Search

Norfolk faces £10.5m in service cuts after late deal gets county budget through

09:37 17 February 2015

Norfolk County Council. County Hall. Photo : Steve Adams

Norfolk County Council. County Hall. Photo : Steve Adams

Archant

Norfolk County Council has agreed its budget for the next 12 months, but only after a late deal was struck to rescue it after initial rejection.

It will mean a council tax freeze, but cuts to arts funding, reductions in library staff, less money for highways maintenance and extra charges for visitors to two of the county’s museums.

The Labour/UKIP/Liberal Democrat alliance budget, which includes more than £10m of service cuts and £19m in efficiences, was initially rejected at a meeting of the authority yesterday.

But, after talks took place between group leaders, the council’s managing director and head of law, the opposition Conservative group tabled an amendment, which was agreed late in the afternoon.

That amendment will see £500,000 further efficiency savings made in 2015/16, with the money saved going back into adult social services. Labour leader George Nobbs had already pledged not to go ahead with proposed £100,000 cuts to transport for people who get adult social care.

Plans to charge people for using some of the county’s recycling centres will go back before committee members for a rethink, while a new council priority to safeguard vulnerable people was agreed.

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

An earlier Conservative amendment called for £30m of further savings over the next three years. Tory leader Tom FitzPatrick said the pace of change at County Hall was too slow and needed to accelerate, but it was rejected by 42 votes to 35.

The Green group put forward an amendment for council tax to rise by 1.99pc to protect vulnerable people, by bringing in £2.6m for adult social services. But, attacked by UKIP and the Conservatives, it was defeated by 53 votes to five, with 21 abstentions.

It was the first time in living memory that a council budget had been rejected, but Labour leader George Nobbs insisted he was not embarrassed.

He said: “Once again we have got a budget set for Norfolk. It took a few minutes longer than I would have liked, but at the end of the day, having made their points, the members have passed it.

“Despite losing almost £42m in government grants, and facing escalating costs of £27m, we have protected front line care services from the worst impact.”

His Conservative opponent Mr FitzPatrick said: “While we do not agree with the broad thrust of the budget, and believe that as an organisation Norfolk County Council has much farther to go in terms of efficiencies before deep service cuts should be considered, this is extra funding for adult social care that would never have been found had we not pushed this important issue.”

UKIP and Independent group leader Toby Coke said the Greens, having voted against the budget, should resign their posts as vice-chair of two committees.

But Mr Bearman said that was a matter for those committees. He added: “We said from the start that we would vote against an austerity budget.”

Members of Norwich People’s Assembly, Disabled People Against The Cuts, Equal Lives and the Green Party staged a protest outside County Hall before the meeting.

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

24 comments

  • Fear not, ye little goose-steppers, for that foreign aid budget is scarcely wasted at all. It funds first and foremost the lavish lifestyles of the poverty barons - 6 or 7 figure income ex civil service old Etonian cronies of the PM providing consultancy to formulate Govt policy on overseas aid, par exemple, the money spent covertly funding proxy action via I.S.I.S and others in the middle east. I mean, you don't think a contrary parliamentary vote will stop these blighters ?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isdishonest

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

  • I say, why did the Conservatives press for £30 mill of cuts, I mean, I thought we had already paid for the £34 mill they carelessly wasted on the incinerator scandel ?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isdishonest

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

  • Correction to my last comment . Should read : ' Behind closed doors '. Not ' Between.' Though as they were the only ones present, it could have been between,behind, next to, adjacent to etc., Wherever,it was very furtive.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

  • Cuts and more cuts. Will there ever be enough. Will this latest round of cuts stop this council funding private pension funds. They very generously ,following a meeting between closed doors,gave three quarters of a million pounds of taxpayers money to fund an employees pension fund of a Norfolk charity. It might be a charity but with full time employees as with any company.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

  • Public services - usually wanted by those who don't pay for them , paid for by those who don't use them. The faster this nanny state is dismantled the better.

    Report this comment

    Dick Turnip

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • I don't see what's wrong with people asking how much they're paying in council tax towards council workers' final salary pensions. I'm like many others commenting on here who've lost their company pension thanks to Labour - why should I pay towards someone else's? It's not a case of "I'm alright Jack" because I'm NOT alright. I'll be getting a pittance of a pension unlike all you public sector 'workers'!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • @andy t ..just in case you have not read the papers recently money is the biggest issue being talked about and how it is spent and and who it is spent on . This makes my comment relevent and we are all involved and should all have our own say on how our money is spent from national level to local level . This is what we have come to expect from another labour voter trying to shut down the argument if they do not like the subject

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • The Greens tried to flex their minority muscles and dictate the state of play only to find they hadn't any.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • milecross - are we reading the same article? Couldn't see imigration or third world aid mentioned.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • with nearly a million on food handouts and millions having to decide between heating or eating its about time british people voted to put themselves first in this country by voting out this failed three party bunch of losers who are more concerned with how big the foreign aid and immigration budget is

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Let’s hope the council impose a tax on wind turbines that are now littering the Norfolk countryside, the rich landowners get a massive government subsidies to run the turbines, and I think it’s time for Norfolk County council to reclaim some of our tax payer’s money for our benefit.

    Report this comment

    Stop the Bodham wind turbine

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Norfolk's main political parties are accepting the Coalitions continuing austerity cuts, whilst no taxes are paid by many major high street chains, tax cuts are received for charitable giving, major banks are stacking away QE monies and tax havens, still under British jurisdiction and protection, are doing business as usual. Not one of the main political parties wants to make and effort and change the equation and rules in Europe, so our council services are used for their austerity escapades. Only The Greens seem to have their heads up on this, but their 2% rise in council tax would not have raised enough. None of these main parties want to change the tax regime's of those who avoid and evade, they favour the establishment and status quo which serves itself first and always, they are all part and parcel of the erosion of the social state. We are in a transition phase from public to private provisions, the end of a mutual social state.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • "....@milecross and Edward Millionaireband - what is wrong with you? ...". More a case of what is wrong with him , they are of course the same half-witted wind up merchant.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • @milecross and Edward Millionaireband - what is wrong with you? The disdain you display towards those less fortunate in this country and beyond is disgraceful. Your sort of "I'm alright Jack" mentality that is an embarrassment to civil society. Stop trolling around here and get out in the world and do some good! And before you come back with 'I work, I pay my taxes, I'm doing my bit', it's not enough - do more.

    Report this comment

    rushallchap

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • @weaversway - GOOD POINT. We've all seen our own company pensions disappear thanks to Gormless Brown, yet we're still expected to contribute a fortune towards the gold plated pensions and enormous golden handshake early retirement deals for all the council staff!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • If the Council would come clean and tell us how much they (us) have to pay on the unfunded element of pensions, we might be able to judge these cuts. Nationally it is £20 billion a year. How much are we in Norfolk paying?

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • no talk of a cut in this countries massive immigration and foreign aid budget yet more massive cuts for the people who are funding this country . How fair does that sound . You only get what you vote for

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • These cuts to essential services are entirely justifiable- how else will we find the £12 billion a year we need to send abroad in "Foreign Aid" or the £7 billion a year in net EU contributions, or pay the benefits to millions of UK citizens while foreign workers do their jobs?

    Report this comment

    Edward Millionaireband

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • This is quite simply unacceptable, but understandable. The council have tried their absolute hardest on this one, which has had myself and many of the social club on the edges of our seats last night. What I would like to point out, is that with the cuts to the highways sector, this will mean a whole lot less digging up of the roads. It looks like it was a tough decision to come to, but the overall cuts and freezes that have been put might possibly benefit us in the long term. It's unfortunate that we are never likely to get out of this pickle, but as long as the rich get richer, it's not really a bad thing. We're used to it by now. Chilly Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • So the Tories want to slash back public services and vote against the original budget, then table an amendment cutting back other services by 500k to prop up adult social services then abstain from voting, Somebody sniffed a propaganda opportunity to look like they care about the vulnerable there, doesn't quite wash though.

    Report this comment

    SilverMachine

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • They could have been sitting pretty if so many £Millions hadn't been wasted on stupid vanity projects.

    Report this comment

    Twig Stevens

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Why is "jason quizon" being allowed to post stupid ads -this being the second i have seen- which are irrelevant to the article?

    Report this comment

    Stephen Strange

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • The Greens are the only ones committed to public services; it is other councillors who should be considering resigning as this budget brings further misery and condones the Conservative Liberal Government approach to local government; cuts, cuts and cuts. How can you represent local government services and vote to cut your own services

    Report this comment

    Jonny

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  • Like a govt budget we won't realise the ramification of what was agreed yesterday until we read the fine print. But charging to get rid of our rubbish at the tip is not a very bright move.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

Yesterday, 20:16
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

A light aircraft was forced to land in a field in Hackford, near Wymondham.

Yesterday, 15:52
A woman was taken to hospital after falling from a horse in Hethel.

A woman was taken to hospital after falling from a horse in Hethel, near Wymondham.

Yesterday, 08:19
Serious crash on the A11 at Attleborough. Picture Twitter/FranRosas

A woman has been taken to hospital following a serious accident on the A11 near Attleborough which closed the northbound carriageway.

Thu, 19:13
GCSE results at Sprowston High School. Kelsey Andrews, left, who celebrated her birthday as well as her exam results with Alice Trett. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

GCSE results in Norfolk and Suffolk have gone up, as schools across the counties reported improvements on last year’s figures.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:44
Police have appealed for witnesses following an attempted robbery in Watton

A woman fought off a would-be mugger after he tried to steal her handbag on a pavement in Watton.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Window collapse at Oxborough Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The 15th Century moated manor house is owned by the National Trust and visited by thousands each year.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:42
Window collapse at Oxborough Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Experts are still investigating why tonnes of masonry collapsed into the courtyard of the 15th Century moated manor house, near Swaffham, last Thursday night.

Read more
United Kingdom
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Polly Grieff and her husband Eric.  Their house Old Manor, in Saham Toney, will be on Restoration Home - one year on.  Picture: Ian Burt

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
Thu, 15:35
Students checking their GSCE results at Alderman Peel High School, Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

Head teachers praised the achievements and efforts of students in Fakenham, Wells, Dereham, Reepham, Litcham, Watton and Swaffham.

Read more

Local Weather

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up