Tories welcome money-making focus of Portsmouth City Council – and say they pioneered the approach

THE former leader of Portsmouth City Council hopes income generation will continue to be a main source of cash, in light of today's budget proposals.

Portsmouth City Council has to fill a £4m budget hole in the next financial year - but 21 per cent of that will come from income generation, not cuts.

Cllr Donna Jones 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (180301-8537b)

Cllr Donna Jones 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (180301-8537b)

Tory leader Cllr Donna Jones welcomed this. She said: 'Income generation is not just for now it's for the long term, its the only way that councils can survive.

'When the Conservatives ran the city, between 2014 and 2018, we adopted a totally different approach to the budget. We didn’t cut public services, we protected them.

'We drove a huge cultural change through the council which focused wholly on income generation. This was a first.

'We did it very well, and managed to not only prevent cuts to council services, but reinstate some of the services previously cut by the Liberal Democrats, such as their decision to close public toilets which we reversed immediately when we took over.

'I’m pleased that our income generation strategy is being copied by the Lib Dems.'

However, she criticised some decisions that she believed could have added to the savings. 'Income generating ideas such as Victory Energy, which would create £5m a year for PCC by 2023, are key,' she said.

'In taking a decision to "wind up" Victory Energy the Lib Dems are seriously endangering public services for the long term.

'I am hopeful that following the elections in six months time the Conservatives will be running the city council again, and we can continue to improve public services whilst regenerating the city centre and protecting green open spaces such as St James Hospital in Milton.'