Government needs to act fast if Island is to have 'a sustainable future'

By Matthew Mckew

Thursday, February 11, 2016

 

Government needs to act fast if Island is to have 'a sustainable future'

Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr Jonathan Bacon. Picture by Jennifer Burton.

A REVIEW of the government funding formula for the Island needs to come in the next six months, the authority’s leader has warned.

It follows yesterday’s (Wednesday) announcement from Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark he would visit the Isle of Wight as part of a review that would take into account the challenges faced by the Island.

Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr Bacon thanked the minister, but said today: "It does not help us to overcome the current financial position facing the council as we look to set a balanced budget for 2016/17.

"I am also concerned that there are no timescales to completing this review. As I have said before, I cannot see any way the council can set a lawful, balanced budget for 2017/18 based on the current planned funding allocations from government.

"The review must, therefore, be completed in the next six months for the council and the Island to have a sustainable future and must result in us receiving the funding we currently lack."

He said he hoped the review would produce tangible figures to form the basis of a secure financial future for the Island and its residents.

"The fight is not won, but this is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to working with Mr Clark to find a resolution that meets the needs and expectations of our Island community," he said.

Andrew Turner said yesterday (Thursday) the minister had given assurances he would "find ways" to keep the Isle of Wight Council afloat until a review was completed.

Reporter: matthewm@iwcpmail.co.uk

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