People in South Norfolk to pay more in council tax

South Norfolk Council spent £590,000 in exit packages when it merged its leadership teams with Broad

South Norfolk Council spent £590,000 in exit packages when it merged its leadership teams with Broadland Council. Picture: South Norfolk Council - Credit: Archant

People in South Norfolk will have to pay over 3pc more in council tax after the council agreed its budget for the year.  

The Conservative-controlled South Norfolk Council met on Wednesday evening to discuss the budget for 2021/22 and set its council tax plans.  

Councillors agreed to raise council tax by 3.23pc - an extra £5 per year on a band D property, while bands A-C will be lower.

This will mean the amount of council tax going to South Norfolk for the year will rise to £160 on a band D property.

Council leader John Fuller said: “The mark of a council is not what it does when the sun is shining and all is good. The mark of a council is how it responds when the chips are down.  

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller. Picture: ROSE SAPEY

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller. Picture: ROSE SAPEY - Credit: Rose Sapey

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“Nobody could have foreseen the nature or the extent of the Coronavirus pandemic.  

“A lack of foresight is no excuse – our public demands and expects more than that.”  

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Looking to the future, Mr Fuller said issues such as homelessness could come to the fore as we head out of the pandemic, and the council was setting aside £386,000 to address this.  

Josh Worley, cabinet member for finance, said Covid had led to a “triple whammy of financial obstacles” due to a loss of income, extra costs of working and reduced support from the government.  

Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Brown said his group had thought hard about raising council but acknowledged it was needed for the council’s future.  

He said: “We know that the rise of council tax can significantly impact on some people who are struggling.  

“Every time I look at those budget numbers I am concerned about the future financial stability of this council.”  

Chris Brown, Liberal Democrat councillor, brought the motion to the full council meeting. Picture: L

Chris Brown, Liberal Democrat councillor, brought an amendment for additional funds to go towards environmental strategy - Credit: Liberal Democrats

In particular, Mr Brown said the council was only able to balance its budget thanks to a government grant.  

Just one amendment was called, with Mr Brown suggesting £44,000 be taken from the reserves and instead use for the council’s environmental strategy.  

Mr Fuller said he was willing to dismiss the amendment “out of hand” because the amount the budget was calling for was higher, at £50,000, Mr Brown later clarified he was calling for additional funds.   

The amendment was defeated. 

In total, South Norfolk residents in Band D properties can expect to pay around £1,994.48 for council tax: £1,472.94 to the county council; £278.01 for the police; £160 for South Norfolk Council, plus a 14p special expenses charge; and an average £83.39 parish council precept. 

Norfolk County Council rubber-stamped its 3.99pc increase in the share of council tax bills which go to County Hall on Monday. 

The police and crime commissioner agreed a 5.68pc increase on the share of bills which go to Norfolk Constabulary earlier this month. 

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