Fresh wave of cuts to services looms as County Hall reveals need for £125m worth of savings

Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Submitted

Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Submitted - Credit: Submitted

A fresh wave of cuts to services for people across Norfolk is looming, after bosses at Norfolk County Council signalled they need to save almost £125m over the next four years.

Conservative council leader Cliff Jordan admitted the scale of cuts required was 'absolutely horrendous', while the opposition Labour leader said the council would be 'stripped to the bone'.

In the same week that the council discussed an overspend on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, the authority has outlined how millions more needs to be saved.

That comes on top of the £334m saved or earmarked to be saved from 2011/12 to 2017/18 and comes at a time when the council's adult social care services and children's services department are under particular pressure.

A report to the council's policy and resources committee next month predicts it will have to save a further £100m from 2018/19-2021/22, on top of savings of £24.9m already agreed for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

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Mr Jordan said: 'It is absolutely horrendous. We have done pretty much all we can do with efficiencies and we are going to have to make some real decisions as to what we can and cannot do.

'I am going to write to the government and explain the situation. I'm going to say 'this is where we are and we just cannot do what is required'. It's a big punch.

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'We have changed some of the things we do and we're not as loose as we were before.'

The council has already moved to create a company to build homes on council land, which would generate money for services and Mr Jordan said that sort of commercialisation would now be crucial.

Labour group leader Steve Morphew questioned the timing of the announcement, coming after the county and general elections.

He said: 'It makes grim reading. It's taking a very large slab of money out, but they haven't even managed to make the savings that were in the budget this year.

'I don't see how they are going to take more out without stopping services. It will mean stripping it back to the bone.

'It's their government and their austerity programme which has got us here, and it's people in this county who are going to get punished.'

Committees will be expected to come up with savings in autumn.

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