December 8 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
People are being urged to have their say on Norwich City Council’s proposals to save £2.5m in the next year - which includes a likely increase in City Hall’s share of the council tax.
As part of its consultation, the council is asking whether or not it should increase its portion of council tax for 2014-15 by two per cent, which would bring in an extra £150,000 and add about 7p a week onto the bill for Band B homes in Norwich.
Within the questionnaire, the council also asks whether or not it should retain its existing council tax reduction scheme (formerly council tax benefit) for 2014-15 - a scheme which helps people on low or no income to pay their council tax.
Opinion is also being sought on a proposal to the government to make it a requirement for a land owner to gain planning permission and consult the local community before local pubs can be changed to another use, such as a shop.
Other proposals include:
• Renting out City Hall meeting rooms for business receptions and conferences
• A ‘gradual increase’ in cemetery fees and charges for allotments
• A review of empty homes to get more long-term properties into use - bringing in income from the new homes bonus
• Demolition of empty properties which are unlikely to be let
• Charging for replacing wheelie bins
• Buying private businesses to generate money
• Finding ways to bring in more money at St Andrew’s Hall and the Norman Centre
Alan Waters, the city council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, said: “Every year the council has to set its budget and every year this means there are new challenges to face and difficult choices to make. This is made all the more difficult by continued funding cuts from central government.
“But we want to make sure that the decisions the council makes about its 2014-15 budget are considered alongside the feedback we get from those who take the time to fill in the questionnaire.
“We will continue to make the case to government that an important city like Norwich gets a fair funding deal.”
The consultation can be found here.