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Time running out to have say over millions of pounds of Norfolk cuts and savings

A gritting lorry out on the roads in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

A gritting lorry out on the roads in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Time is running out for people to have their say in a consultation over millions of pounds of cuts and savings to services in Norfolk.

Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives. Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

With less money from government, Norfolk County Council is facing a £125m funding gap by 2021/22, and proposals which would make £41.6m of savings have been put forward.

While some of those savings are in the back offices, the public has been asked to give their views on a number of them.

• Halving the budget for children’s centres from £10m to £5m. That could see centres amalgamated with other council services, such as libraries.

Council leader Cliff Jordan has said that will save money and should mean as good a service, if not better. But opposition Labour councillors have criticised the proposal as reckless and a petition they started has been signed by more than 5,000 people.

Norfolk's 53 children's centres could be in for big changes. Photo: Anthony Kelly. Norfolk's 53 children's centres could be in for big changes. Photo: Anthony Kelly.

• Reducing subsidies for bus operators and community transport providers by £500,000. The council subsidises bus companies by £2.7m a year, for about 100 services and gives £400,000 to community transport operators. But the proposals would see a review of those services. Critics have said that will increase isolation and almost 500 people have signed a petition started by AgeSpace.

• Spending less on road maintenance and gritting

• Saving £400,000 by changing how much people pay towards non-residential care services

The public is also asked for views on a proposed 4.9pc hike in the share of council tax which goes to County Hall.

Three per cent of that money would be ring-fenced for adult social care.

It remains to be seen whether the government’s announcement earlier this month that councils will be able to hike bills further without triggering a referendum will see a rethink when the council sets its budget in February.

But Mr Jordan had said the government had given the council “another option” and one which “members would need to carefully consider”.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said there had been a “good response” to the consultation so far and there was still time for people to have their say.

People have until Tuesday to have their say at www.norfolk.citizenspace.com

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