Norfolk County Council cuts will hit the public from April

The Coasthopper bus service will be hit by Norfolk County Council's £167m cuts package. The Coasthopper bus service will be hit by Norfolk County Council's £167m cuts package.

Saturday, February 22, 2014
4:14 PM

Council cuts, which will hit services across Norfolk, will start to bite within months – after local authorities approved their budgets for the next financial year.

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Where the axe is expected to fall

Here are the agreed savings for 2014/15 in each department at Norfolk County Council, along with some examples of the cuts which are looming

Children’s services – £12.6m (Putting People First cuts) + £500k further savings

Reducing the number of young people coming into care and the cost of looked-after children (£5.2m).

Changing how childminders, nurseries and other providers are supported (£2.7m)

Reducing funding for restorative approaches (£160k).

Adult social care – £15.7m

Reducing number of adult care service users who get transport (£1.8m).

Stop ongoing spend on the Strong and Well programme (£500k).

Scale back housing-related services and focus on the most vulnerable people (£1.2m).

Cultural services – £2m

Reduce spend on library books (£350k).

Reduce number of library staff (£350k).

Reduce how often mobile libraries call at some places (£109k).

Environment, transport and development – £14.6m

Reduce highway maintenance for one year (£1m).

Stop routine disposal of paint at some recycling centres (£300k).

Reduce subsidy for the Coasthopper bus (£75k).

Fire and Rescue Service – £1.7m

Stop supplying and fitting free smoke detectors (£80k).

Resources – £6.7m (Putting People First cuts) + £3m other savings

Reduce and restructure staff in ICT Services (£1.8m).

Reduce staff in finance (£800k).

Norfolk County Council agreed to a package of £167m of cuts, savings and reductions on Monday, which will see big changes to its services.

The public will start noticing changes from April, with reductions in library staff and books, an end to free smoke detectors and less money being spent on the county’s roads, likely to be among the more visible consequences.

Other changes will include reductions in mobile library visits, charging to get rid of tyres at recycling centres and Norfolk Record Office shutting on Saturday mornings.

On the changes to libraries, a spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “For libraries savings, all affected mobile library services will be reduced from fortnightly to four-weekly visits by the end of this financial year.

“Some mobile libraries will still continue to make fortnightly visits.

“The reduction in the book stock fund will come in from April, but spending on books happens throughout the year each year so there won’t be a sudden change.”

But the £76m of savings in the first year includes a great deal behind the scenes, which will not be so obvious to the general public.

That includes reducing the number of children in care, saving £1.8m by reducing the number of adult care service users who get free transport and axing funding for school services such as the wellbeing and Healthy Norfolk Schools.

Housing-related services will also be scaled back to save £1.2m in the year ahead, so only the most vulnerable will get help with the likes of claiming benefits and support to prevent losing accommodation.

Another cut is the subsidy for the Norfolk Coasthopper bus, which will lose the £75,000 it currently gets.

The service, which runs along the west and north Norfolk coast, was bought by international company Stagecoach Bus Holdings last December.

New managing director Andrew Dyer said he was confident the summer timetable would run, but that the position was not definite for the winter season.

The cuts and savings will also see a loss of about 190 jobs at the council in the next year. A council spokesman said: “In 2014/15 we’re estimating there will be around 190 job losses and around 140 of these will be through redundancy. Some job losses linked to the budget savings will take place by the end of this financial year, and the people affected are already aware of this.

“For others, periods of consultation and restructuring of teams need to take place first, and this is likely to happen throughout the next financial year, with timings varying from department to department and saving to saving.”

Norwich City Council also agreed a package of £2.2m worth of cuts and savings this week. That includes a “gradual increase” in cemetery fees and charges for allotments, charging for replacing wheelie bins and finding ways to bring in more money at St Andrew’s Hall and the Norman Centre.

What’s your view on the cuts? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

24 comments

  • Jeffrey - the Conservatives have not been in control of County for some time now. Any budget they put up would be voted down so why bother. This budget is very clearly a Labour Lib Dem UKIP one with a confused splash of green thrown in. You voted for it. You got it. Ingo. This conspiracy theory about freemasons and other dark arts is going to make you ill. Take your shoes off and put your feet up. Chill out a bit...

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • @sweet cheeks . I agree with you that labour wrecked this country . But the coalition by the end of this parliament will have ran up the same level of debt .700 billion . Not one penny of debt has been paid back , When people vote they should be not only voting for their party but also should have a choice on what taxes are used for and what they dont want their taxes to be spent on . To not balance the books now will lead to greater hardship later on

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • There is always money for bizarre schemes like putting in more road humps or widening pavements,but basic road maintenance? forget it! Council tax is already too high,and many public service jobs are overpaid! time to ruthlessly prune these little empires because they are no longer relevant or effective!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • The reason why we have so many councillors and councils date back some time. In the old days councillors had to be near their voters so there had to be lots of them. Nowadays we have metal boxes that you can enter, switch on and move along a road. Furthermore you have Bakelite boxes on your desk through which you speak to other people and even small boxes that you can carry in your pocket which performs the same function. Then most important you have another box shaped piece of equipment on your desk through which locals can contact their councillors and even have virtual conversations. That box can even be used to make comments on the EDP24 site. Why then do we need the vast quantities of councillors that we had in the days of donkey carts, penny blacks and men with forked sticks. It is ridiculous and it is high time they cut the amount by at least half.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • HJ, NCC just do not realise that most of what goes on within the walls of County Hall is known about immediately. From your tally ho remark I should imagine that you have also just received some disgraceful news from the grapevine. Say no more, all will hit the fan very soon AGAIN!! When will the fo.ols realise that the use of a whip to control animals, let alone elected representatives, is simply not acceptable anymore. With elections around the corner the public must realise that a vote for Labour or Conservatives is simply permission for the group leader to decide what he wants to do and make all within the political group obey his will. There is no representation within those groups for the individual who elects any candidate regardless if their vote was gained by promises broken as soon as the ink was dry on the ballot paper. Things must change because if they do not every individual across Norfolk will suffer in one way or another by the development spree which will see uncontrolled new builds, roads, green energy projects, enterprise zones popping up all over the place -allowing planning regs to be relaxed- and the resulting financial cutbacks they will all entail to public services as NCC struggle to fund pet projects and pick up the bill for planning inquiries, judicial reviews and compensation payouts to dissappointed developers that the council stu.pidly contracted to pay in the event of planning failure. NCC are not fit for purpose and the Government sooner, or later, will need to step in and sort the whole sorry mess out. I prey it is sooner because if not the situation will just snowball downhill and the coffers really will be empty rather than just allegedly empty to make cllrs jump to the leaders will.

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Senior management has excempted themselves from feeling any pain, officers and freemasons can do as they like at NCC. Why is it not required that staff employed to work for us all,women and men, are allowed to be a freemason, a mans only club member which has, and still is, undermining councils giving them a bad name? Further, why is a certain religion given advantages, when it comes to employment, despite the fact that religious discrimination has been outlawed?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • Hermes you are quite right, unfortunately it's down to the electoral commission to decide on numbers. The whole council is just a mess.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • There are only two things l want the council to provide, good roads and my black bin to be collected each week. Everything else can be cut!

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    Norfolk John

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • Anyone surprised? No-one? What about you at the back sir? Oh you just raised your hand to swat a fly. That would be no-one the slightest bit surprised then.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • I said there was no alternative and I stand by what I said. The Government had to do something as the last government almost broke the country. NCC should of planned for the future not wasted all the money, they are not fit for purpose.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • Not before time, so much more could be saved as so much is spent on non essential things.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • And if only those councillors hadn't bought an old airfield, signed a contract when they didn't have planning permission or decided to continue with their plans for a road to nowhere. Those pesky councillors.

    Report this comment

    Bikerboy

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • It just amazes me that these people can continue with these savage cuts while holding back money for the dead end NDR which is the next best thing to being useless, just who do these people represent?

    Report this comment

    Vic Sponge

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • Well, the council gave up repairing the roads years ago, so as long as they can be bothered to pop round once a fortnight to empty my bin, I certainly won't notice any difference!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • This is a budget that Councillors should be ashamed of, the whole thing is a mess and what's more disappointing is there was not an alternative budget put forward. This council needs breaking up as it's not fit for purpose.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • I'm pleased the anti incinerator people did make a fuss, everything should be out in the open so I am looking forward to see the rest of the dodgy deals. Now most Councillors have woken up it should be quashed once and for all, followed by some sackings which should save a fortune and remove a lot of dead wood.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • No Sweet Cheeks, it's your beloved Tory party not fit for purpose. For all their shrieking from the sidelines they've offered no alternative. They couldn't even point out what they wouldn't have done. It is the Tory party who cut the funding at government level, while saying they want to offer more localism.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • Here we go again - yawn! Use some of those cash reserves - and councillors get real, you can be sacked.

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • What NCC should realise is that every decision they make is now under the microscope. The way they have behaved in the past, squandering money,ignoring the public, blindly following officer recommendations without independent thought as to affordability viability or negative impact on the public no longer slip by without comment and challenge. This began with the Yarmouth Outer Harbour and the efforts of John Cooper, then came the incinerator which people county wide have challenged very publicly, then RAF Coltishall and now, very much linked with the purchase of Coltishall because it purchased to provide aggregate for the construction of, the NDR. SNUB are now holding NCC to account, their full page information sheet in Saturdays EDP should example the determination to make sure, despite NCCs best efforts to withold evidence from the inspectorate, that all evidence and arguments will be considered outside of county hall. I am sure that those pushing the 3 projects mentioned above which are still active planning issues must realise the public across Norfolk have had enough of pet projects, for the benefit of business and bankers, draining the public purse of money needed to provide essential public services.

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Regardless of whether the blame for NCC's situation lies with the present or previous government, it must have known before last May's elections what lay ahead. So, given that in the 201213 financial year its 84 members cost us taxpayers £1,095,810.40 in allowances and expenses why didn't it volunteer to save some money by electing a few less members? Just why do we need and how much longer can we afford 84 county councillors plus seven district councils? What the total bill for allowances and expenses comes to doesn't bear thinking about. But then I suppose expecting any of them to sacrifice a few members would be like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.......

    Report this comment

    hermes

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • How are they going to reduce the number of children taken into care? Leave a vunerable, abu.sed child to the fate of its abu.ser! All because they want to throw what public money they do administer at pet projects which make absolutly no business sense and leave the public purse open not only to millions in compensation due to negligent contract clauses but also for massive site clean up costs in regard of contaminated land. By the way will it be LeFarge or NCC who will be liable if, god forbid, someone is injured by the very real known hazards beneath the runways at Coltishall?

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • Dic.kens you do make us laugh old pal, £200m better off? Even you must know the PFI was nothing more than a subsidy from taxpayer’s pockets given as a lame attempt to make incineration competitive with other forms of waste treatment. What does that say about incineration being value for money? We already know the Unitary Charge will go to 29.9m, that’s £176 a tonne, making the average cost over 25 years around £141 a tonne. Surely you’re bright enough to do the maths and work out the financial catastrophe Norfolk would be in continuing with this when it could be shipped abroad for £20 a tonne cheaper now and Material Works would be £50 a tonne cheaper. Technology moves on old pal, CW are trying to sell NCC an Amstrad for the price of a MacBook Air! Of course a proper investigation needs to take place as to why NCC are so desperate to buy an Amstrad - I wonder what's coming round the corner?

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Well said Canary Boy! We now wait and see what NCC can muster before the next Full Council vote to trump the bankruptcy scaremongering tactic they used before their RPP vote. I did notice in the Lynn News NCC are saying Cabinet don’t have to take notice of what the Full Council decide. Tally ho, whips at the ready.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • If only those dreadful anti incinerator campaigners had kept out of the councils way we would have been almost £200 million better off. They have been an expensive waste of time.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

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

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