Spending up but cuts hurt

By David Newble

Friday, February 5, 2010

 

THE stark financial reality facing the Isle of Wight Council means the cost of many key services have been put under the microscope.

In adult services, as with many across the Isle of Wight, bosses plan to spend more than £39m between 2010 and 2011 — a rise of nearly £2m on last year’s budget.

However, increased demand for adult services means the council is still faced with having to make savings, which could hit the most vulnerable people on the Isle of Wight.

A planned review of who currently receives care could save £1m by concentrating cash on those most in need.

Other areas where the council aims to slash funding are in its Supporting People programme, where £2.7m-worth of savings are to be found.

As well as this, the council plans to increase parking charges by ten per cent and also the cost of its residents’ parking permit as a further way of plugging the hole in the authority’s budget.

Main budget proposals — where the axe would fall

Economy and the Environment

£ General ten per cent increase in parking charges.

£ Raising cost of IW residents’ parking permit from £75 to £200 and 24-hour permit to £300. Raising cost of pensioner’s permit from £50 to £200.

£ Cowes chain ferry costs increased for standard vehicle crossing from £1.50 to £1.80.

£ Scrapping free bus and rail travel during peak and off-peak periods for IW residents suffering severe mental health problems and their assistants.

£ Student rider fare increase to £1.20.

£ Increase fares on Wightbus by 6.7 per cent.

£ Carry out a review of council street, beaches, parks and countryside inspection functions to avoid duplication.

£ Implement kerbside-only waste collection, except for exceptional cases.

£ Scrap tourist parking permits.

£ Northwood Bowls Club to take over management of Northwood House bowling green, putting and tennis courts.

£ Phased withdrawal of financial support for the Medina Centre and Meadowbrook Learning Disability day centres (because of the transforming social care agenda, which gives people individual control over their budgets).

£ Scrapping the carers’ advocacy service.

£ Axing Saturday respite service. People will be assessed for personal budgets and where they do meet the criteria, will be directed to the Alzheimer’s cafe.

£ Axing the council’s work training project.

£ Axing lunch clubs subsidy.

£ Phased withdrawal of support for Haylands Farm.

£ Axing Stoneham Housing support service.

£ Review of contracts provided by the Riverside Centre.

£ Review of learning disability transport service.

£ Cease provision of dog bin bags.

£ Phased withdrawal of support for Osel (organisation which provides services for people with learning disabilities) because of new personalisation of contracts for people with disabilities.

£ Reduce Supporting People programme.

£ Reduce client numbers for social care (re-assessment of people’s entitlement to council help).

£ More robust monitoring of cases of people looking for homeless and temporary accommodation.

£ Monitor help given to homeless people to move their property and keep it safe.

£ Reduce subsidy on housing association leased accommodation.

Children and Young People

£ Removal of music services subsidy — should now be provided by schools.

Resources

£ Axe parish community grass-cutting budget.

£ Axe IW Council contribution to parish training budget.

£ Reduce members’ budget for training course fees, conference expenses, off-Island travel expenses and printing costs.

£ Delete diversity training post.

£ Review of financial support for unions.

Chief executive

£ Cease exhibitions abroad.

£ Reduce the IW Rural Community Council grant.

Transformation — Economy and Environment

£ Restructure of planning service (already underway).

£ Review of charge for leisure facilities with Medina High School.

£ Save two posts by restructuring highways services.

£ Review of homecare night service.

£ Move services delivered by Westminster House, Newport, to Adelaide, Ryde, and the Gouldings, Freshwater.

£ Review of services provided by the Children and Young People’s directorate.

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