National and Devolved Politics

09.07.18

East Anglia council to take extra year to deliver savings to be ‘more realistic’

Norfolk County Council is proposing to take an extra year to ensure budgets to ensure they can deliver savings, the new leader has announced.

County council leader Andrew Proctor believes that the council should take three years--not two-- to bridge a predicted £95 million gap.

His proposals come in a report on the council’s budget planning for 2019/20 to 2021/22.

Cllr Proctor said: “Having reviewed the budget with colleagues, I’m now proposing to see the savings delivered over three years, instead of two, simply because it’s more realistic.”

The council has identified savings of £48.5 million over the next three years and now needs to find further savings, to bridge a gap of £95 million over the same period.

Under original plans the council was going to make the savings over two years, with no savings in 2021/22. Now, the council is proposing to make the savings over the full three-year period.

 “The problem still exists and will be addressed,” added Cllr Proctor. “This approach also gives us a bit more time to find additional savings by being more commercial in the way we do things – especially generating our own income.”

The report says that the council’s budget strategy aims to “deliver sustainable and affordable services for the people who need them most.”

The whole council needs to change to keep up with increasing demands and ever better ways of working, the report noted.

In February this year Norwich residents received increase of just under 3% of council tax, an increase of nearly £100 a year, for living in the area. In May the council tabled plans for care leavers in the area to be exempt from council tax.

Proposals for the council’s budget for 2019/20 will be considered by the council’s committees in the autumn.

Councillors will consider the report at the policy and resources committee meets on 16 July.

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Image credit: skeable, iStock images

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