Minister gives Isle of Wight 'a fair hearing'

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, January 16, 2014


MORE delegations are planned to press the case for additional government funding for the Isle of Wight, following yesterday's (Wednesday) cross-party effort in Westminister.

An Isle of Wight delegation, made up of senior councillors, officers and Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner — who organised the opportunity — met with local government minister Brandon Lewis to call for financial support.

Among the issues discussed was extending a proposal for Assisted Area Status to cover the whole Island, following concerns only the north was included in the draft plan.

Cllr Stephens said: "We had a very fair hearing from the minister and it was especially pleasing that we were able to take a cross-chamber delegation from the council, with all representatives providing a valuable contribution to the discussions.

"The minister picked up on the key issues of Assisted Area Status and Enterprise Zoning, and also how there may be an opportunity for other areas of funding for pre-apprenticeship schemes on the Island.

"We explained to him fully the pressures we are facing both within the council and on the Island as a whole. It is too early to say what positive outcomes may result from our visit, but it was a very worthwhile exercise and we plan to send further delegations to Westminster in the future to promote the Island’s case.

"It appears at this stage that there will be no additional direct funding for the Isle of Wight Council, but we await the official confirmation from the minister in relation to this.

"I would like to thank all those who contributed to the visit and in presenting our case first hand to a senior government representative - in particular Andrew Turner for organising the meeting with the minister at short notice."


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by Don Prescott

17th January 2014, at 15:58:13

"you are just wrong to say those vital services plus tourism will disappear"

just be careful RM.
Randini is a good mate of mine and he may just make YOU disappear!!

The "other song".
Aaah. Memories of Lord Pinocchio of Llanberwynjonesgogogoch who used to live nearby in a bijou little cottage in South Ealing, until he discovered the streets of Brussels actually WERE paved in gold.

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by roger mazillius

17th January 2014, at 12:54:09

Mark, sorry but you are just wrong to say those vital services plus tourism will disappear!
Like the other song reference though!

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by Mark Dunsford

16th January 2014, at 23:30:37

Someone also sang "The only way is up"

As in this case they were both wrong.

When the bins go uncollected, flood defences go unmaintained, social and childrens' services are virtually non-existent, we have no income from tourism, all the libraries, theatres and leisure centres are gone and Island Roads go bust because we can't keep up the payments; THEN, just possibly, "things can only get better" - unless, of course they get worse.

If the cuts continue nothing is safe - just because a service is a statutory obligation doesn't mean the money for it will magically appear and basic maths dictates that if we get less in than the mandatory services cost they can't be provided and anything optional is just going to get dropped.

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by alan naylor

16th January 2014, at 21:58:29

We wil give you a fair hearing and a fair trial and then we will hang you

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by roger mazillius

16th January 2014, at 16:52:54

They usually do. We went up on several occasions, including the obligatory "all party delegation". It is usually tried more in hope than expectation and to be fair, why should you not try?
However, as I said on an earlier thread, if they give to one, they are under extreme pressure to give to others and that then impacts negatively on the government's spending targets.
Still, as they sung in 1997, "things can only get better" - only this time they will!

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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