Toggle mobile menu visibility

Council budget proposals published

Norfolk County Council, 20 January 2023 00:00

We don't want to raise Council Tax by 4.99 per cent but the Government has given us no alternative, the county council's leader said today.

Council leader Andrew Proctor made the comment after the council published its budget proposals, in the face of major pressures - including £41.5 million just to deal with inflation.

Cllr Proctor said: "The Government expects county councils to raise Council Tax by 4.99 per cent and bases all its spending assumptions on that. We are having to propose that rise because, without it, we would have to cut services. We have no real alternative, without fair funding.

"We cannot keep putting the burden on Council Taxpayers, when we should be receiving fair and sustained funding, including for social care. I have been lobbying the Government on this for several years - it is now time for action."

The budget proposals, to be considered by cabinet on January 30th, include:

  • A net spending increase of £29.6 million to meet rising costs
  • A Council Tax increase in line with the Government's cap of 4.99 per cent - 2.99 per cent for general Council Tax and two per cent for the adult social care precept. This would increase the county council's share of band D bills from £1,516.95 to £1,592.64.
  • A "significant proportion" of the £59.7 million savings coming from "doing things better for less", including £17 million from the first phase of a strategic review of the council.

Councillor Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said: "Despite huge uncertainties and major cost of living and demand pressures, we have managed to bridge the biggest budget gap we have ever faced - £60 million - and propose a budget which meets pressures on key services.

"We are working hard to ensure the council is efficient as possible and are on target to save £17 million from the first phase of our review of how the council operates.

"More than half the money central Government cites as the total award to local authorities comes from an assumed rise in Council Tax by 4.99%. I wish we could have avoided a proposed Council Tax rise of 4.99 per cent but the alternative would have been to make cuts to services."

Following public consultation, the report to cabinet proposes that Wednesday closing of recycling and household waste centres is not introduced and that savings from the mobile library service are restricted to removing unused stops.

The proposed spending for each department is:

  • Adult social services, £249.5 million
  • Children's services, £232.6 million
  • Community and environmental services, £177.1 million
  • Strategy and transformation, £12.8 million
  • Finance and commercial services, £35.8 million

The same meeting will consider its £956.9 million capital investment in buildings and equipment, funded by grants and property sales. In addition to a range of existing schemes, like the Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing and investment in special education needs (SEND) schools, there are new investments totalling £35 million:

  • County Farms refurbishment and carbon reduction schemes (£9.4m)
  • The rolling Technology Improvement programme (£8.2m)
  • Scottow Enterprise Park refurbishment (£8.6m),
  • Estate Buildings Decarbonisation initiatives (£4m)
  • Highways improvements (£2.5m)
  • Fire and Rescue services equipment and site improvements (£1.2m)
  • Expansion of waste recycling sites and services (£0.51m)
  • One Million Trees for Norfolk (£0.5m)

Cabinet will consider the revenue budget and capital budget reports when it meets at 10am on Monday, January 30th. Watch the meeting, live or afterwards and read the reports.

The full council will take the final decision on the council's budget on February 21st.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:44

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon