think.

He said: "With a £28 million gap to fill over the next three years, it is going to look a little odd to Islanders that their council tax is going to be frozen again next year.

"Do you not feel it is appropriate to increase it up to the two per cent? It seems to me that the council, all 40 of us, are not getting it through to people how bad things could be in three years time."

As previously reported by the County Press, increasing council tax by 1.99 per cent — the 'cap' set by government — would result in a net gain of around £521,000.

"Half-a-million might seem a small amount but there are proposals I have identified in the budget that could be removed because of that," said Cllr Lumley.



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Displaying the last 10 of 43 comments - Show All Comments

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by Don Prescott

10th February 2014, at 15:51:55


"I cannot believe the irony of those, especially councilors, who say 'lobby government to reinstate money taken away."

totally agree and they are usually Lib Dems (or Lib Dems dressed up as Indies ), whose party are not only PART of the coalition, but are also huge supporters of the corrupt club known as the European Union.

If we withheld payment from or withdrew from this giant ponzi scheme, we would have enough money to spend on the "discretionary services" which they value so much and would not have to go out with the begging bowl asking for assisted area status because we are soooo poor!

@ alan.
touch my head, I have never had root canal, though I sympathise if you have!

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by david wright

10th February 2014, at 12:24:53

What councilors cannot seem to grasp is Council tax payers cannot afford to prop up unsustainable council expenditure.

The public understand how bad services will be in three years time it is just a simple fact they cannot keep paying more and the council needs to adjust to the income it receives and no more.Its called living within your means and all normal people are forced to do it!!!!

I cannot believe the irony of those, especially councilors, who say 'lobby government to reinstate money taken away.' So lets get this right IOW council has no money because they spend more than they receive and they think central government that is currently borrowing £500 million A DAY has money they are withholding just to be difficult????

I say cut services to the absolute bone. The gravy train is over and i am fed up with councilors betraying the public as the reluctant rich who dont want to pay.

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by Don Prescott

9th February 2014, at 08:58:28

At least that is a start.
I still fail to understand why, if this is such a great idea, it has to be cloaked in secrecy.
TBH, as I have said before, I am not against this proposal providing it is self-funding and does not become a burden on the people of Ventnor as the Broadway Centre seems to now be, despite the eagerness to keep it 4 years ago.

To have got this far with your answers has been like a visit to the dentist, but we have some for which I thank you.

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by David Bartlett

8th February 2014, at 18:39:12

Apologies for missing your earlier question. VTC has never referred to EcoIsland in its detailed case for a reduced rent element. That has been based on three matters: the condition of the building (some two-thirds of the investment we need to make is to bring the building into line with modern standards), the social value of the project (local authorities are required to take account of that) and the fit with the IIoWC's standing policies.
In respect of the last of these we have referred to the Island Plan (not EcoIsland) in which Ventnor is classified as a Smaller Regeneration Area along with Freshwater of which the Island Plan states::'These two areas have experienced general economic decliine and,,,greater support will be given to proposals that create new opportunities wihich maintain and support {their} sustainability and particulat support will be given to proposals that creat new employment provision.'

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by David Bartlett

8th February 2014, at 16:26:57


It's simple! The Isle of Wight Council's procedure is that two market evaluations are commissioned with one valuer being chosen by them and the other by vtc: but with both being paid for by VTC.

And the Police will of course be paying rent for the rooms that they use. This development is important to VTC for two reasons:
1) it retains an imortant service for the town that would otherwise have had to be relocated to Shanklin following the sale of their current Ventnor base and it provides a significant contribution over the longer term to the financial sustainability of the building.

It realy would be much simpler if we meet up as we could then have a more productive and detailed discussion of the extensive planning and preparation we have undertaken for the project and any questions you may have.

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by Don Prescott

8th February 2014, at 15:10:27

At 9 in the same report, it states that"independent valuations have been funded by VTC"
could you therefore tell me of any estate agent on the island who would value a property on behalf of the purchaser/tenant rather than the vendor?

You also state that you have 'agreed heads of terms with Hants Constabulary for 4 rooms"
Does that mean they (Hants Constab) will be paying actual rent and, if so, how much?

Of course, you do not have to answer any of the many questions that I have posed, but failure to do so will leave readers to draw their own conclusions.

BTW, I agree with Jack - maybe you should distance yourself from this.

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by Don Prescott

8th February 2014, at 14:52:32

nothing to offer then to contradict the facts posted by me at 10.29-10.40
I realise how frustrating this must be, but if you want to be taken seriously, you should engage with critics who have no wish to be hushed up in "private".
If you feel able, perhaps you could answer:
At 7 in the IWC Report, it states that developments planned by VTC would contribute to the theme of sustainable strategy of Eco Island.

In view of the fact that Eco Island went into liquidation and is still being investigated for fraud, do you think that to aspire to the ethos of eco Island is appropriate?

cont. /above

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by steve stubbings

8th February 2014, at 14:12:14

All sorted then. Excellent!
I look forward to meeting you one day, Mr Woodford. Do introduce yourself if we're ever in the same place at the same time. Thanks and best regards.

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by Jack Woodford

8th February 2014, at 13:38:57

@Steve Stubbings.
Name calling now is it? Priceless. What a diplomat!
And I take it you have not evidenced any defamatory comments because there aren't any. Then again, not answering questions is a specialty of yours as regular correspondents here will know.
I have given my reason for not feeling it necessary to meet. I am sorry you can't accept that without making silly remarks ill-becoming of a Council leader-in-waiting. What a contrast between your behavior and that of Mr Bartlett who I thank for his honest and adult engagement. Cheers Mr Bartlett and best of luck with your venture despite my skepticism. I think you'll need it with some of the characters involved in this project....

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by David Bartlett

8th February 2014, at 12:49:06


Clarification appreciated! We've always taken Salisbury Gardens as referring to the whole site as registered with the Land Registry and that includes both the Building and the Green. As you will know, the Building was originally numbers 1 and 2 Salisbury Gardens.

You are right that our consultation document did refer to the sale of the green, as we had not at that time been told that it would not be included in the proposed sale as it could have been: the only covenant affecting the green is one that protects the view of the Dudley Road properties facing it.

I'm sorry that you regard the scheme as pea-brained without first having a meeting to look at the business planning for it: we have recently agreed heads of terms with Hampshire Constabulary for 4 rooms that will both retain an important service - the Safer Neighbourhoods Team and, without any advertising, have 5 expressions of interest in the 12 rooms that would form Ventnor Enterprise Centre.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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