Reassurance from North Norfolk District Council over funding cuts to community transport

A long list of proposed savings and ways of making money, aimed at plugging a �900,000 funding gap, is being recommended for approval by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC).

But there was a reassurance at this morning's NNDC cabinet meeting that community transport would not be hit by cuts.

The �897,000 list includes a saving of almost �24,000 on community transport. Councillor Barbara McGoun said the service was vital to residents in areas such as her St Benet ward, which covers Barton Turf, Horning and Neatishead, and asked why the funding was being withdrawn.

But Trevor Ivory, whose cabinet portfolio includes localism, assured her that community transport schemes would instead be able to apply for cash to the Conservative administration's proposed Big Society Fund, of almost �700,000 a year, and would not lose out.

The list also includes controversial hikes in car-park charges for the district's 'richer' towns of Cromer, Sheringham, Holt and Wells, while ticket prices would be frozen in 'struggling' North Walsham, Stalham and Fakenham,

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An increase in garden bin charges and sharing services with other bodies, are also planned.

Among future cost-cutting measures, the council is looking at losing two of the five members of its corporate management team, saving an estimated �150,000.

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Wyndham Northam, portfolio holder for financial services, said the proposed savings meant that the council could achieve a balanced budget in 2012-13 and 2013-14, putting NNDC in a 'strong position moving forward.'

The administration had also set aside its government New Homes Bonus of �597,500 which would be used to support communities' future growth.

The cabinet agreed to recommend to the full council that a New Homes Bonus reserve and the Big Society Fund are set up.

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