Conservative councillor resigns on eve of budget decision
PUBLISHED: 21:42 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 12 February 2019
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A Conservative Norfolk county councillor resigned on the eve of the meeting where the authority set its budget.
Tom Garrod, who represented Wroxham, tendered his resignation on Sunday night.
He tweeted that he had stepped down so he could give his “full energy and commitment” to his role as chief executive of the NANSA, the charity for people with disabilities.
Mr Garrod, who has cerebral palsy, was elected at the age of 19 in 2009, when he represented Yarmouth North and Central, before his switch to Wroxham.
He had previously chaired County Hall’s digital innovation and efficiency committee.
He was appointed chief executive of NANSA, which works to improve the lives of people in Norfolk with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.
His resignation came just before the Conservative-controlled council agreed their budget.
That budget included a £4m saving which will see changes to care costs for disabled people.
The agreed change will change the ‘minimum income guarantee’ used by the council to assess how much people aged 18 to 64 pay towards their care.
At the moment, the council uses a rate of £189 a week for that assessment, but will change that to £123.45 for those aged 18 to 24 and £151.45 a week for those aged 25 to 64.
Other plans will see a benefit – the enhanced element of personal independence payments (PIP) – taken into account when assessing care.
The combined effects could lead to about 1,000 people having to pay more for care and 1,400 people paying for care for the first time,
Conservative councillors said the changes will bring what the council charges in line with government policy and other counties.
But parents had pleaded with councillors to halt the proposals.
Labour and Liberal Democrat budget amendments which would have delayed the changes were defeated.
Mr Garrod’s resignation will trigger a by-election for the county council seat in Wroxham.