Councillors have been challenged to suggest ideas to raise more cash to fund services - no matter how “zany or silly”.

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Up to £7m of Broadland District Council’s £8.6m reserves could be used up by 2018, with government cuts, rising inflation and service changes leaving the authority spending more than it receives. But a group is being established to investigate how the council can generate more income.

Councillors recently suggested Broadland should buy property or establish a company similar to Norfolk County Council’s Norse.

Paul Carrick, cabinet member for finance, said he did not agree with those ideas but he is in favour of examining the issue further.

Mr Carrick said: “I don’t think we should be competing with industry and commercial companies on the same things - I’m a great believer in you stick to what you are good at.

“I thought it was the right time, in the climate we have, to create a working group to invite some councillors to form a committee and have a brainstorming session.

“The agenda is go away and plan and comeback with anything and everything you think of that will benefit the council, and we will list them all, go through one by one and put in noes and maybes.”

Mr Carrick said the council’s senior officers would then look into the ideas to see which ones could work.

He said: “I don’t want to discourage ideas, however zany or silly they are.”

The council recently spent more than £2,500 on flights and seven nights in a hotel for two officers, who were part of Broadland’s team competing in the LivCom Awards in the United Arab Emirates.

The authority picked up three awards, but failed in its bid for a £10,000 bursary.

Nich Starling, opposition Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “It seems the Tories have finally realised what the Lib Dems have known and been saying for some time - the council is spending far more than it is bringing in.

“The question is why it has taken so long for them to wake up to this?”

Do you have a Broadland District Council story? Call reporter Richard Wheeler on 01603 772474 or email richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk

22 comments

  • I have another two “zany or silly” ideas. Turn the heating down in the council offices. Health and safety say 16 degrees is all that is required, so for every degree above that Councillors should have to pay for the extra energy used. Toilets should be 20p a go...excluding toilet paper.

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    Rhombus

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • “I don’t want to discourage ideas, however zany or silly they are.” Within a council, this could be a lifelong career! Starting with "the purchase of RAF Coltishall when you have no idea what to do with it, closely followed by the purchase of £140k+ of ipads for people who will have little or no idea what to do with them, closely followed by signing a deal for an Incinerator no-one wants, where do i stop!!

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    windup

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • I have a second home in Norfolk, I use the pubs and the local shops I do not leave litter and I do not commit any crime. Like most people I have been taxed up to the eyballs for decades. You should welcome people who put money into the local economy, half of the people who whinge about second home owners are just jealous of people who have got on.

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    John Bridge

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • John you are speaking as an individual who has had it all, who fell from one job into the other during his younger years, who has had opportunities galore. that's gone John, very little choices or opportunities, and your predictable rant against immigrant labour currently cutting your xmas sprouts and cabbages, as well as those few who have large families, is so old hat, that what the UKIP does, whipping up tabloid bluster. How about being constructive, i.e pay your full council tax for both houses and create some apprenticeships for a few youngsters.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Start by cutting all the "Perks" and take note of all the comments and ideas that have already been made. And John, if you can afford a second home then you should be able to afford to pay full council taxes for it. Jealousy doesn't come into it, there is a holiday property near me where the owners come up "from down South" occassionally to enjoy Norfolk life while there are locals who need houses that are being driven out of the villages they were bought up in because "outsiders" want to display their wealth with second homes, but they don't want to pay for them. Council taxes on second homes should be doubled not reduced.

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    Mr T

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • I will make this my last comment on this subject because it may fly off in all sorts of tangents. I would happily pay my full council tax and {yes} pay even more tax if the money was used properly but as we all know the more that is raised the more that it is wasted or milked off.As a boy my father in law and his family were kicked out of their cottage by the farmer {he lived in Bungay} the family was then spread around family in Norfolk and Lincs, when he left school he got a job as a live in barman in London as did his future wife who had moved here from Dublin. I rather think if this was to happen in the present day said father in law would knock out a load of sprogs and live off of the state. Couldn`t move to a big city for a job or cheap roof over his head and we all know why. IW, I don`t often agree with your comments but putting solar panels on houses for the benefit of of the people.who live in them rather than solar farm subsidies is spot on.

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    John Bridge

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Ooh! I've got another good idea. That building behind "Councillor in charge of finance" (sorry had to stop to laugh hysterically at that description) could be used as the councillors' chamber and the grand room which they do not deserve can be turned into a day centre for worthy recipients.

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    Electra

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Thank you Ingo. I think I agree with you more than you agree with me these days! On the matter of parking-I was in a Fenland town the other day, rough poor and tatty it might be but it was bustling and lots of small branches of national chains alongside small independents such as a sparkling Polish supermarket. Shops serving the working people who do not have a huge disposable income.There was some free parking available for shoppers-up to two hours. Compare this with Yarmouth which is dying on its feet and the town centre car parks are 70 pence an hour.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Non statutory services will be first in line. Will Broadland tell us which ones,and how much money axing these will save, and how many people will be affected? Centralise all offices and issue computers to all constituents so we can contact them? Ask the Chinese Government to share best practice? Create more farming land instead of building the NDR and destroying it.

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    bedoomed

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • I have a few ideas for Mr. Carrick. Firstly, stop encouraging councilors to come up with zany ideas. It is their dim witted ideas that cost us so dearly, in the first place. Try asking the people of this land, the lowly tax payers for cost saving & money making ideas, he will get a lot more ideas than a handful of disinterested self governing charletans can give him any day of the week. The only ideas he will get are ones that he would get from all councillors, ideas that cost us even more money, ideas that will get themselves something for nothing or ideas that will get them an all expenses paid jolly at my expense to a totally meaningless awards ceremony that was put on by a Company that probably charged us in the first place to be part of & was the the brainchild of the party leaders best mate cum golf caddies sister in law! Now for an utterly serious idea! How about charging every Council in the Country to come to Norfolk to the Annual Council Listening to their Customers Awards. I'm sure that we would make £ Millions for Norfolk. We could be like the Olympic Committee, charge people £Millions to come to Norfolk each year so that they could give us bungs to make each of them favourites to hold next years awards only for us to vote for ourselves to hold them.

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    Who gives a frack

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • This is all wrong. Councils are there to spend the income from council tax and government funding as best and efficiently as they can,. not to engage in risk taking with council tax payers money by being involved in commercial activities. The best thing that Broadland and all Norfolk councils can do is to impose full council tax on second homes. There is a second home close to my house-it is not a commercial holiday home but is occupied by a family and their guests of assorted families on a regular basis. I am sure they use more in the way of local services than my neighbour who lives alone, has no children, does not drive. puts a bin out once a month and has to pay 75% of council tax.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Although I do not agree much with Daisy Roots, on this issue of taxing second homes and empty properties we both agree. I also think that the disparity between inner city businesses, currently disadvantaged as their customers have to pay for inner city car parking, and out of town supermarkets could be addressed with a nominal parking charge for all drivers.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Perhaps jealous was too strong a word so I take it back but the `politics of envy` does often come into this argument. If we need to save money and free up housing then how about the people who have hordes of children they cannot possibly afford or the countless so called economic migrants many of whom are only here to leech and make the second home argument a nonsense how about people who have never worked and have no intention of ever doing so. What about the utterly rotten EU which is so corrupt it makes the banks and their partners in financail chicanery the corperations look like paragons of virtue! Pleny of targets to aim for withou attacking people who in the main have worked hard and often pay more than their fai share. Anyway I have to go, got to buy a bell to put around my neck :}

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    John Bridge

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • The sign above his head says it all I think. But if you look after the pennies....

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    User Removed

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • John Bridge-you are able to access all the facilities offered by the council-roads, street cleaning ,fire service ,police refuse collection etc even if like many full time residents you do not make use of all of them. Patronising a local shop or pub might be the second homers idea of helping but we who live in areas plagued by second homers know there is much more to rural and village life, and even small town life than the irregular patronage of visitors. There are other businesses-the local mechanic and petrol sales, the chap who sells logs and coal, the plumbers, electricians-from florists to the post office. They need our custom on a regular year round basis. When second homers moved in and those steady businesses lost their year round customers and folded and schools lost their pupils many villages changed for the worse. Those empty shell inhabited by second homers and retirees may look pretty Norfolk villages to the outsider but we know better. It is not a matter of jealousy, it is a matter of fair deals. Have a second home-pay the council tax.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • John: Agree with all of your thoughts and comments, as would most of the population. Only request I would make is: If you do buy a bell can you leave it at home when visiting Norfolk, we like a bit of peace and quiet in the country, only allowed to make a noise if you pay full council tax (local by law).....

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    Mr T

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Sending those Councillors to the UAE for £2500 was certainly "Zany and Silly" don't you think.

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    Marigold

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Could I suggest that the Broadland members who also draw allowances from NCC - minimum £9k - waive payment of their Broadland allowances? (Most of them also have jobs or businesses.) This might go some way towards demonstrating sympathy with those members of the public who are suffering from reduced services. It would also save money, and bring them into line with the large numbers of people who volunteer their time for the benefit of society for no pecuniary reward at all.

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    Nemesis

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Cut councillors pay, perks & pensions. After all, we are all in it together !.

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    "V"

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • I have a “zany or silly” idea. Why not give private house owners £1000s of tax payers money so that their homes can be brought up to rent-able standard..oh you do that already...sorry.

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    Rhombus

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Ceasing to exist is a surefire money saver as West Somerset DC has discovered?Could Broadland be the next if it is having to get out the begging-bowl already?

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Get rid of the councillors. Not only will you immediately recoup their stipends you will prevent them from indulging in their "let's waste as much public money as we possibly can" exercises which seems to be their very reason for existing. All of the suggestions made below are really good ways of saving money and would never have happened had it not been for the demented councillors and their self important attitude to the rest of us.

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    Electra

    Monday, December 17, 2012

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

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