Have your say - consultation on Norfolk County Council’s budget cuts and tax rise

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The county council is to consult residents on plans to tackle a “triple whammy” of financial pressures.

Norfolk County Council is consulting on spending plans for the next financial year.

The council is planning to make £26m in savings and increase council tax by 4pc.

The consultation will run until Monday, December 14.

Cabinet member for finance, Andrew Jamieson, urged people to take part in the consultation, to help the council shape its priorities at a time of “almost unprecedented risk and uncertainty.”

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He said: “The council must now plan for a triple whammy of rising budget pressures, uncertainty over government funding, and the financial challenges of Covid-19.”

People can also comment on plans to reduce cutting the grass and tip opening hours.

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But Labour group leader Steve Morphew said: “‘Norfolk deserves clarity, options, transparency and honesty. There’s little sign of that here.

“The consultation document is dense, technical, long and actually reveals nothing about what the impact of the cuts would be on the real lives of Norfolk people.

“All we see is yet another proposal to inflict the maximum level of council tax and precept increases on Norfolk for fewer services.

“Although Covid-19 has undoubtedly made matters worse, it has shone a harsh light on problems that already existed and how Norfolk is being let down.

“Trying to hide everything behind COVID doesn’t work.”

And Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat group leader, added: “Ever since the Conservatives took charge at County Hall, the heaviest budget cuts have fallen on the people who need the most help, and are least able to cope with the financial consequences of service reduction.”

“The Conservative-controlled council has consistently failed to be able to control its spending with a major budget gap before Covid 19. And despite £84m of government funding to help with the pandemic still the budget gap rises.”

“Yet they seem to be able to find the money to increase councillors’ allowances: by the time we get to the election next May this pay rise will have cost more than the amount they’ll save with their plan to reduce community librarians.”

• To respond to the consultation, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/budget or write to Freepost Plus RTCL-XSTT-JZSK, Norfolk County Council, Ground Floor -South Wing, County Hall, Martineau Lane, NORWICH, NR1 2DH. They do not need to use a stamp.

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