Norwich City Council agrees to increase its share of council tax by just over 2pc

Photo: Nick Butcher.

Photo: Nick Butcher. - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

People in Norwich will pay about 10p a week more to City Hall from April after a council tax increase of just over 2pc was agreed.

And Norwich City Council leaders warned that the future of services could be under threat because of the struggle to balance the books in the face of less money from the government.

City councillors met tonight to rubber-stamp a 2.05pc increase in their share of council tax.

That means the element of the council tax which goes to Labour-controlled City Hall will go up by £5 to £249.01 a year for a band D property.

The majority of homes in the city, however, are in bands A and B. The portion of those bills which go to the city council will go up from £162.67 to £166.01 and from £189.79 to £193.67, respectively.

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Mike Stonard, cabinet member for resources and business liaison, hit out at government cuts.

He said those cuts, including changes which mean the council will get less money from the New Homes Bonus scheme, threatened the authority's ability to prevent frontline service cuts in the years ahead.

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He said: 'We are getting close to the point where we can no longer squeeze out efficiencies while protecting frontline services.

'We will soon be cutting to the bone and there will be tough and difficult decisions to be made.'

The budget does contain some £2.3m of cuts, savings and ways to increase income. That includes spending less on street cleaning, charging more for garden waste collection and introducing charges for hazardous waste collection.

The opposition Greens slammed that as 'social vandalism'.

They put forward two amendments. One proposed stopping a water cooler contract and subscription to the Local Government Information Unit and using the money to continue free hazardous waste collection.

The other was to use £45,000 from reserves to hire an officer for one year to chase external funding for the council.

However, both amendments were defeated, with Mr Stonard saying there had been just three requests for hazardous waste to be removed this year.

The Greens feared it could lead to fly-tipping, but Mr Stonard said he did not believe that would be the case.

Norfolk County Council has agreed a 4.8pc increase in its share of the tax, while the portion of the bill which pays for policing will go up by just under 2pc.

South Norfolk Council agreed a 3.7pc increase in its share of the council tax tonight, which will add £5 to the annual charge for a Band D property.

And Great Yarmouth councillors also voted tonight to increase their share of the tax.

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