The future of public services across the region are in doubt as the government’s latest multi-million pound spending cuts confirmed councils’ worst fears.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles yesterday revealed government settlements and grants to fund council services in 2013/14, as part of his attempts to change how local authorities pay for their services.

Norfolk County Council expects it will need to make £37m of cuts from April. This is on top of the £105m the authority has already saved since 2010, which has included axeing youth services and placed day care centres under threat.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council also looks set to be the hardest hit authority in the country when the coalition government’s transition fund, to help it adapt to the changes, is sliced by around 30pc next year.

It has already predicted cuts of £10m in the next three years.

Elsewhere, South Norfolk District Council insisted it anticipates “no cuts next year”.

At North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), leader Tom FitzPatrick, said: “It looks like the spending review for 2014/15 will reveal much greater cuts, which will pose some serious questions regarding how this and other local authorities conduct their business.

“NNDC runs a tight financial ship, has no debts and is already developing areas that could raise significant income, but with further spending cuts anticipated we are planning to consult with the people of north Norfolk in the spring as to where they would like the council to concentrate its future efforts and its budget.”

It was a day of number-crunching for councils as the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released several figures on future spending.

This included “spending power” data, which includes grants from central government, council tax and bonuses for building new houses.

The government’s intention is to encourage authorities to raise more money rather than receiving a bigger, one-off grant from Whitehall.

English councils are said to spend £114.5bn next year, but their “spending power” will decrease by an average of 1.7pc, with Yarmouth’s noted as dropping by 19.3pc in 2013/14 and Breckland’s by 3pc.

Norfolk and Waveney councils are expected to see their “spending power” decrease by more than £30m in 2014/15, with Norfolk County Council accounting for £24m. Suffolk County Council is expected to see this figure dip by £17m in the same period.

West Norfolk’s spending power is said to increase by 1.1pc next year but fall by 5pc, or £1m, in 2014/15, while South Norfolk’s is expected to increase by 2.5pc next year and 0.4pc in 2014/15.

Council officials across the region will today continue poring over the details to work out the immediate consequences for 2013/14, and predicted heavier losses in 2014/15.

What they have yet to fully establish is exactly how much money they will lose from the government grant.

A computer-glitch hampered this work yesterday as councils found it difficult to view government documents containing the information.

Norfolk County Council recently announced plans to save £125m from 2014/15 and wants to be less reliant on government cash and find more ways of generating income.

Harry Humphrey, cabinet member for finance, said yesterday: “We know that, following the autumn statement, the authority faces a further two per cent reduction in funding from 2014/15, on top of the savings already planned.

“This reduction is in spite of ever-rising demand for many of our services - particularly for adult social care.

“There is a lot of detail in the announcement we have yet to get to the bottom of, but we know enough now to see that it validates entirely the need for the council to fundamentally review its operations.”

At Waveney District Council, leader Colin Law said the council had worked “hard to maintain the highest standards of service” in challenging financial conditions.

He said of yesterday’s settlement announcement: “This is a disappointing blow to us and our community.

“We know there is no quick fix in today’s economic situation and it is clear we will need to work even harder and even smarter to ensure the people and business in Waveney get the services they need and deserve.”

The DCLG says local authorities will locally raise 70pc of the money available to spend, compared to 56pc under the previous grant system.

Councils also have extra responsibilities, including handing out council tax benefit albeit with an average of 10pc less cash from the government.

Communities secretary Mr Pickles said: “Councils that put their thinking caps on now can save precious taxpayer pennies next year by cutting out waste and transforming frontline services that vulnerable people rely on.”

The timing of Mr Pickles’ announcement was criticised as giving councils little time to develop budgets.

And shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn said the “unfair cuts” meant the loss of “libraries, sports centres, Sure Start centres, places at women’s refuges”.

Norwich City Council plans to discuss the changes with Brandon Lewis, local government minister and Yarmouth MP, during a 10am call with other local authorities today.

Alan Waters, cabinet member for finance, said: “It’s all bad for local government. But whether it’s relatively less bad or relatively more bad, it seems to be urban areas with deprivation that get hit the hardest.”

37 comments

  • @keith s . The reason we are in this mess is because brown created 1 million council non jobs . Had mass immigration All with massive borrowing from the banks which we are unable to pay back

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • We are getting closer and closer to the point where we cannot afford both District, County and town councils. The Districts are going to have to go. Its not whether we like it or not, its the logic of what is happening to funding.

    Report this comment

    Resident

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • here comes some more savage cuts to pay for thirteen years of wreckless labour goverment

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • We are getting closer and closer to the point where we cannot afford both District, County and town councils. The Districts are going to have to go. Its not whether we like it or not, its the logic of what is happening to funding.

    Report this comment

    Resident

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • labour created over 1 million council non jobs . The coalition have axed 500 000 . We are only half way with the cuts . Who was that man who said no more boom and bust ?

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Friday, December 21, 2012

  • We still can guarantee spending of 100 billion over 40 years on upgrading Trident missiles, far more important to placate the arms spongers, than to look after grannies in Gt. Yarmouth. BG can't see the tax evasion and the millions that are given away to rich party supporters. And have a look at which councils are facing cuts and their political make up.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Pickles is no fool he knows many of these council are sitting on record levels of reserves, take Norfolk County Council who are are sitting on over £200 million pot with over £50 million being added this year. That's without the millions they have wasted on pet projects like the NDR the Incinerator, Yarmouth harbour, Coltishall to name but a few. Short of money, I don't think so, it's all a pretence.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Time to cut back the pay and pensions of politicians and councillors. Which council was it that recently had a jolly to the Middle East?

    Report this comment

    Kempster

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Despite the fact that Great Yarmouth has the 11th poorest council ward in the country,it looks as though it is Yarmouth which is being targetted by this Coalition government for the worst treatment.The reason for this seems to me to be a political calculation by Brandon Lewis to force the council into bankrupcy in order to blame the Labour party.There are dreadful times ahead for local government in general but Yarmouth is to suffer more than most.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • norman hall - when you say working people will be hit hardest I wonder how many of the 60% strivers figure used by Labour are the " I can`t do anymore hours or I will lose my benefits" brigade. The Coalition finds itself between a rock and a hard place in trying to sort out the economy and attempting to make the welfare system fairer is just part of it. If those commenting here want to return to the "good old days" then the only choice in town is higher taxes whether that is by way of direct or indirect taxation. Taxing a few millionaires another 5p in the pound isn't even going to cover the postage.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • The figures of millions and who has what can be argued forever. One thing for sure, the poorest of the land and that includes working people, will be hit hardest. A question for Mr Lamb, the NuToryLIbdem MP. Where are you and your party when the Tories pile more and more misery on the less well off ? Cameron and his gang must have your approval for these draconian measures. Just as you supported the drop in income rate for the wealthy of this land. And it seems that gas companies are going to be subsidised by the taxpayer, in the form of tax breaks, for "fracking". More money to the wealthy. I have no objection to wealthy people but it is so unbalanced. Mr Lamb, where are you??

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Police Commissioner - I don`t think the Tories have many friends in the media do you? The BBC is definitely backing Labour and the rest would happily lynch DC from the nearest lamp post for setting up the Leveson inquiry. The only people who pulled the wool over our eyes were Labour who said there would be no more boom and bust. There would be no more poverty in this country. We would only see 10,000 poles come to this country. Rendition - heaven above. Need I go on, or on and on. Would I ever trust a Labour government again? - not in a million years.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Oh Dear, well maybe people can follow the Italian way and look after there elderly folk and take there children to School.The Uk is completely reliant on social services and Benefits.Come and live here and return to family values because there simply isn't any freebies here!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • A picture is worth a thousands words, the Fat Cats living off the poor again.... as others have stated we can spend Billions in foreign aid and trident, not to mention millions of pounds "housing potential threats to national security". It is about time this government got its priorities right. Disgusting.

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Milecross let us put this into perspective. £100 million was spent last month on Police Crime Commissioners, AV referendum cost £75 million, a reorganisation of the NHS will cost over £1 billion. The money is there when the government wants it to be. It's again the wrong priorities, just like giving the rich a tax cut.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Tony Blair could easily spare a few million from his fortune if GYBC get really short ... he's a champagne socialist and likes helping people.. and it is Christmas.

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Yes, half a million made up jobs. Put them on the dole instead. How many of them voted Tory or LibDem? Serves them right!

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Friday, December 21, 2012

  • So can we NCC pleeese finally stop spending on the pointless NDR vanity project, when so many other more crucial public services are at risk?

    Report this comment

    beeston bump

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Milecross - it's not 13 years of Labour, it's only 2 years of Tories that's brought this situation to a head. Political history shows it time and time again, a blue government always cuts back the public sectors and tries to divide the population by social class.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • BG you do sound so very bitter. Firstly, read my words. I used the term " workers " . There are an awful lot of people in full time work lowly paid bearing the brunt of the taxation system .I fail to see why you bring the Labour party into this discussion at all. Please take the trouble to read a comment before commenting. Finally, what is a "striver" ?

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Kempster - You mean a pay day loan. Which is Labour`s way of running an economy. Borrow more and get even further into debt. Splendid.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • I would rather see the Norfolk County Council go Derrick Murphy, Bill Borrett don't care about you, your family or your children. They want waste incinerators built across Norfolk. It is refreshing that West Norfolk have found a alternative to waste incineration it would be great if other councils across Norfolk get the message and follow their lead. Derrick Murphy and Bill Borrett have to stop wasting tax payers money on stinking waste incinerators.

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Friday, December 21, 2012

  • Did 'Norfolk' miss a trick by rejecting unitary status when they had the chance? Certainly some seem to have had their heads buried in the sand waiting for the inevitable. I am reasonably convinced that unitary would have been the better option all round rather than a mish, mash, hotch potch of shared service service arrangements and the erosion of 'discretionary' services. I am not sure who is to blame but I'm beginning to think that it might be time for 'Norfolk' to wake up and smell the coffee

    Report this comment

    Jaguar

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Now that the Icelandic banks have paid back the councils the hundreds of millions of savings that they had, can they not dip into those funds (or are they for 'special' purposes)?

    Report this comment

    Kempster

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Send us your Europeans and let agencies. employers and the DSS collude to give them jobs to the exclusion of locals wanting to work, send us your housing benefit recipients not wanted by metropolitan boroughs, send us your third world migrants with no skills, fill up our schools with children needing special help, drain the resources of the council on those residents leaving those who do pay council tax wondering what they get for their money and take away the support grant which recognised the social and economic problems of the borough. Seems like GY is a microcosm of England. The voters in GY wont just blame Labour, they will blame everyone-it is a recipe for social disaster. The Tories need to pull out of all foreign aid and spend the money at home in places in dire economic straits because of the effects of deliberate attempts at global levelling.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • The problem with Gt Yarmouth Borough is that it has a high proportion of residents that contribute nothing to the town. Their sole or main source of income comes from the state so we finish up with the residents who are in work paying for the "care" of these people which is substantial in most cases because basically they can`t look after themselves. The council could save a fortune if it made these people look after their council houses. When they move on it costs the council a fortune to put them right, from emptying the rubbish, fumigating the property and putting the interiors right by fitting new kitchens etc etc for the next tenant who will live there free of charge, to wreck. As a striver I am really getting fed up to the teeth seeing my services being cut back time and time again to pay for these free loaders.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Are Parish Councils wanted, needed, appreciated,or cost effective or just window dressing for democracy?

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • GYBC is being hit hardest due to the end of transitional funding. The lack of wealth creation in Yarmouth has been caused in the main by the Council encouraging people to the town whose sole or main income is derived from benefits and who have a plethora of social problems. All of which need funding from somewhere. To get out of this mess the cycle of continued reliance on welfare needs to be broken. To do an Oliver and want even more in state handouts is not the answer. Labour’s mantra about millionaires etc etc are rather disingenuous. They had 13 years to deal with higher rates of tax and tax avoidance but never thought it warranted their attention, until of course they were out of office. Mr Ts comments about the fat cats living off the poor was quite correct in the last few years of the Labour government when those at the lower end of the pay scale paid a higher percentage of their wages in tax, than those at the top. Now the reverse is the case.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Yarmouth will have to cut back on "discriminatory services that are only open to council tennants" such as youth clubs, centres for foreigners and the maintenence of discriminatory "free council car parks" that are for "council tennants only". Why should areas that do not get these free services have to face cutbacks when these can be cut back or abolished all together ?.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Anything could happen when central government just stops paying. Lots of things are going to change. Unpredictably.

    Report this comment

    Resident

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Norfolk County Council has squandered £millions away as though money is going out of fashion. Yarmouth outer harbour. Lost 38 million to the Icelandic banks. They got involved with an American incinerator company that will bankrupt the county knowing the waste industry in the USA is run by the mob, Google Tony Soprano. Norse seems to be a run by county councillors and generating plenty of income for attending meetings. The only excuse NCC can come up with is David White the boss man was not up to the job. There is now talk of making the A47 dual carriageway but how will this help when the A47 past Kings Lynn reverts back to single carriageway and especially the A17 virtually all the way to Newark.

    Report this comment

    Emma Miller

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Police Commissioner - After recent turn of events I thought no one would be using the word, "plebs," anymore - it`s so passe. I think you will find the Police Federation have even binned the T shirts. They are after all so self deprecating.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Oh Dear, well maybe people can follow the Italian way and look after there elderly folk and take there children to School.The Uk is completely reliant on social services and Benefits.Come and live here and return to family values because there simply isn't any freebies here!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • Mile Cross, You seem to forget there was and still is a worldwide banking crisis caused by corrupt bankers and the last government had to bail the banks out for hundreds of billions pounds. We now have a unelected con dem shower who gives the rich tax cuts allow their chums to avoid billions in tax avoidance then hammer us peasants the disabled and the disadvantaged.

    Report this comment

    Melvyn Parkerson

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • BG, you've really taken to those wool-tinted spectacles. DC would be delighted.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • WDCSCC could save a few million by dropping their 'Riverside' office relocation. £12m estimated and that is without the 'fitting out' new computersdesks etc.. plus internal programme management costs, and delays, and .. call it £20m. There are other cheaper locations, e.g. old Zepher Cams site, it has doesn't have river views though, but is one of the first buildings you see when entering Lowestoft from the south (A12). Also the Riverside site is in the Enterprise Zone and part of the attraction for new offshore support business is quayside access, of which the proposed relocation will use up some of this valuable access. This maybe, it looks like to most, a case of council vanity over exigent necessity? There, £20m saved already! Easy.

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • I read a letter in the EDP the other day from some misinformed person, or maybe they were a Tory propagandist, repeating the common misconception that it was Labour what done it. Dave Cam and the rest of the Cons are keen to promote this myth because it justifies austerity, which is in reality an ideologically motivated attack on public spending. When I say 'ideologically', you may not feel that destroying public services so the greedy rich can pay less tax is real ideology, but that's your choice. Someone must have voted them in. Labour is not even culpable of failing to regulate the City's casino indulgences, for what really sank the world's economies, aka the 'toxic' debts that have damaged so many countries, was born in the spivy unregulated Cayman Islands. Buying trillions of dollars of high risk subprime US mortgages, based on a ludicrously bloated property price bubble, and then creating 'funds' that were securitised and hawked to financial institutions around the globe as the next big thing in derivative investments, this is what brought the world's economies to their knees and necessitated the UK government to borrow £1.5 trillion to save many of our highstreet banks from collapse. What was the alternative? Let the banks go bust? That really would have been reckless and given the public something to moan about. Labour's actions should be praised, not pilloried. If you don’t agree well I’m sorry, but you have been lied to. The Cons and their friends in the media know this is a complex issue and they are taking advantage of this to continue pulling the wool over your eyes. We, the plebs, all pay while the architects and managers of these dodgy deals continue to flourish.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 10°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT