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Council agrees £528m budget

Norfolk County Council, 20 February 2024 15:15
Photo of cabinet meeting

Councillors have backed a budget that "delivers for Norfolk", in the face of major challenges facing local government.

Deputy council leader Councillor Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, told today's full council meeting that the budget would deliver for Norfolk. This is despite major cost and demand pressures facing all councils. The County Council has had to deal with a £30m overspend in adult social services and children's services this year.

He said: "Our priorities are stable and sustainable finances, well delivered public services, economic growth and protecting and enhancing Norfolk's heritage and environment."

Cllr Jamieson said it was a budget for the future, with an additional £60m for adult social services and £35m extra for children's services, and savings from transforming how the council operates.

He said that the extremely difficult local government finance situation meant the council needed to make sustainable savings. Cllr Jamieson pledged to continue to lobby the next Government for multi-year settlements, fair funding and reform of adult social care funding.

County Council leader, Councillor Kay Mason Billig, said the council would continue to be ambitious for Norfolk and had achieved many successes - against a tough economic backdrop.

She said: "We know that our residents will be concerned about the decisions we make and how that may affect them. This year's budget has been one of the toughest to determine but we have a statutory duty to provide a balanced position, and that is what we are presenting to you."

The key headlines from the budget agreed today are:

  • £122m of investment to meet demand and cost pressures next year - including £34.6m for inflation, £38m for legislative requirements, £39.7m for demand and demographic issues and £9.6m for policy decisions.
  • £41.5m of new savings, including £9.6m from transforming how the council operates.
  • A proposed 4.99% increase in the County Council's share of Council Tax, in line with the Government's capping level (2.99% for general Council Tax and 2% for adult social care). This would increase the Council's share of band D bills to £1,672.11. A 4.99% rise would generate £24.9m.
  • A small number of the budget proposals have been identified as requiring consultation, as they may relate to a policy or service change. Cabinet will take decisions on these proposals in the summer, after considering the consultation results.

View the budget report.

Background:

Norfolk County Council's share of Council Tax bands, 2024-2025:

  • A £1,114.74
  • B £1,300.53
  • C £1,486.32
  • D £1,672.11
  • E £2,043.69
  • F £2,415.27
  • G £2,786.85
  • H £3,344.22

Proposals that will be consulted on:

  • Charging an admin fee for brokering on behalf of people who self-fund their adult social care
  • Review of the adult social care non-residential charging policy - including the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG)
  • Recommissioning of social isolation and loneliness contracts
  • Norfolk Record Office - pre-booking of visits and new paid services to increase income generation
  • Switching off 2% of streetlights
  • Recycling centres: Reduction of opening hours at some recycling centres to deliver a more consistent approach, in line with neighbouring authorities

If, following public consultation, any of the proposals are not implemented, departments will be asked to bring forward alternative savings proposals.

Last modified: 20 February 2024 16:08