Council tax freeze among proposals in latest budget

George Nobbs, leader of the Norfolk County Council. Picture: Denise Bradley

George Nobbs, leader of the Norfolk County Council. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

Families are set to see the largest part of their council tax payments frozen next year.

Norfolk County councillors agreed to put forward a tax freeze as the authority debated its budget for 2015/2016 earlier today, at a meeting of its policy and resources.

The proposed budget sees cuts of £10.5m along with efficiencies of more than £19m, which are among council savings which they say are needed to counteract a cut in government funding and an increased demand on the council's services.

The service cuts come off the back of a public consultation which started in October, and will see a reduction in library staff as well as a decrease in adult social service users who get free transport.

Council leader George Nobbs, Labour, said that it was miraculous the authority had put together a budget despite the added pressures.

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He said: 'For 2015/2016 we are proposing to spend £10m more, which is extraordinary when you count the cut in government funding, and other issues such as the incinerator debacle.'

Figures released to the EDP showed that there was up to £70.5m in cost pressures produced on the council through government cuts, inflation and increased demand for services and legislation.

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The council look to make savings of £36.3m as well as bring in an increased income of £34.2m to counteract this shortfall.

Conservative councillors however expressed their concerns about some £3.7m which will be taken from council reserves.

Council bosses plan to use £3.6m from Norfolk County Council's adult social services reserves to prevent a £6m overspend in the adult social services department.

Conservative member Bill Borrett, said: 'It is a huge concern that we might leave ourselves bare in future years when we might face more difficult circumstances - and leaving ourselves no room for transformation.'

The budget will need to be ratified by the full council on February 16.

What is your opinion on the budget? Email

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