December 6 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Communities in the Greater Norwich area and beyond will find out in the coming months if council bosses will share more than £300,000 of government cash with them.
Broadland District Council is in line to receive £313,655 in 2013/14 under the new homes bonus project, which sees local authorities given cash for every new house built or for bringing empty properties back into use.
The authority has received around £445,000 in the last two years and split the cash 50/50 with parishes.
Projects which have benefited include play equipment in Rackheath, village hall disability access in Postwick and Witton and a bus shelter in Spixworth.
But with the government due to announce further details which will affect the funding of councils next week, Broadland says it has taken no decision about whether or not it will continue to split the cash.
Paul Carrick, a Conservative councillor and cabinet member for finance, said: “We have to decide what to do with it. Two years ago we deliberately said we would look at the third year later as we were suspicious of the government’s intentions.
“We still are, until we get the figures next week.”
Mr Carrick said there was nothing to stop the council using this money elsewhere in its budget.
There have been warnings in recent weeks the authority could spend up to £7m of its £8.6m reserves between 2013/14 and 2017/18 because of funding cuts, inflation and government changes to services.
The new homes bonus is based on the extra council tax raised on new homes and is expected to be paid by the government for six years after they have been built.
In Sprowston, 48 new homes were built in two years, which led to the parish receiving £37,893.
Some parishes received £700 if their area had grown by one home, including Salhouse and Strumpshaw.