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Extra £55 could be added to Norfolk council tax bills amid £16m further savings

PUBLISHED: 12:51 07 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:51 07 October 2019

Norfolk County Council's share of the council tax could be about to increase by just under 4pc. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norfolk County Council's share of the council tax could be about to increase by just under 4pc. Picture: Denise Bradley

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The prospect of a council tax rise of almost 4pc for people living in Norfolk has taken a step forward.

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

The mooted tax rise comes as county councillors agreed that almost £16m of further savings should be factored in to their planning for next year's County Hall budget.

Norfolk County Council is planning for its budget for 2020/21 and is looking at making a further £15.8m of savings in 2020/21.

At a meeting of the Conservative-controlled cabinet on Monday, councillors agreed that each department needs to make the following savings:

- Adult social services: £7.2m - including saving £3.75m by increasing reablement, which helps people regain independence after being in hospital

Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters in Norwich. Pic: Neil Perry.Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters in Norwich. Pic: Neil Perry.

- Children's services: £3.8m - including saving £3.5m by commissioning new care for children.

- Community and environmental services: £1.9m - including saving £250,000 by renegotiating highways contracts

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- Strategy and governance department: £500,000 - including saving £320,000 through income generation and vacancy management

- Finance and commercial services and finance general: £800,000 - including raising an extra £500,000 from organisational change budgets

- Business transformation: £1.6 through making the council's processes more modern, efficient and business-like.

But those savings come on top of £31.1m of savings already agreed for next year, including £17.3m from adult social services and £3.5m from children's services.

The budget planning is also being made on the assumption of a 3.99pc increase in the share of council tax which goes to the county council.

That includes a 2pc precept, specifically for adult social care. If the increase is agreed next February, following public consultation, it would see the county council's annual share of a Band D bill rise by £54.27 to £1,416.51.

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said there was already a predicted £4.6m overspend on this year's budget and recent extra cash awarded by the government would not be enough to plug the future funding gap.

Councillors have yet to confirm if their planning will include an increase in their allowances.

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