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Protests expected against cuts to support for disabled people

PUBLISHED: 08:12 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:05 17 February 2020

County Hall in Norwich. Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor (left) and opposition Labour leader Steve Morphew (right). Picture: Neil Perry/Norfolk County Council/Denise Bradley

County Hall in Norwich. Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor (left) and opposition Labour leader Steve Morphew (right). Picture: Neil Perry/Norfolk County Council/Denise Bradley

Neil Perry/Norfolk County Council/Denise Bradley

Councillors are expected to be faced with protesters this morning as they get set to approve the county’s budget for the next four years.

Judith and Nick Taylor from Buxton say Norfolk County Council must not make anymore cuts to adult social careJudith and Nick Taylor from Buxton say Norfolk County Council must not make anymore cuts to adult social care

As Norfolk County Council meets, families opposing cuts to disabled support are expected to make their voices heard ahead of the budget-setting meeting - which begins at 10.30am.

It comes at a time when County Hall looks set to increase its council tax share, while also hunting for £38m of savings in the next year to balance its books.

Ahead of the meeting, families are set to hold a demonstration against last year's decision to make changes to the minimum income guarantee, which reduces a weekly allowance disabled people receive.

The county council had been called upon by these families to reverse the decision in this year's budget, however, it appears these calls have fallen on deaf ears - prompting the protests.

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Previously, council leader Andrew Proctor had written to families affected by the changes informing them the council would be unable to reverse the change.

He said: "For 2020-21, we will receive a £17.6m share of the government's additional £1bn national allocation for social care.

"But this is intended for both children's and adults' social services - with the majority allocated to cover their particular budget pressures.

"Regrettably, it is insufficient to fully meet the needs of either.

"All this means that we cannot, at this stage, revisit past spending decisions, without cutting other services - otherwise, we will not be able to set that balanced budget."

However Nick Taylor, from Buxton, whose son Charlie has Down's Syndrome, said the council "must prioritise the vulnerable".

Meanwhile, should the council agree the budget proposals it would see a 3.99pc rise in County Hall's share of council tax, which would see a Band D property bill rise from £1,362.24 per year to £1,416.51,


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