AN EXTRA £475,000 for child protection and another £8.7m for adult social care over the next three years are among Isle of Wight budget proposals.
The child protection cash, including some funding from Isle of Wight NHS, comes after a damning report found council failings had left children at risk.
At the same time, £7 million of savings are being targeted in the proposed Isle of Wight Council plan, which, the authority believes, will help Island households and support the economy.
The plans will be discussed by the council’s cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday).
As already reported, the budget proposes a freeze on council tax for a third year running, as well as introducing a 12-month payment plan.
The authority is also pledging to keep parking charges at the same level for the fifth year running, introduce additional schemes to help Island residents on to the housing ladder, expand its pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programmes and establish a hardship fund to provide residents with emergency financial assistance.
It also proposes an extra £60,000 to support the community bus scheme over the next financial year.
The council needs to bridge a £7m funds gap because of a reduction in government cash and an increased cost in providing services.
Among efficiency measures being proposed are further back office and management savings, including a plan to scrap the post of chief executive and allocating his duties to a senior officer, allowing the council to save cash.
Council boss Steve Beynon, who had already announced plans to retire this year, would leave in March under the plan.
There has been speculation director of environment and neighbourhoods Stuart Love was likely to take on Mr Beynon’s responsibilities.
As part of the plans, director of resources David Burbage will take on the head of paid service role until May, when a permanent successor will be appointed.
Council leader Cllr David Pugh said: "This proposed budget is both prudent and realistic."
THE BUDGET PROPOSALS INCLUDE:
- Freezing council tax for the third year running and the option of spreading payments over 12 months.
- Keeping parking charges at the same level for the fifth year running.
- Using grant funding of almost £450,000 to address fuel poverty and help householders reduce their
- Pledging to introduce additional schemes to help Island residents on to the housing ladder.
- Establishing a hardship fund of nearly £350,000 to provide residents with emergency financial
assistance. Organisations such as the Isle of Wight Foodbank will be involved.
PROPOSED SCHEMES TO BOOST THE LOCAL ECONOMY INCLUDE:
- Allocating £300,000 to continue the pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship scheme, including expanding these opportunities into new employment sectors and for residents with learning and physical disabilities.
- Staging another careers and jobs fair.
- An ongoing commitment to deliver superfast broadband across the Island, with £3m of council investment.
- Continuing support for the council’s plan to establish a Solent Ocean Energy Centre off St Catherine’s Point.