The Isle of Wight Council has responded with a public statement after the Isle of Wight Law Centre sent letters to members of the Council explaining why a proposed cutting of funds would cost the Council far more than it might save.
The Law Centre had been informed that the Council intends to cut the Centre’s core funding of £70,000 in 2019.
In response to a statement issued by the Isle of Wight Law Centre, an Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said: “Legally, the Isle of Wight Council has an obligation it must comply with when buying goods and services.
“Part of this legal obligation is to ensure that contract opportunities are advertised.
“The existing agreements for information, advice and guidance, including those with the Law Centre, will expire and it is necessary to ensure these are recommissioned so that valuable services for the Island can continue to be delivered.
“The procurement process is open and transparent and the Law Centre can bid for the contract, either alone or in partnership with other voluntary organisations, should it wish to continue to deliver these services.
“The current actions are not about stopping the support available but instead looking at better ways of delivering them and aligning them across the board.”
A spokesperson for the Law Centre responded to the Council’s statement today, saying: “All the Isle of Wight Law Centre has received is notice terminating our core funding in June 2019 – and that’s it.
“The Isle of Wight Council is now saying it intends to re-commission Advice, Information, & Guidance (AIG) services, but as the Law Centre doesn’t deliver AIG services, that proposed intention is meaningless.
“We’re not aware that any appropriate tenders have been published by the IOW Council”.