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Norfolk County Council agree hastily concocted amended budget

Mark Harrison, front left, CEO of Equal Lives, at County Hall with protestors against cuts for the disabled and carers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mark Harrison, front left, CEO of Equal Lives, at County Hall with protestors against cuts for the disabled and carers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2015

Norfolk County Council has agreed its budget for the next 12 months, after dramatic scenes at County Hall.


 A hastily concocted budget amendment was agreed just after 4.15pm after a day of controversy.



 The Labour/UKIP/Liberal Democrat alliance budget was initially rejected by 40 votes to 36, with one abstention.



 But after talks took place between group leaders, the council’s managing director and head of law, an amended budget was agreed.



 A Conservative amendment will see £500,000 further savings, which will go to adult social services.



 It was agreed by 36 votes to five, with 37 abstentions - the whole Conservative group.



 Norfolk County Council’s budget had presumed a council tax freeze, but service cuts of £10.5m were proposed.



 Amendments to the budget by the Conservative and Green groups were rejected this morning.



 Labour council leader George Nobbs had revealed he would scrap proposals which would have cut £100,000 from transport for adult social care users.



 But the budget included cuts to arts funding, reducing library staff, charging for parking at Gressenhall Museum and Farm, removing the subsidy to schools for community groups using their facilities and charging for entry to the Ancient House Museum in Thetford during the winter.



 The rainbow alliance of Labour/UKIP and Independent Group/Liberal Democrats had put forward a revenue budget of £318.29m.



 Some £3.7m would have been drawn from reserves.



 But the Conservatives, Greens and independent councillor Alexandra Kemp voted against it.



 Conservative group leader Tom FitzPatrick had said the pace of change at County Hall was too slow and proposed an amendment to save more than £30m extra over three years.



 But the amendment was defeated by 42 votes to 35, with opposition councillors blasting what they said was a lack of detail in the proposals.



 The Green group at Norfolk County Council had put forward an amendment for council tax to rise by 1.99pc to protect vulnerable people.



 They said that would bring in £2.6m for adult social services, but were attacked by UKIP and the Conservatives.



 That amendment was defeated by 53 votes to five, with 21 abstentions.



 Members of Norwich People’s Assembly, Disabled People Against The Cuts, Equal Lives and the Green Party staged a protest outside the council’s Martineau Lane headquarters this morning.



 Mark Harrison, of Equal Lives, said cutting spending on transport would have a devastating impact on the poorest and most isolated people, already hit by the raft of benefit cuts.


33 comments

  • @Mick Castle - 99% retained Labour Budget.. why is anyone suprised that the Conservatives absteined and wanted nothing to do with it? Nobbs made it up, let Nobbs explain it away... perhaps he could explain the £700K to Age Concern at the same time?

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • If we want to attempt to maintain services we should vote for a rise in council tax. Yes blame the incompetence of the Tories and scheming by their MPs that cost the ratepayers over £30 million, because of the incinerator. Beware of more cuts to come, shouldered more by local than central government, that will hurt the poorest and most in need.

    Report this comment

    pablo

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Oh well ! more posturing by our politicians, I think good points have been made by Andy, BG, and Paul W,(except for his last one), Gone Away, your comments are cynical and inflammatory, but of course you are entitled to them. Would it not be great if all this effort was put into lobbying your local councillor and MP. It is surprising what a small vocal group can do. Anyway, I despair,(literally, please look it up) Off for a cup of tea.

    Report this comment

    Moaning Lisa

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • I think Andy has been listening to the gentleman I met last year who had lots of good tales about staff antics right under the nose of the leader or at least when she was out on business. We pay them to work not that

    Report this comment

    Coastgal

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • These idiots seem to think they can make these cuts, yet want to spend £15.4 million on cycling and paths, surely the last two days show that it needs to be spent on roads, for gods sake we don't even have trains here anymore, the city is a mess.

    Report this comment

    paul w

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • These idiots seem to think they can make these cuts, yet want to spend £15.4 million on cycling and paths, surely the last two days show that it needs to be spent on roads, for gods sake we don't even have trains here anymore, the city is a mess.

    Report this comment

    paul w

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • These idiots seem to think they can make these cuts, yet want to spend £15.4 million on cycling and paths, surely the last two days show that it needs to be spent on roads, for gods sake we don't even have trains here anymore, the city is a mess.

    Report this comment

    paul w

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Will these cuts affect the people who make the ill thought out decisions?, I doubt it.

    Report this comment

    paul w

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • @andy - you keep saying that. Evidence? So far, you've failed to produce. What 'all the surveys' are they? It doesn't become the truth simply because you keep repeating it, you know. And perhaps you could detail all the 'ongoing waste' at County Hall? You seem to know all about it, so I'm sure you could give some specifics, rather than just throwing out vague soundbites.

    Report this comment

    GoneAway

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • The so called cuts when compared to the total budget are still very small indeed. This could easily be covered by cutting out the ongoing waste at County Hall and getting value for money. It is still a sad fact of life for all those experiencing cuts in services supplied by NCC that all the surveys continue to show that council staff are paid more than those for comparable jobs in the private sector. I know that some staff do work hard, but this is not always the case!

    Report this comment

    andy

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • @Norfolk John - how very magnanimous of you to think of people other than yourself! Oh, wait a minute...

    Report this comment

    GoneAway

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • The only things l want from the council is my rubbish collected (weekly) and the roads maintainedimproved - anything else, cut away!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • I don't tnink anyone Mr Castle can be happy with the idea of charging at the tips to get rid of our rubbish. Yarmouth and Gorleston have enough problems with their residents fly tipping. This is only going to make the situation worse.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Dick Turnip the placard is correct. Your English is incorrect. I believe the placard refers to the Disability Community i.e. those affected by - and interested in - disability, not simply those experiencing disabilities. Grammar man, out.

    Report this comment

    DC1

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • 99% of the Council's draft Budget was unaffected by the last minute amendment. It was a long day but I am very glad that the Budget has been delivered almost in its entirety despite hours of political posturing from the Tory Opposition - who never got around to delivering their promised "Alternative Budget".

    Report this comment

    Mick Castle

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • We have got to get real and realise that the community charge has got to rise. You can`t keep on cutting year after year. A 2% rise is not going to hurt anyone but it would do a lot of good to a lot of deserving people.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • itsme73 - you should be ashamed of yourself. You are getting local and national politics confused you shouldn't bashing the Scots because they are playing the political game at a national level, typically the boot is on the other foot. However, if you cared to check local authorities in Scotland are all having their budgets cut (a great deal further than Norfolk) and trying to work through the same concerns. So really it's the same across the United Kingdom as you would expect. But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a jingoistic rant

    Report this comment

    rushallchap

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • @itsme looks like your name suits you. The Greens wanted a 1.99% rise to protect vulnerable people. You know, the ones who need help, the ones the stronger should be supporting.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • tweeting the meeting is impressive real time reporting, nice one Dan.

    Report this comment

    itsme73

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Paying to go to the tip is only going to increase fly tipping. What bozzo thought of that idea.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • The Greens have really stuffed the budget, instead of working pragmatically with the opposition grounds, they scuppered the vote by forcing their tax and spend ideology of raising council tax by nearly 2%. They are are Melons; soft green on the outside, and hard red on the inside! When are they going to grow up politically and either stop abstaining or vetoeing pragmatic politics?

    Report this comment

    itsme73

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • As we argue over a shrinking budget cake and where the crumbs left should go to, the SNP are demanding billions more on top of the bloated Barnet Formula that robs England of local authority funding to stuff the mouths of Scots with free prescriptions and no tuition fees. That is a the bigger scandal, not the Incinerator.

    Report this comment

    itsme73

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • A great man once said “The True Measure of Any Society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members". Does anyone need to say more?

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • If only 77 vote that leaves several who did not vote (or attend?). Please Archant tell us asap who they were and why they did not vote. I hope nobody left for a pressing meeting at their District or Parish Council.

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • ".....and even left notes for incoming Tory ministers apologising for spending all the money and admitting that there was no money left.....". What a day out for the trolls this is....and let us not forget a similar note left by Tory treasury minister Reginald Maudling to his Labour successor James Callaghan in 1964: "Good luck, old c-o-c-k ... Sorry to leave it in such a mess."

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • @blister - yes, of course they did, that's right, yes... keep on taking the tablets, blister, they may kick in one day...

    Report this comment

    GoneAway

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • ".....and even left notes for incoming Tory ministers apologising for spending all the money and admitting that there was no money left.....". What a day out for the trolls this is....and let us not forget a similar note left by Tory treasury minister Reginald Maudling to his Labour successor James Callaghan in 1964: "Good luck, old cock ... Sorry to leave it in such a mess."

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Those protestors should be campaigning against the huge salaries that the Council staff earn. Nobody employed at the Council should be earning more than £60k per year. In my day a clerk earned £5k, a senior clerk £10k and the chief maybe £20k. Now they have all been given fancy titles with grotesque salary and benefits packages to match. I wouldn't be surprised if the Canadian woman in charge earns more than the Prime Minister. Any earnings above £60k should have the additional amount halved this year and then halved again next year. No other cuts required. All solved.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Not sure the Labour Party will improve finances in the county even if they do get elected in May. After all it is only 5 years since they left the country bankrupt and even left notes for incoming Tory ministers apologising for spending all the money and admitting that there was no money left.

    Report this comment

    blister

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • How much did NCC waste on the incinerator? 38 million wasn`t it. How much has GYBC wasted on the failed Sainsburys store at Gorleston? No one knows because they are hiding behind the cloak of client confidentiality. Then of course there is the Outer Harbour. How much did that cost us, for what return. I don`t see why we should keep on having our services cut because of the ineptitude of those who are supposed to govern us. Heaven help us if more powers were to be devolved to local authorities.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • English appears to be a big disability , that placard should read ' Norfolk's disabled community ' - not 'disability community '.

    Report this comment

    Dick Turnip

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Close down all Librarys, except main one, give every person a free Kindle, it will work out cheaper in long run

    Report this comment

    billythebookie

    Monday, February 16, 2015

  • Question - just how long has very expensive scaffolding been up around the County Ivory towers costing just how much? How much is being wasted in maintaining middle and senior managers as low paid workers are not being replaced?

    Report this comment

    manbythesea

    Monday, February 16, 2015

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