Search

Norfolk taxpayers will pay 4% more in council tax next year as councillors agree £42m of cuts

13:10 22 February 2016

People demonstrating against the proposed cuts to by the county at County Hall, Norwich. 
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

People demonstrating against the proposed cuts to by the county at County Hall, Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

ARCHANT NORFOLK

People in Norfolk will see their council tax increase, after councillors agreed a hike to head off cuts to frontline services.

Norfolk County Council’s full council today agreed a budget which will see £42m of cuts made in the next year and a 3.99pc increase in the share of council tax which goes to pay for County Hall’s services.

The council tax increase, the first in the county council’s share for five years, will add about 88p extra a week to people’s bills. Of the 3.99pc increase, 2pc is specifically for adult social care.

There was an early adjournment at the meeting, after shouts from the public gallery.

Chairman Rex Parkinson-Hare called for security to clear the public gallery, but, after an apology and an undertaking there would be no further interruptions, the public were allowed to stay.

The council’s committees had been considering proposals which would save £123m over the next three years, as it looks to plug a £111m spending gap.

And the council agreed the council tax should be increased so some of the most controversial of the proposed cuts could be abandoned.

Labour leader George Nobbs said: “It’s a budget for all the people of Norfolk” and said it would mean no fire stations, children’s centres or libraries would shut.

Today’s meeting was preceded by protests by the Norfolk Fire brigades Union, disability charity Equal Lives, trade union Unison and the Norfolk People’s Assembly.

Among controversial proposals which were ditched was a plan to shut fire stations at Heacham and one of either West Walton or Outwell. Cuts to cover in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and King’s Lynn will also not be made.

The EDP has, through the Save Our Stations campaign, called for cuts to fire stations and cover to be scrapped.

Proposals to take £5.1m out of Supporting People services, which provides preventative care for vulnerable people would be ditched.

Plans for the council to stop paying for transport for social care users, such as older people attending day services, would be dropped.

Cuts to a service which identifies archaeological finds and reducing opening hours of Norfolk’s Record Office have been dropped.

And bank holiday reopening of Norfolk’s recycling centres, the full- time opening of Ashill, Heacham and Morningthorpe recycling centres and the reopening of Docking recycling centre have been assured.

But £42m of cuts will be made, mainly in the back offices, which is likely to mean redundancies.

And in the following two years, a further £29.7m and £42.5m of savings will have to be made.

Liberal Democrat Dan Roper, deputy leader, said: “The council tax increase is absolutely necessary and is the right thing to do.”

Conservative group leader Cliff Jordan said the budget was better his his group’s involvement in putting it together.

He said: “We don’t agree with everything in it, but within negotiations, no-one ever does.

“The people of Norfolk deserve better, but I am of the view that we should co-operate, rather than go head to head.”

Disability charity Equal Lives, which has attacked the council for its changes to personal budgets for disabled people, says that still means £50m of cuts to adult social care will be made on the years ahead.

The Greens put forward an amendment to reallocate cash to adult social care, for an air quality action plan and for small road safety schemes.

But that amendment was defeated, with Mr Roper saying it was “not sustainable “.

An amendment by independent Alexandra Kemp, which would have created a fund for school crossing patrols, was also rejected.

The budget was agreed, with four Greens voting against and two Conservatives abstaining.

Related articles

14 comments

  • No one has mentioned the £22m they have just spent on county hall ? I suggest the council cuts back on what they spend on housing stock repairs

    Report this comment

    david106

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • The elephant in the room is the cost of local government, I just wonder how much could be saved by scrapping at least one council who think it's a great idea to squander money on pointless road projects! Council tax is already far too high, and not related to income like a fair tax system should be! In fact council tax should be abolished and central government should do an audit on how money is spent! I would be a lot happier if the city and county were managed by people who had nothing to do with politics, and injected a bit of common sense into decision making, this would mean that nonsense like the push the pedalways scheme wouldn't get off the ground, and the general state of Norfolk roads would improve!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • The elephant in the room is the cost of local government, I just wonder how much could be saved by scrapping at least one council who think it's a great idea to squander money on pointless road projects! Council tax is already far too high, and not related to income like a fair tax system should be! In fact council tax should be abolished and central government should do an audit on how money is spent! I would be a lot happier if the city and county were managed by people who had nothing to do with politics, and injected a bit of common sense into decision making, this would mean that nonsense like the push the pedalways scheme wouldn't get off the ground, and the general state of Norfolk roads would improve!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • If you want services then you have to pay for them. Someone somewhere voted for those who wanted the incinerator, the road to nowhere, for Sheila Lock, for sister Wendy for Michael Rosen for George Nobbs for for little Jimmy Joyce. What a shambles.

    Report this comment

    Nakita Ponnly

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • If you want services then you have to pay for them. Someone somewhere voted for those who wanted the incinerator, the road to nowhere, for Sheila Lock, for sister Wendy for Michael Rosen for George Nobbs for for little Jimmy Joyce. What a shambles.

    Report this comment

    Nakita Ponnly

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • @Jonny and @ Carborundum. Back to the incinerator .... again! After all the NIMBY's pushing to cancel the incinerator (remembering it was Labour under Nobbs who actually pulled the plug) guess what Palm Paper are building next to their works to power their plant... a new 162 MW-CCGT Power Station. Ironic realy isn't it. We should have gone ahead with the incinerator and sold the power. http:www.palmpaper.co.ukenCompanyPP3CGT

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • Justjesting – I have fully read and understand the article, thank you. My point is that cuts should have been made that resulted in no increase in CT or preferably a reduction.

    Report this comment

    Voice of Reason

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • The absurd madness of Tory austerity,you pay more for services to decline and get worse.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • @victorM and voice of reason. CT rise is to hold the cuts down to £42million, without it the cuts would be higher, read the artical, and pay attention before commenting, it wasn't rocket science. These debates been going on long enough.

    Report this comment

    Justjesting

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • How about that bottomless pit the Northern Development (sic) Road? Partially funded by the government as far as the airport, NCC have carried on to the Fakenham Road and have cut the general road repair fund in desperation to fund it. It's like putting your shirt on the favourite at 3.30 at Newmarket Races whilst ignoring your utility bills. Madness.

    Report this comment

    NorwichAbs

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • Great news about cutting the 42m of wasted money but why an increase in CT of 4%?

    Report this comment

    Voice of Reason

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • The spend on the incinerator as most people know, a result of a contract signed off by the previous Tory administration. You can't blame the current administration for that as they inherited a flawed contract which was not easy (or cheap) to get out of. If the council tax increase does not happen the cuts would be much higher than £42m with fire stations closed, libraries unstaffed and Museums part time. The reason for the cuts, is increased demand on Council services which cost money, and also cuts in NCC's core funding from this Tory Government

    Report this comment

    Jonny

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • These cuts wouldn't be necessary were it not for the County Council wasting so much money on the incinerator. They are the architects of their won destruction. They promised they would listen to the people of Norfolk, and when the people of Norfolk said we didn't want an incinerator, did they listen? No. They went a head and spent millions fighting us. We won. They lost, and they lost the whole of Norfolk millions in doing so, which is why they have to cut services. They should have done what they promised in the first place.

    Report this comment

    Carborundum

    Monday, February 22, 2016

  • If there is going to be £42 million of cuts why is there a need to pay 4% extra on Council Tax?

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Monday, February 22, 2016

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

Latest from the EDP

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up