THE new Isle of Wight Council has been questioned on its commitment to tackling poverty, amid calls to help the most deprived wards.

According to the government's index of multiple deprivations 2019, three areas on the Isle of Wight were ranked as among the most deprived in England — Ryde North East B, and Pan A and B.

Nine more, spread across the Island, fell into the second category, ranked in the 11 to 20 per cent most deprived areas in the country.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Questions were asked about the council's new corporate plan which sets out actions and targets for the ruling Alliance administration in their next four years in office.

Raising the issue of the local council tax support scheme at the cabinet meeting on Monday, Cllr Andrew Garratt said the erosion of the help was 'utterly scandalous', calling for the cuts to be reversed.

The scheme allows those on lower incomes a reduction in the amount of council tax they pay.

When it was first introduced in November 2019, it allowed up to 70 per cent off.

In January this year, the scheme was cut to 65 per cent support, in a bid to save £336,000.

Cllr Garratt, who opposed the cut, questioned why there was no mention of the scheme in the corporate plan, saying people were having to make the decision between heating their home and eating. He said it must be restored to help those in great despair.

The administration has recognised the need to deal with poverty and said in the plan, it would do all it could to challenge the issues.

Cllr Geoff Brodie, however, who represents two of the most deprived areas on the Island, submitted suggestions to help residents in Pan and Barton but these had so far gone unanswered.

He said: "How can my residents have any faith in meaningless commitment when they and I know this is just words in a soon-to-be dust-covered document?"

Cllr Brodie called on the administration and council to deliver his suggestions.

He said, "I will not let you off the hook on this one as I have had enough. My residents have had enough."

Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, council leader, said Cllr Brodie knew how slowly the wheels of the council moved but they were working on how to implement some of the problems he highlighted.

The cabinet approved the plan, which will now move to full council for adoption, although Cllr Garratt suggested he would add an amendment to reverse the council tax support scheme cuts.