Council tax frozen for seventh year in a row in North Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
District councillors in north Norfolk have agreed to freeze their share of the council tax - £138.87 for a Band D property - for a seventh successive year.
Twenty-nine councillors backed the proposals and 16 voted against them at the full council meeting on Wednesday, February 22.
Councillor Wyndham Northam, cabinet member for financial services, said: 'Freezing council tax will be a boon to the retired population in north Norfolk, many of whom are on fixed incomes.'
The budget was also backed by councillor Susan Arnold, who said it was 'a really good news story'.
But councillor Nigel Lloyd argued that it was disingenuous of the council to talk about council tax being frozen, while he claimed the overall tax burden on people in Norfolk was going up each year.
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And Sarah Butikofer, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the council, also criticised the plans.
Earlier this month, cabinet members had agreed to commercialising four of the council's assets to help balance the books, which had caused concern among residents.
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Cabinet will again discuss the asset commercialisation proposals at its meeting on March 6.
Proposals include building a hotel on the Cadogan Road car park in Cromer, and developing the former council depot in Grove Lane in Holt, which it has been proposed could accommodate eight new homes.
Highfield car park in Fakenham has also been identified as a potential site for housing for the over 55s, and the site of the public toilets at Beach Road in Wells could be redeveloped to accommodate a new retail and restaurant development with holiday apartments above.
The district council proposes to replace the toilets and upgrade them.
Councillor Judy Oliver, deputy leader of the council, said: 'Asset commercialisation is about developing assets to meet the projected budget deficit from 2021 onwards.'
Councillor Williams said there was ongoing confusion about asset commercialisation. He said: 'This is not a disposal of assets - an analogy would be, maybe selling a car to buy a better car.'
Councillor Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said they would listen closely to the views of town and parish councils, community groups and residents as they considered the commercialisation project.