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.’