The election of a controversial new mayor-style leader for Norfolk in 2025 will cost almost £200,000, it has emerged.

Under the terms of a county deal - which would see a transfer of some powers from Whitehall to Norfolk County Council - the authority would get a new directly-elected leader, voted for by the public.

The public will go to the polls to vote for that leader in May next year, after the council decided to push back the process, with the election having initially been mooted for this year.

The deal includes an investment fund of £20m a year for 30 years, control of the £12m budget for adult education, and £7m for brownfield development - but has attracted criticism.

Eastern Daily Press: Tim AdamsTim Adams (Image: North Norfolk Council)

And, at a recent meeting of County Hall's Conservative-controlled cabinet, Tim Adams, from the opposition Liberal Democrat group, said members of the public had raised concerns about the cost of the changes.

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

The council's Conservative leader Kay Mason Billig said, unlike other places where mayors have been introduced, a new extra tier of government will not be created, which would reduce costs.

She said: "It is expected that a directly elected leader would be supported by the county council's existing officers and systems.

"By incorporating functions into the county council we remove the need for the running costs of a separate authority.

"This contrasts with mayoral combined authorities, which have their own staff and running costs, separate from all the local councils and creating another layer of local government."

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquartersNorfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters (Image: Mike Page)

But Mrs Mason Billig confirmed how much the election in May next year would cost.

She said: "The election for a directly elected leader in 2025, will cost circa £190,000 for the
additional polling cards, postal voting papers and ballot papers.

"This cost will be mitigated by the capacity funding government is making available to Norfolk, to support the election.

"All other costs are accounted for as part of the four-year county council election cycle."

The deal has prompted criticism. Steve Morphew, leader of the opposition Labour group at County Hall previously said Norfolk was "being sold a dud", while Lord Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said the deal lacked ambition.