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County Hall leader hits back at claim Norfolk is lacking coherent vision

Norfolk County Council Conservative leader Cliff Jordan, Lib Dem group leader Dan Roper and Labour group leader Steve Morphew. Photo: Norfolk Conservatives/submitted/Denise Bradley

Norfolk County Council Conservative leader Cliff Jordan, Lib Dem group leader Dan Roper and Labour group leader Steve Morphew. Photo: Norfolk Conservatives/submitted/Denise Bradley

Norfolk Conservatives/submitted/Denise Bradley

The leader of Norfolk County Council has hit back at accusations from political opponents that the county lacks a coherent vision or leadership.

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at County Hall, attacked what he described as “a long term failure to consistently and significantly invest in Norwich and Norfolk’s potential” in a new year’s message from his group.

He said: “The lack of a coherent vision or leadership for the county means we struggle to develop a narrative that tells our story and attracts the people and resources we need.

“Norfolk has huge potential, there to be exploited to deal with our problems, to improve the lives of our people and our communities, and contribute to the prosperity of our county and country.”

He said the Conservatives, who are in control of County Hall, had “adopted language that suggests they are forward looking, but their actions demonstrate it is the same old, same old policies being promoted by the same old, same old Tory hierarchy”.

But Cliff Jordan, Conservative leader at County Hall, hit back at the accusation and accused Mr Morphew of playing politics.

He said: “He knows very well that I have produced a vision for Norfolk and that will be coming to the council’s policy and resources committee later this month.

“There’s a lot of things which are already happening and I am devoted to getting Norfolk right.”

Mr Jordan said it was not fair to expect him to reveal the vision for Norfolk ahead of that policy and resources committee.

Dan Roper, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at County Hall, said: “I think the council leadership has been taking lessons from President Trump in the way they reject all legitimate questions and criticisms of how they are conducting themselves in office.”

Norfolk County Council is currently gearing up for difficult decisions over the coming months.

With less money from government, the council is facing a £125m funding gap by 2021/22, and consultation closed today on proposals which would make £41.6m of savings.

Some of those savings are in the back offices.

But others include: potentially cutting bus subsidies; halving the budget for children’s centres from £10m to £5m and spending less on road maintenance and gritting.

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