Norfolk County Council to consider 2021-22 Budget proposals
12 February 2021
Norfolk’s Cabinet has recommended a revenue and capital budget package to the County Council which supports the response to COVID-19, responds to rising financial pressures, delivers critical infrastructure projects, and invests in Norfolk’s recovery.
The County Council’s budget proposals for next year, which outline tax, spending and investment plans, are being put to members of Norfolk County Council for approval on Monday 22 February.
Cllr Andrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The current climate for local government finance is extremely challenging. We face major uncertainty about future funding, combined with rising pressures, and the significant financial impacts of fighting COVID-19.
“However in the face of all these challenges, we have been able to propose a robust, balanced Revenue Budget for 2021-22, which is designed to lead Norfolk’s recovery from COVID-19. Recognising the significant pressures on local residents, we have sought to do this without imposing the maximum council tax increase available to us (without a referendum) and the Budget therefore proposes an increase of 3.99% in council tax for next year. Once again, we have to tread carefully, but if we do so, our plan will allow us to both support the most vulnerable in Norfolk while also investing in key community services that really matter to our residents – including libraries, digital and physical infrastructure – to bring our economy back online after COVID.
“Beyond that, we will continue to make the case for sustainable future funding from the government, including for adult social care: with that, and the steps laid out in these proposals, we can give our services here in Norfolk the comprehensive, long term plan they need.”
The budget proposals cover both the £439m revenue budget which funds council services and running costs, as well as the £538m capital budget to be spent on infrastructure.
As outlined in the budget proposals considered by the Council’s Cabinet at the start of the month, the council are proposing to:
- Raise general Council Tax by the Government’s guideline figure – 1.99 per cent – and raise the adult social care precept by two per cent in 2021/22 and one per cent the following year. This would raise the County Council’s overall share of Council Tax by 3.99 per cent, increasing the share of band D bills by £56.43 to £1,472.94 for 2021-22.
- Invest £45.7m to meet cost and other pressures in services, including £28.2m in adult social care, £7m in children’s services and £10.5m in community and environmental services
- Make provision of £18.8m, set aside for COVID-19 costs in 2021-22
- Make savings of £41.2m, including a net £20.4m of new proposals
- Invest £102m in the capital programme, taking the total infrastructure programme to £537.66m. New items include £11.5m for supported housing for young adults, £4m for children’s residential homes and investment in the Long Stratton bypass, new libraries and green trails. Existing schemes include 500 new special school places, extra care housing for adults, better broadband links and the Great Yarmouth third river crossing.
- Over £2m in new funding to respond to flooding, including an additional £350,000 in revenue budget provision, £235,000 in Highways spending to reduce road flooding risks and £1.5m for the creation of a new flood reserve to fund urgent works, repairs and to enable recommendations from flood investigation reports.
- An increase of £4,000 for each Local Member Fund, taking the total to £10,000 to be made available to local parishes and communities to fund environmental projects
- New schemes worth £3m for improvements to greenways, footpaths and the national and Norfolk Trails network in the county
Ahead of this meeting, the council’s Scrutiny Committee will also consider the proposals on Wednesday 17 February.