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Council budget agreed

17 February 2020

£430.4 million spending plans which boost children’s and adults' services and a Council Tax rise of 3.99 per cent have been agreed by Norfolk County Council.

Today’s full council meeting supported the latest revenue budget. It is funded by Council Tax, which will rise by 3.99 per cent – 1.99 per cent for general Council Tax and two per cent under the Government’s adult social care precept. This will see the county council’s share of band D bills rise by £54.27, to £1,416.51.

Councillor Andrew Proctor, the council’s leader, said: “We are setting this council on course for a balanced budget for 2020/21. We will continue to deliver vital services to all the people of Norfolk, within our finite means. We are not hiding from the financial challenges of future years.”

Councillor Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said: “You have a budget before you today that is robust, balanced and sees not only services maintained but invested in.”

The £430.4 million net budget is larger than originally proposed in January, due to £2.7 million additional Council Tax income from the district councils, which was higher than forecast. This has allowed further cost pressures in children’s services to be addressed.

The council is funding £70m of additional service pressures next year, with significant investment in adults' and children’s services:

  • £34.7m for adult social care, including £6.1m for demographic pressures, £7.6m for inflation and £7.9m for pay and price pressures
  • £28.1m for children’s services, including £3.7m for inflation, £14m for budget pressures including looked after children, £4.5m for home to school transport and £7.1m for staffing pressures, including investment in the service’s new operating model and resolving the structural budget gap

In addition, the council is:

  • Investing £887,000 in the fire service, to support the proposals in the integrated risk management plan
  • Supporting the environment policy, with a budget rising to £350,000 over two years

The council has budgeted to save £395m between 2011-12 and 2019-20. Savings proposed for 2020-21 to 2023-24 total £63.8 million, with £40.2 million to be delivered in 2020-21.

Since 2011, the council’s funding from the Government has reduced by £220m and cost pressures have risen by £440m.

Image by kind permission of Shaun Whitmore, BBC

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