Council tax rise on cards for Norwich people, as City Hall warns ‘significant’ cuts are looming

Norwich City Council is planning for a council tax increase of 2.99pc in its share of the bil for 20

Norwich City Council is planning for a council tax increase of 2.99pc in its share of the bil for 2019/20. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

A stark warning has been issued by bosses at Norwich City Council that it is 'almost inevitable' the authority will have to consider 'significant' service cuts after 2021.

City Hall officers warn they could have to move towards only providing services it has to by law.

And people in Norwich are likely to face a 2.99pc increase in the share of council tax which goes to the city council in each of the next five years.

The Labour-run council's cabinet will discuss the budget for next year, along with the medium term financial strategy for the five years leading to 2023/24, at a meeting on Wednesday, December 12.

With government grants coming to an end, the council is ready to dig into its reserves over five years to help balance the budget, but is facing having to make £10.6m of savings over the next four years - which works out at some £2.6m each year from 2020/21 to 2023/24.

A report, which will come before councillors, states the council has a number of initiatives under its 'fit for the future' programme to make savings and efficiencies.

But they warn: 'At this point in time, and given the preliminary estimates of the savings and income benefits, this is anticipated to meet only 30pc of the required savings needing to be made by 2023/24.

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'There is the potential for further savings and efficiencies, but it is almost inevitable, given current financial planning and funding assumptions that the council will need to consider significant service reductions over the three year period 2020/21 to 2022/23 and a move towards providing core statutory services only.'

The 2.99pc increase in council tax next year, assumed in the 2019/20 budget, mean the share which goes to the city council will increase, for a Band D property, from £256.46 to £264.13.

Council tax bills in Norwich are split between Norfolk County Council, the city council and Norfolk's police and crime commissioner. Norfolk County Council is planning for a 2.99pc increase in its share next year.

The city council is due to launch consultation over its budget for 2019/20 this week,

City Hall has been working on its Norwich 2040 City Vision, outlining how it will work with other organisations to plan for Norwich's future.