The Isle of Wight Council will host a live Facebook Q and A session on Tuesday 18 February to give residents the chance to question members of the Cabinet and officers ahead of the budget being set by Full Council.The council must make savings of around £28 million over the next three financial years following reductions in government funding.Council leader Ian Stephens, deputy leader Steve Stubbings and managing director Dave Burbage will answer questions live on the council’s Facebook page between 6pm and 7pm.
Councillor Stephens said: “The public is well aware that the council faces making major changes to the way it provides services. This means we must re-engineer the way we do things as well as being innovative.”We are keen to give the public a further chance to ask questions and suggest ways forward and using social media is a great way of doing that. We are also holding this outside of office hours so as many people as possible get the chance to log on.”Councillor Steve Stubbings added: “We have already held a number of budget roadshows and have been working closely with town and parish councils as well as the voluntary sector, discussing ideas and proposals.
“Although we have an extensive list of proposals to meet the £28 million budget gap, the final decision won’t be made until the Full Council meeting on 26 February. I would encourage anyone who uses Facebook to log on and ask us a question so we can hear your thoughts.”The session will be for the public only and will begin at 6pm. To ask a question, people should log on to the council’s Facebook page which is called ‘Isle of Wight Council Service Updates’. It can be found directly at www.facebook.com/
At 6pm, a posting will be put up announcing the start of the session. To ask a question, people should write in the comment box underneath the posting and their question will then be answered. The council has hosted popular Facebook Q and A sessions in the past, including on subjects such as changes to waste collections and arrangements for the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival.