The Isle of Wight Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, has been addressing (some) your concerns over proposed ‘savings’ in the 2019/20.

As reported by Isle of Wight Radio, the Isle of Wight Council needs to save £5.5 million in this year’s budget, which could result in a 2.99% hike in council tax. Last year, it was raised by 5.99%. 

The local authority says it plans to make 95% of savings through ‘efficiencies and income generation’, and the other 5% from cuts to services.

Expanding parking charges – specifically to street and overnight parking in and around Newport and Ryde – has also been touted. In November, a petition against the plans in Ryde prompted the council to put the brakes on proposals.

Councillor Dave Stewart says he pays council tax too and “doesn’t like it going up either”:

“All of us who do feel like that. Those that can’t afford it and are in a very vulnerable state, they do get support and protection that was built in deliberately for that purpose.

“Nobody likes an increase but unfortunately, we live in a realistic world where we have to pay for the services that we need and there are all sorts of ways we can gather that money together one of which is we look at our council tax.

“If we get to a place where we don’t have to increase that’ll be fine but we’re not there yet.”

LISTEN: Isle of Wight Radio’s Oliver Dyer puts your questions to the Isle of Wight Council leader.

The Isle of Wight Council’s budget proposals for 2019/20 will be discussed at a public meeting on Wednesday (30).

You are invited to share your views during the two-hour session at Medina Theatre, from 6.30pm.