Security called in as public threatened with being cleared from Norfolk County Council cuts meeting

Protestors outside County Hall at a previous cuts meeting. Photo: Steve Adams

Protestors outside County Hall at a previous cuts meeting. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

A crunch meeting to decide where cuts will fall at Norfolk County Council got off to a fiery start this morning when the public was threatened with being thrown out.

The chairman, UKIP councillor Rex Parkinson-Hare, initially called security in to clear the gallery because of comments being shouted by members of the public.

Our reporter at the meeting, Daniel Grimmer, said the order to clear the public gallery during the council cuts meeting went down 'like a lead balloon'.

The meeting was adjourned for 10 minutes and the public were then allowed to stay.

The council's political leaders have indicated they want fellow members to ditch the most savage cuts which had been proposed, but some £42m of cuts and savings are planned for next year.

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And disability charity Equal Lives says the council is still proposing to make another £50m cuts to social care over the next three years. Members will protest before this morning's meeting.

Meanwhile, Green councillors will propose what they describe as an 'innovative budget amendment' which they say will prioritise public health and wellbeing for adults.

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The Greens want to use some of a recently announced government boost for rural councils to reallocate £2.5m for adult social care personal budgets.

Richard Bearman, leader of the county Green group said: 'Our budget amendment clearly puts people first and addresses the gaping shortfall in funds handed down by an austerity and uncaring government.'

But Simon George, the council's executive director of finance, is recommending councillors use the extra government money to 'support investment in redesigning and transforming services'.

A 3.99pc increase in the county council's share of the council tax is proposed, of which 2pc would be specifically to spend in adult social care.

•Updates to follow

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