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Government minister Greg Clark to visit the Isle of Wight today

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 8:42

UPDATED 10:20
GOVERNMENT minister Greg Clark is set to visit the Isle of Wight today (Tuesday) to meet Island MP Andrew Turner and Isle of Wight Council leaders to discuss the Island's financial crisis.
The visit by the Secretary of State for communities and local government follows an invitation and discussions between the council, MP and Whitehall about fears the Isle of Wight will not have enough money to deliver public services next year.
It is these concerns that led the County Press to launch the Fight for the Wight campaign, which has seen thousands of Islanders sign up to the petition.
Cllr Jonathan Bacon, Isle of Wight Council leader, said: "I am very much looking forward to the Secretary of State's visit and the opportunity to demonstrate to himthe Island's critical financial position, as well as the impact that austerity has had, and continues to have, on the Island's community."
Andrew Turner said: "The government is responding to the case that I and others have made that the Island's council faces a crisis, at least in part due to costs arising from our separation from the mainland.
"The funding inherited from the last Labour government did not recognise this."
*In a statement released this morning, Isle of Wight Labour councillor Geoff Lumley called the late announcement of the minister's visit "disrespectful to Islanders".
He said: "This long awaited visit will be of great interest to many Islanders who are dependent on public services. However, it appears to have been organised so that ordinary people, who may want to give him a piece of their mind about government cuts to the Island, are kept well away from him. We are supposed to live in a democracy where people have a right of peaceful protest to politicians. Clearly this is another example of Conservative spinelessness when it comes to delivering austerity on the Island."

 


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