Portsmouth has secured ‘not one penny piece’ from government

Charlotte Griffiths with new Lord Mayor Lee Mason

Creative photographer opens her first studio

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THE leader of Portsmouth City Council has declared raising money for services is a ‘top priority’ – despite claims the government isn’t interested in providing anything extra.

Outlining the council’s strategy to generate cash in a speech about budgets, Donna Jones declared: ‘As an administration, we have made income generation a top priority.

‘We have set a clear mandate to the directors and the CEO – we want you to create more income.

‘We want you to ensure we are getting the maximum return from our assets.’

She referred to the council’s property investment scheme pot – which will now be increased by £73.1m so properties can be bought in return for a rental income.

Yet Lib Dem group leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the government this week gave councils an extra £416m to spend – and Portsmouth got nothing.

Speaking at the full council debate, Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset have all got millions of pounds extra from the government.

‘Shall I tell you how much money the leader of the council has secured for Portsmouth? None. Nil. Zilch. Zero. Not one penny piece.’