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Council tax bills in Norwich could be set to go up by 2.99pc

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:29 08 December 2018

Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for resources at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant Library

Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for resources at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant Library

Archant

Council leaders in Norwich are asking if people would back a 2.99pc increase in the share of council tax which goes to City Hall - if it helps protect services.

Norwich City Council is readying its budget for 2019/20 and is making its plans based on the largest increase in council tax possible without triggering the need for a referendum.

The 2.99pc increase would add £7.67 more a year on the element of council tax bills which goes to the city council for a Band D property. It would be less for most homeowners, as the bulk of city properties are band A or B.

The council says the increase is needed to prevent cuts to services.

Services the city council provide include housing, waste and recycling collection, environmental health, highways, parking, parks and events such as the Lord Mayor’s Procession.

The council says it has made £30m of savings over the past decade, but is facing a shortfall of £12,4m by 2023-24. The council tax increase would bring in £275,000.

City Hall is also planning to avoid cuts next year by taking £1.57m from reserves and by generating £1.1m from commercial property it owns.

Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for resources at the Labour-run council, said: “Despite the challenges, the council isn’t proposing any significant service changes in the next financial year.

“Instead, we’re adapting financially by generating more income and making savings and efficiencies where appropriate. So I encourage as many people as possible to give us their views on our budget consultation for 2019-20.”

The council’s cabinet will this week discuss the budget for next year, along with the medium term financial strategy for the five years up to 2023/24 at a meeting on Wednesday.

That strategy includes a 2.99pc council tax increase in City Hall’s share for each of the next five years. And officers have warned, despite efforts to make savings, it is “almost inevitable” that from 2020/21 “significant service reductions” will need to be considered.

Council tax bills in Norwich are split between Norfolk County Council, the city council and Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner.

The city council consultation over next year’s budget is at www.norwich.gov.uk/consultations and runs until midnight on Sunday, January 6.

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