The safety of children 'will not be negatively impacted' in the Alliance administration's first budget since taking office.

With council budgets being stretched even more following the impact of Covid-19 and savings plans, questions have been raised about what the upcoming Isle of Wight Council budget will look like for children's services.

Speaking at the council's children's services, education and skills committee last week, Cllr Tig Outlaw reflected on the legacy of the former cabinet member for the area, Cllr Paul Brading, who lost the position when the Conservatives failed to retain power.

Cllr Outlaw said, as a fellow Bay area councillor, he knew how hard Cllr Brading had worked in the sector and how hard he fought in the last budget to avoid cuts.

Approved in February, the savings outlined for this year in the children's services budget, as part of a bigger financial strategy, was £481,000 — 1.9 per cent of the service's budget.

The new cabinet member for children's services, education and skills, Cllr Debbie Andre assured Cllr Outlaw she was confident, "the budget for my portfolio will not impact negatively on any safeguarding of our children."

Cllr Andre said there were many facets to preparing a budget and was unable to go into detail at this stage.

In the last five years under Conservative leadership, the Isle of Wight Council agreed to cut more than £3.2 million.

The money was part of a bigger project to save £28.5 million across the entire council.

In children's services, the budget is between £24 and £25 million, with this current year's controllable budget of £25,799,771 being the largest in five years.

Talks are underway within the council to deliver a budget for the Island, the Alliance administration's first.

Speaking at previous council meetings, leader Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox said they want to move away from the ingrained approach of cuts and managing decline'.

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