County councillors have today approved proposals to reduce spending by £34m - putting up to 200 jobs at risk - and freeze council tax in 2013/14.

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The Conservative budget plans voted through at Norfolk County Council also included several amendments including £500,000 for rural transport and £1m to build houses on council-owned land.

Opposition Green Party, Liberal Democrat and Labour amendments all failed to receive approval.

Acting council leader Bill Borrett’s approved amendments are to spend: £1m of new homes bonus funding to build new houses on county council-owned land now judged surplus to requirements; £250,000 over two years to try and attract “in as much EU funding as possible” to Norfolk; £500,000 to improve booking, ticketing, service information for rural transport, plus in making dial a ride “more efficient and responsive” to “very rural areas”; £250,000 on the Norse apprenticeship scheme; £50,000 to support apprenticeships in “very small” county businesses; £250,000 for vulnerable children and young people safeguarding services; £25,000 for the Armed Forces Community Covenant; and £10,000 extra for public rights of way, specifically a new Norfolk trail link between Thetford and King’s Lynn.

Charity Nelson’s Journey, which supports bereaved children and young people, will also be given £250,000 toward its Smiles Houses appeal. This aims to raise £597,000 to provide accommodation to allow the charity to expand and provide more services to meet rising demand.

The Lib Dems had proposed increasing a fund for school support and school improvement from £1m to £3m, creating an Olympic Legacy fund of £1m, providing £500,000 to support care volunteers and £150,000 to ensure 60pc of Norfolk’s public rights of network could be cut twice a year.

Their sources of cash for the funding included reducing councillors’ allowances by £110,000, cutting the communications budget by £292,000, decreasing the chairman’s budget by £20,000 and a £228,000 cut of the planning, performance and partnership budget.

Labour suggested developing a £1.5m project to create a new organisation within Norse to build houses. The plan, funded by an underspend by the authority, aimed to develop 100 houses a year for the first three years to allow people to live in the places they grew up in.

The Green Party asked for mental health services and schools to be protected. They suggested using £2.5m from the Norwich northern bypass reserve and a council tax increase of 1.95pc to fund these services.

For more on the budget, see tomorrow’s papers.

17 comments

  • Why £25,000 to Armed Forces Community Covenant? What doies it do? Nothing so far

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    maryjane

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Hello, did you get a warm glow from reading this article? Yes? Then VOTE CONSERVATIVE in May.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Archant should take note - sack Paddy Davitt, save money

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    el dingo

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Usual bunch of left wing comments from the Norfolk moaners on here! What you forget is Mr Blair led us down this path with 13 years of freebies to freeloaders who spent the majority of there time on there backsides!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Mary Jane - Is Swanton Morley with hundreds of members of the armed forces and their families in Borat's district? You betcha! More vote buying. As for Norse. Am I right in assuming that this is a commercial enterprise? Did White not resign on the basis he wasn't commercial enough to run NCC and its subsidiaries? Why does it need money throwing at it? If it is not making a profit year after year it is trading fraudulently and needs to be put into receivership. If it is trading at a profit why does it need subsidies? That is a question for the auditors by the way not for the Councillors who wouldn't understand company law if it gnawed at their ankles. By the way Omnishambles we would all be grateful to know which LibDems are sucking up to their Tory masters. Names please!

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Had they have not spent £5m+ on RAF Coltishall, then that could've been used elsewhere. Oh wait, it is - by using the £1m allocated to building new houses, no doubt on this land. Genius.

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    Hoohaa

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • I'm all for compulsory redundancies, as long as it starts with those Tory charlatans at the top.

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    John L Norton

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • That should read only one third bothered showing up. What utter contempt these people have for our democracy or perhaps the form it has taken under the control of Borat and Jordan. Do they really think the electorate is stupid enough to fall for these bribes of a few hundred thousand here or there.

    Report this comment

    pig in trough

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Have you upped your comment blocking game in the run up to the election in May? The pro-tory spin in your article is not enough; you need to censor criticism as well?

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • What's this, chuck as many little scraps at as many different sectors to please as many different people as possible, is there an election soon? Described as Borat's personal amendments, the 200 extra jobs put at risk barely get a mention. What are they doing with the half a billion or so stashed in reserves? You might have forgotten but these were built up between 2001 and 2010 when we were taxed by NCC way ahead of inflation to the tune of £250 extra per household. If NORSE is a successful, commercial, arms-length business, why does NCC need to subsidise its apprentice scheme? Whose are the "very small" country businesses that can't pay for their own apprentices - maybe a new tea room in Borat's constituency? £250,000 for vulnerable children and young people safeguarding services, on the back of the annihilation of youth services last year. The Armed Services' vote: in the bag! In a nutshell, a lot of little publicity-seeking gimmicks. Blatant electioneering that should fool no one.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • I very much question whether the apprenticeships scheme of NORSE is more and better qualified to receive 250K, than those carried out in small and medium size businesses that have to compete in the real world. It sounds as if cllr. Borrett is keeping friends happy. Now to the announcements of the senior management review, how many jobs will go at top level and will we get a new NPL director who can keep the office door shut and our contracts safely locked up?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • 1600 Norfok county council jobs already gone under these Tories,Add the districts and parishs.More than 2,000 lost local government jobs.How many more to come to make the estimated public sector job loss to be 1.3million.The horrible irony is the government is borrowing billions more to pay for it.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Gosh, what an appealing selection of giveaways. What was Billy Boy thinking? "Vote for me!"

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Lib Dems once again appeasing their sleeping partners. Several voted with the Tories.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Sooo..... £250k to Norse. Anyone know who might be directors of Norse? County councillors by any chance??

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Cuts in services of millions whilst wheeler dealer 'cliffy iffy' gaffer (worzel gummidge), Cliff Jordan is handed a blank cheque to waste those millions investing in his dodgy black deals like RAF Coltishall. Word on the street is that Jordan's puppet, Borat (Borrett) presided over a total omnishambles today almost losing a vote to change the budget in the Conservative Group gathering before the Council meeting. The Pig has learnt that only 13 of the Tory Group bothered to turn up to their own group meeting and Borat was on the verge of having his plans torn up even before he walked into the Council chamber. Poor Borat - Jordan and Chief Executive, David White are so busy pulling his strings, he doesn't know which way to go. Borat has managed to split his group, hand control of NCC over to White and his cronies and is stigmatised with the 'Third Man' label in the 'Kevingate' saga, which he has still not answered for! The Tories are heading for electoral meltdown with Captain Borat at the helm. Let's hope the Tories vote him in as their leader at the end of this week, then maybe we stand a hope of getting NOC - No Overall Control on NCC where people have to work together like grown ups!

    Report this comment

    pig in trough

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Nelson's Journey, front page of EDP this morning, worried about lack of funding. Borat straight in there with his budget announcement (the big vote-buying giveaway) with a blinding piece of opportunism.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, February 18, 2013

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