Cash strapped Great Yarmouth Borough Council agree council tax freeze for another year

By LAUREN ROGERS
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
9:35 AM

Council tax in Great Yarmouth has been frozen for another year, despite the local authority’s ongoing battle with budget cuts.

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The decision to freeze council tax for 2013/14 was made by Great Yarmouth Borough Council last night, and means residents will continue to pay an average of £1,502 a year.

The money will be split with £1,145 going to Norfolk County Council, £146 to the GYBC, £200 to Norfolk Police Authority and £10.14 to parish councils.

The Labour-led borough council must find savings of £3.3m a year for three years after seeing its government funding slashed by 19pc - the largest cut to any authority in the country.

Efforts to plug the £10m funding gap began last year when more than 50 members of council staff took voluntary redundancy.

Speaking last night council leader Trevor Wainwright said: “We now have a solid plan for a balanced budget by 2015, even with the latest cuts from central government.”

Brian Walker, cabinet member for resources said: “We have found more than £2.4m of savings within the budget.

“Staffing costs have been reduced by over £947,000 through a programme of voluntary departures, with 56 staff leaving the council by May 2013.

“Renegotiating the contract with our partner Great Yarmouth Borough services will save a further £760,000.

“And going through the budgets line by line has helped us to deliver even more savings.

“We have done all this and kept the council tax frozen, very importantly, without cutting services.”

The council previously rejected a proposal to merge with Breckland and South Holland councils - a move which would have saved them a further £160,000, saying that restructure is where “the biggest saving will be”.

Deputy leader of the Conservative group, Councillor Barry Coleman, disagreed, last night calling it a “foolish” decision.

The meeting also heard the borough’s may receive £1.8m through an Efficiency Support Grant – but the money is subject to an improvement in services and a business case being accepted by central government.

“Any additional funding is to be welcomed and we will put the money to good use,” said Cllr Wainwright.

“But it would have been better for Great Yarmouth if this money was part of our core funding.”

6 comments

  • They must be waiting for a family that doesn't have English as a first language to fill it BG

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    fester1902

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Not cut any services just jobs huh?

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    fester1902

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • £1,145 To NCC they are one of the reason our port was given away for nothing as we do not seem to get back much in return from NCC but trouble.

    Report this comment

    Dave

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Very brave of them. No soundbite from their cretin-of-a MP?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Gt Yarmouth are getting hammered. Cuts from central government per capita over double that of South Norfolk. The tory-led government is deliberately and unfairly hitting the poorest areas hardest. This is confirmed by the Audit Commission, which has found that the most deprived areas have seen substantially greater reductions in government funding as a share of revenue expenditure than councils in better-off areas. Cameron says we're all in it together, but his local authority of West Oxfordshire (one of the least deprived areas in the country) is actually seeing an increase in its spending power this year. Pickles has lectured councillors that they have a moral duty not to increase tax bills this year, but the tory-led government is creating a tax timebomb by cutting funding to the poorest areas, knowing full well that in years to come this will lead to increasing bills for people on the lowest incomes. They are balancing the books for their millionaires' tax cut effective in April on the backs of the poorest through council funding cuts. It tells you all you need to know about whose side the government is really on.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • They could save a fortune without having to make job cuts etc if they got a grip of their council tenants. Yet another flat near me has been out of use for 3 months while it has undergone a total refurbishment. That is 3 months lost revenue and heaven knows how much lost from future rent to pay for all of this. And what will happen, the next tenant will trash it and the cycle will start all over again. No wonder Norse is kept busy.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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