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Norwich council tax bill hike edges nearer amid warning over ‘tough decisions’ in future years

PUBLISHED: 19:16 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:30 07 February 2018

The share of council tax for people in Norwich looks likely to go up by just under 3pc. Picture: Denise Bradley

The share of council tax for people in Norwich looks likely to go up by just under 3pc. Picture: Denise Bradley

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A council tax increase of nearly 3pc on the share of bills which go to Norwich City Council has moved a step nearer.

City councillor Paul Kendrick. 
Photo: Bill Smith City councillor Paul Kendrick. Photo: Bill Smith

The Labour-led cabinet at City Hall tonight recommended a 2.99pc increase, with a final decision to be made by the full council later this month.

The increase would mean people in a Band D property would pay an extra £7.45 a year to City Hall. However, the majority of homes in the city are Band A and B, which would add an extra £4.97 and £5.79 a year, respectively to their bills.

Paul Kendrick, the council’s cabinet member for resources, said the increase would add to the council’s tax base and would be “the gift that keeps on giving in years to come”.

He said officers had done well to prevent cuts to frontline services, but warned there could be cuts in future years.

He said: “Since 2013/14, the revenue support grant which we get from the government has fallen from £9m to under £1m in the next financial year and will entirely disappear in the next few years.

“We will still need to find £10m of savings over the next four years, so we will have to make tough decisions in the future.”

Norfolk County Council is next week likely to agree a 5.99pc increase in its share of the council tax, which would add about £74 to the annual bill of a Band D householder.

And Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner is putting up the policing share by 5.5pc - adding nearly £12 to a Band D bill.

In Broadland, bills are likely to go up by £5 a year.

City Hall Green group leader Martin Schmierer said he felt it was time the city council lobbied for reform of council tax.

He said: “I understand that the Norwich City Council tax rise is not going to be a huge amount, but when we are looking at a 6pc from elsewhere at a time when wages are stagnating and inflation is going up, is it time to put pressure on the government over how unfair and regressive council tax is.”

Council leader Alan Waters said the entire local government funding system was “dysfunctional”.

Laura McGillivray, chief executive of the city council said the council would be taking part in a consultation over fairer funding, so that would be a good opportunity to raise the concerns over council tax and local government funding.

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