Ministers have told MP Bob Seely that he has secured an additional £3 million from the government to support the Island’s Council - on top of the £1 million already secured.
“I have been told that we now have an additional £3 million, for a total top-up of £4 million. This followed my lobbying of the Prime Minister and other senior ministers in the past week.”
Mr Seely is expecting letters of confirmation to arrive in the next few days.
The additional funding has been granted in recognition of the Island’s unique circumstances – something Mr Seely has been campaigning for since he was elected as the Island’s MP.
“When I became MP, I pledged to get a better funding settlement. That’s what I, working with others, have now delivered. I am glad that we’ve been able to get additional funding.
“I have no doubt that any future Labour Government would take this money away from the Island.”
The uplift has been agreed as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement.
In a statement released yesterday (24 January), Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, said: “In recognition of the unique circumstances facing our island authorities, and their physical separation from the mainland, we will be increasing funding to the Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly. We will set out full details at the final Settlement.”
Mr Seely said: “The £4 million per year should now be viewed as the new benchmark. That equates to £16 million over a Council term.
“Clearly, I will try to add to that figure in future settlements. I am always going to be campaigning for a better deal for the Island."
Mr Seely thanked those who had worked with him. “Thank you to Council officers who helped make our case, and also the previous leader of the Council, Lora Peacey-Wilcox, who worked with me on this.”
“In our Island’s submission this week, we said additional funding would go towards:
“1. Supporting the Council’s regeneration efforts and to provide a stimulus to the Island economy by contributing funding for regeneration schemes; so helping working people.
“2. Continue to support social care and establish care accommodation to support the residential care market; so helping vulnerable older people."
Mr Seely stressed that the ‘Island Deal’ amounted to much more than money for the Council alone.
“However much additional money we get for the Council, support for the Council alone isn’t ‘the Island Deal’. I am much more ambitious than that.
“The Island Deal is about getting a better deal for the Island all the time, not just extra Council funding.
“I know that times have been tough, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to have an MP that delivers for the Island.
“The Island Deal is the £175 million of extra investment we’ve got since 2019. The £4 million extra per year we are now getting for the Council is in addition to that.
“I will always be working to get a better deal for the Island.”
Details of the final settlement will be released by the government soon.