Fresh fears have been raised over pressures on Norfolk County Council's finances, as it emerged the authority has run up multi-million-pound overspends.

At a time when a number of councils have effectively declared bankruptcy, council leaders said the situation is becoming 'toxic'.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk County Council's Martineau Lane headquartersNorfolk County Council's Martineau Lane headquarters

Kay Mason Billig, the leader of Conservative-controlled County Hall said she was disappointed the recent autumn statement had contained little to help councils amid rising demand.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk County Council leader Kay Mason BilligNorfolk County Council leader Kay Mason Billig (Image: Norfolk County Council)

She said: "We were led to believe there would be something for us. [Local government secretary] Michael Gove talked about presents under the Christmas tree, but it was an empty box when we opened it. That's not his fault, but we continue to lobby the government."

Eastern Daily Press: Local government secretary Michael GoveLocal government secretary Michael Gove

The council has identified £26.5m of the £46.2m in savings it must make to deliver a balanced budget in 2024/25.

READ MORE: Norfolk County Council dismisses bankruptcy concerns

But Andrew Jamieson, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, told a meeting of the cabinet on Monday that the council has an overspend of £9.8m in children's services and nearly £2m in adult social care.

Eastern Daily Press: Andrew Jamieson, deputy leader of Norfolk County CouncilAndrew Jamieson, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk County Council)

He said: "Adult social care is now coming under huge financial pressure. The overspends in the current year have to be covered as far as they can be by use of departmental reserves, which has been done in adult social care and children's services."

He warned it would have a knock-on effect on future budgets.

Eastern Daily Press: Bill BorrettBill Borrett (Image: Bill Borrett)

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: "The overspends are not due to incompetence or bad management, but an inevitable ratcheting up of demand as a result of demographic pressures we are facing as a country."

He said the council spends more each year to meet demand, but money from the government is not keeping pace with increased need in a county with an ageing population.

Councils in Nottingham, Birmingham, Hackney, Northamptonshire, Croydon, Thurrock and Woking have previously issued section 114 notices - effectively declaring them bankrupt - because they could not balance the books.

Eastern Daily Press: Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transportGraham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Graham Plant, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said the situation was becoming "quite toxic".

Mrs Mason Billig said the county council was "prudent and stable" but would keep lobbying the government for more help.