Concerns over £2 charge to use Norfolk’s recycling centres

General view of Norfolk County Council - County Hall, Norwich

General view of Norfolk County Council - County Hall, Norwich - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Serious concerns have been voiced about plans to spend £1m less on Norfolk's roads and to charge householders £2 a time to visit recycling centres.

County Hall says it needs to bridge a spending gap of £66.5m in 2014/15 and £189m over the next three years.

Norfolk's environment, transport and development scrutiny panel met yesterday to discuss the impact of its proposed £14.5m.

Councillors rubbished plans to charge householders £2 every time they visit nine of the county's smaller recycling centres, which they were told would only save around £280,000.

They voted in favour of recommending the council's cabinet, which will ultimately make the decisions on what cuts are made, axes the plan to slash £1m from road maintenance for one year, as well recommending the popular Parishes Partnership safety scheme is not cut back as far as planned.

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Proposals to reduce the Coasthopper bus service subsidy by £150,000 were also queried, but the panel was told the service is robust enough to continue without a subsidy for most of the year and the remaining subsidy would ensure the service can continue in the winter.

Councillors also raised concerns about scaling back on Trading Standards consumer advice, while cutting the cost of school transport and charging for various planning advice and inspection activities were also discussed.

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Bert Bremner, Labour councillor for the University division, said if councillors wanted to scrap some cuts they would have to find the savings or money elsewhere and suggested they press the Government for the £4m shortfall the council has in providing concessionary bus passes.

Members of the public have a chance to have their say on the cuts until December 12 and the relevant responses received will be presented to the scrutiny panel in January.

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