‘I don’t want to discourage ideas, however zany or silly they are’ - Councillors challenged to find ways to make money for Broadland

Councillors have been challenged to suggest ideas to raise more cash to fund services - no matter how 'zany or silly'.

Up to �7m of Broadland District Council's �8.6m reserves could be used up by 2018, with government cuts, rising inflation and service changes leaving the authority spending more than it receives. But a group is being established to investigate how the council can generate more income.

Councillors recently suggested Broadland should buy property or establish a company similar to Norfolk County Council's Norse.

Paul Carrick, cabinet member for finance, said he did not agree with those ideas but he is in favour of examining the issue further.

Mr Carrick said: 'I don't think we should be competing with industry and commercial companies on the same things - I'm a great believer in you stick to what you are good at.

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'I thought it was the right time, in the climate we have, to create a working group to invite some councillors to form a committee and have a brainstorming session.

'The agenda is go away and plan and comeback with anything and everything you think of that will benefit the council, and we will list them all, go through one by one and put in noes and maybes.'

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Mr Carrick said the council's senior officers would then look into the ideas to see which ones could work.

He said: 'I don't want to discourage ideas, however zany or silly they are.'

The council recently spent more than �2,500 on flights and seven nights in a hotel for two officers, who were part of Broadland's team competing in the LivCom Awards in the United Arab Emirates.

The authority picked up three awards, but failed in its bid for a �10,000 bursary.

Nich Starling, opposition Liberal Democrat group leader, said: 'It seems the Tories have finally realised what the Lib Dems have known and been saying for some time - the council is spending far more than it is bringing in.

'The question is why it has taken so long for them to wake up to this?'

Do you have a Broadland District Council story? Call reporter Richard Wheeler on 01603 772474 or email richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk

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