We need a fair deal from government or services will have to be cut, Norwich City Council leaders warn

City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher.

City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher. - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

Give us a fair deal or services to the people of Norwich will suffer, leaders at City Hall have urged the prime minister.

Leaders at Norwich City Council say the authority has been forced to make £79m of savings over five years.

And, at a council meeting tonight, they said that was unsustainable. They warned unless the government distributes funding more fairly, the council could be forced to cut services it provides to the public.

Council leader Brenda Arthur put forward a motion, agreed by the council, that the authority should write to David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband calling for 'an ending of the bias against areas with the greatest needs' when it comes to how much cash the government hands authorities.

The council will also ask for longer-term funding settlements, so councils can better plan ahead and for a devolution of powers away from Whitehall and to local councils, so communities can spend money more effectively.

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Ms Arthur said so far the council had been able to protect frontline services.

But she warned: 'Further and deeper cuts would be fatal. We will face a time when we cannot deliver the high quality services our residents want and deserve.'

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Green leader Andrew Boswell said a new model of funding for local government was needed.

A motion, put forward by the opposition Green Party, for the council's cabinet to work to set up a new People's Commission for Justice and Equality, was also agreed, although Labour and the Liberal Democrats abstained.

That motion, put forward by Lucy Galvin, Green councillor for Wensum ward, was for a commission, independently chaired, citizen-led and supported by the council, to monitor and record the effects of cuts, suggesting alternatives.

• Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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