Council tackling budget gap

14 September 2018

We’re facing our financial challenges and tackling the budget gap, the leader of Norfolk County Council said today.

Councillor Andrew Proctor spoke out as the council revealed it had reduced its £94.6m budget gap to £45.3m, through a range of measures.

Cllr Proctor said:  “Like all county councils, we’re facing continual financial pressure but we are moving forward with plans to tackle it.  We are taking action and we are not complacent with our approach.

“I’m determined the county council will maintain that focus – every saving that isn’t delivered on time adds further pressure.”

The Council’s medium term financial strategy had identified savings of £78.5m for the next four years, leaving a gap of £94.6m.  This was due to a range of pressures including the expected loss of Government funding in 2020 and growing demand for social care.

Now, the Council has devised plans to reduce the gap, leaving £45.3m to find.  The gap has been reduced by a range of measures, including:

  • A predicted £18.564m of extra council tax income, due to housing and population growth
  • Plans to raise £10m of capital receipts, to reduce debt repayments
  • For planning purposes, a proposed 1.99 per cent council tax increase in 2021-22, depending on whether Government funding is retained

A report to the policy and resources committee gives two examples of the major challenges facing the Council.

Officers predict that, due to increasing demand for adult and children’s social care, this year’s budget will overspend by £5.6m – less than one per cent of the total – unless action is taken now.

And £5.2m of this year’s planned £29.9m savings are at risk of not being delivered, or delivered on time.

The Council is due to consider its latest budget proposals next month, so that committees can discuss them before the full council meeting sets the budget and council tax in February 2019.

Members of the policy and resources committee will meet at 10am on Monday 24 September.

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