Isle of Wight council fears over budget cuts

Isle of Wight Council has warned the government that planned cuts to its budget will push the council to its brink, claiming it may not ‘be viable in the very near future’.

Chief executive John Metcalfe has written to the Department for Communities and Local Government requesting it clarify how it will asses whether a council ‘has reached its financial tipping point’, where it is no longer able to meet its legal obligations.

The council is due to manage a budget gap of £32 million over the next four years, which could increase if it is unable to raise council tax by at least 3.75 per cent.

The council explained that although the government had assumed the council’s £46 million reserves could be used to plug the shortfall, £30.6 million was already allocated ’to meet known commitments in future years’.

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, leader of the council, said: “We have made considerable representations to government about the plight of the island, and what we require from them in terms of support.

“I hope they have listened and recognise the uniqueness of our situation, and that, following their consultation exercise, they reassess their approach to our future financing.”