Council tax increase and park parking charges move nearer

Eaton Park.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Eaton Park.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Charges to park in Norwich parks, the possible sale of community centres and a council tax increase have edged nearer, as the leader of the city council accused the government of "short changing" local government.

The Labour-controlled cabinet of Norwich City Council agreed on Wednesday to recommend its budget to full council.

Norfolk County Council is to ask the public what they think of an increase in their share of council

A 1.99pc increase is proposed for council tax in Norwich. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

It includes a 1.99pc increase in the share of council tax which goes to City Hall, adding £5.36 a year to the bill for a Band D property, generating an annual £200,000 for the authority.

The budget also includes proposals to generate £50,000 by introducing parking charges at Eaton Park and Waterloo Park and £33,000 by selling or letting two or three community centres.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

Liberal Democrat city councillor Judith Lubbock. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat councillor for Eaton called for the park charging proposal to be ditched.

She said parking would be displaced into nearby roads and there had been a lack of assessment of that.

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Matt Packer, Labour cabinet member for health and wellbeing said there would be an in-depth feasibility study, but asked Mrs Lubbock where she would find £50,000, if not through parking charges.

Rent for social housing will increase by 1.5pc, but Gail Harris, cabinet member for housing, said millions would be invested in new social housing and refurbishment of existing homes.

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Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for finances said: "This is not a budget of cutbacks, it is a budget of investments."

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor. - Credit: Archant

And Alan Waters, the leader of the council, said: "I have been extremely disappointed in the way the government has depended on local government and continues to do so in the Covid recovery period and yet has short-changed it."

He said one-year settlements from central government did not allow long-term planning, with the "sand of short-term funding" not allowing firm foundations to be built.

The budget will be discussed at a council meeting on Tuesday, February 23.

The cabinet meeting also agreed to award a contract to consultants Avison Young to forge a masterplan for the East Norwich redevelopment.

The Carrow Works site

The Carrow Works site. Pic: Fuel Properties. - Credit: Fuel Properties

The council says 4,000 homes and 6,000 jobs could be created at the former Colman's Carrow Works site, the Deal Ground and the Utilities site.

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