The increasingly bitter row about cuts to funding for Great Yarmouth Borough Council has shifted to County Hall, where the council refused to back a motion calling for the government to rethink the reduction.

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The borough council’s grant from the government has been cut by 19pc, but the authority has been told it could get an extra £1.8m through an “efficiency support grant”.

However, conditions attached to that grant include that town hall leaders must agree to share management, a move which Labour members pledged not to do when they took control of the council in May.

They claimed they are being blackmailed by the government, and Yarmouth’s MP Brandon Lewis, a local government minister, into doing what the Conservatives had set out to do when they were in control.

The Conservatives had been on the brink of a three-way merger with South Holland and Breckland Councils, but Labour pulled the plug on the partnership when they seized control.

The borough council last week passed a motion to write to local government secretary Eric Pickles asking him to “urgently reconsider” his department’s decision to slash their funding and to take away the conditions attached to the support grant.

The row over the funding switched to County Hall on Monday, when the same motion which the borough council agreed was put by Labour group leader George Nobbs, was rejected.

Mr Nobbs said: “Norfolk - and this council that we are proud to be members of - claims to pride itself on Doing Different but that seems to be very selective these days. It doesn’t seem to apply to the citizens of our ancient seaport. They have to do as they are told.”

Colleen Walker, Labour county councillor for Magdalen division, said: “We have been presented with the worst settlement in the whole country. I think this is a travesty and an outright injustice.”

She said she hoped Mr Lewis would enjoy his one-term as Yarmouth’s MP, accusing him of “hanging around Westminster with his best friend Mr Pickles to further his political career”.

But Barry Stone, Conservative county and borough councillor for Lothingland, dismissed the motion as a “publicity stunt” and said Labour “seems intent on bankrupting the borough”.

He said: “When the Conservative administration was in place there were moves in place to save money and we put forward viable options to increase the economic development of Great Yarmouth. That has been wiped away by the Labour group.”

And Graham Plant, who represents Breydon division on the county council and Bradwell North on the borough council, said: “Great Yarmouth Labour group should concentrate on using taxpayers’ money properly, rather than being self serving.”

The motion was defeated by 43 votes to 17, with four members abstaining.

7 comments

  • Pickles has saddled every council taxpayer with a bill for more than £135 extra each and about £140 extra next year and has sent his agent,Agent Brandon Lewis,to bully it through,despite the evidence of severe poverty in parts his constituency.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • But Barry Stone, Conservative county and borough councillor for Lothingland, dismissed the motion as a “publicity stunt” I hope Mr Stone remebers his comments when voting come around remember it is the rate payers that voted you in and they can easily vote you out and that is not a Publicity Stunt.

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    Dave

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • Yes, but not the sort of publicity that the tories would want for their despicable and punative penalty against honest, decent, hard-working tax payers.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • They really are as bad as one another and their misdeeds and incompetences blur into one. The Labour group treats council tax payers as a cash cow to prop up their spending on social housing and social projects and the Tories favour their chums on the sea front. Even though forcing the hand of an elected council by withholding funding is not cricket and penalises the council tax payers in the borough, there is no question that efficiencies would help the borough meet the demands it will inevitably face . Soaring numbers of potential council tax relief recipients and a dwindling pot from those who do pay council tax has to take its toll soon. Lewis will be out on his ear and if UKIP field a half way decent candidate, rather than a callow youth, they might stand a chance. UKIP should be looking at targeting every seat up at the next borough council elections because the same old hide bound local politicians are responsible for the downward spiral of a once decent town. I can't be the only one heartily sick of them.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • The council could raise the funds through trditional methods like attracting and supporting local business instead of whining and adopting a charity shop business plan which has done nothing to gnerate tax revenues in the town. Oh and George if you want people to take you seriously ditch that Arthur Dailey look down at the charity shop.

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    Paul Morley

    Friday, January 18, 2013

  • Not surprised that NCC objected just look at who they employed and gave our Port Away then gave him a fat pay off and pension. So why is Great Yarmouth paying so much of the Rate Payers money to Norwich maybe it is to feather their own nests.

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    Dave

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • They really are as bad as one another and their misdeeds and incompetences blur into one. The Labour group treats council tax payers as a cash cow to prop up their spending on social housing and social projects and the Tories favour their chums on the sea front. Even though forcing the hand of an elected council by withholding funding is not cricket and penalises the council tax payers in the borough, there is no question that efficiencies would help the borough meet the demands it will inevitably face . Soaring numbers of potential council tax relief recipients and a dwindling pot from those who do pay council tax has to take its toll soon. Lewis will be out on his ear and if UKIP field a half way decent candidate, rather than a callow youth, they might stand a chance. UKIP should be looking at targeting every seat up at the next borough council elections because the same old hide bound local politicians are responsible for the downward spiral of a once decent town. I can't be the only one heartily sick of them.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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

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