THE ISLE of Wight Council is being asked to approve a proposed 3.99 per cent council tax increase in its budget meeting tonight (Wednesday).

The meeting of the full council this evening will be asked to approve cuts, efficiency savings and income generation plans to bridge a £4.5 million cash gap.

Opposition councillors will try to amend parts of the Conservative administration's budget but if it goes through unchanged, here are some of the main changes:

  • More than £1 million worth of savings will be found in care packages provided by the council's adult social care.
  • Sandown's Civic Centre will be refurbished, including replacing the lift, costing £820,000.
  • Home-to-school transport will face a reduced service — with fewer buses and potentially merging routes — to save £321,000.
  • Maintenance work in parks and cemeteries will be cut back with parish and town councils choosing whether to 'top up' the services.
  • Beach cleaning will be scaled back to once a week during the year except in school holidays when it will be daily.
  • The price of swimming lessons will increase along with other leisure fees and charges to generate more than £58,000.
  • A booking fee of £1 will be introduced for all theatre tickets purchased — creating an estimated £10,000.
  • The Green Garden Waste collection costs will increase by £12.
  • Pay and display charges in long and short stay car parks will increase, raising £275,000.
  • A single parking permit will allow 24-hour parking in long-stay and up to two hours in a short-stay car parks for £600 per year — almost doubling what some permit holders pay now (£324.50).

See for the details of the budget meeting later tonight.

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