Council invests in adult social care and children's services as it sets budget 2017-18

20 February 2017

Members of Norfolk County Council have today (Monday 20 February) voted to agree a budget for the year ahead which invests an additional £25 million net to support adult social care and children’s services as part of a package designed to put the authority on a secure footing for the future.

The decision, with 41 councillors voting in favour, 33 against and 3 abstentions, means the county council’s share of the council tax increases by 4.8 per cent to £1,247.94 – a rise of £57.15 for a Band D property, or around £1.10 extra each week.

This includes a 3% adult social care precept permitted by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with a further 1.8% to fund the recommendations of service committees. The council’s planning includes a further 3% rise for adult social care in 2018-19, but no increase in the adult social care precept in 2019-20.

The budget agreed today by the council will see it invest just under £1.4 billion in Norfolk over the next year. The budget supports the Council’s four priorities – Excellence in Education, Real Jobs, Good infrastructure and Supporting Vulnerable People - and continues to support a shift towards earlier intervention services which reduce the long-term demand for council services.

Norfolk County Council Leader Cliff Jordan said: “This is a robust budget, rooted in strong financial management. We have looked hard at every area of the services that the council delivers to the people of Norfolk.  

“We have a responsibility to help vulnerable people in this county. I believe this budget will allow us to look after those who cannot look after themselves.”

Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Next year, this council will be investing more to help our most vulnerable adults and children in the most difficult financial conditions imaginable. We will also be investing in our roads and protecting our front line services.

“This is a budget with sound, sustainable foundations in which we can all trust.”

Council agreed a Net Revenue Budget of £358.812 million for 2017-18, with the council’s chief officers authorised to take the action to deliver budget savings for 2018-19 to 2019-20 with reports on how the shortfalls could be met to be produced during the next financial year.

Over the period from 2010-11 to 2016-17, Norfolk County Council’s share of cuts has seen the authority lose almost £161 million in Government funding while the actual cost pressures on many of the Council’s services have continued to rise.

Key features of the budget are:

Investing £25.872m to support the adult social care budget. This includes:

  • £6.134m for demographic growth pressures
  • £4.5m for Cost of Care pressures
  • £5.66m for pay and price market pressures (including increases in the national living wage)
  • £9.578m to address 2016-17 overspend pressures (including one-off ASC support grant of £4.197m in 2017-18)

Investing £9m in children’s services on a one-off basis to ensure an overspend in the current financial year is not taken forward into 2017-18.

The budget includes £47.774 million of savings next year, largely coming from back office efficiencies. Even with a rise in council tax, the council still expects to have to make savings of £72.737 million over the next three years.

More than £20 million of savings previously agreed for 2017-18, which cannot now be realistically delivered, are being removed or deferred. The agreed budget also includes £226.379 million planned to be spent on capital projects in 2017-18.

For political comment

Cllr Cliff Jordan, Leader of the Conservative Group and Leader of the Council, on 01362 820422
Cllr George Nobbs, Leader of the Labour Group, on 01603 222936
Cllr Toby Coke, Leader of the UKIP Group, on 07717 881289
Cllr Marie Strong, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, on 07920 286597
Cllr Richard Bearman, Leader of the Green Party Group, on 01603 504124

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