Warning from Norwich City Council's chief executive that 'difficult' years ahead could see services axed

Photo: Nick Butcher.

Photo: Nick Butcher.

EDP pics © 2007

Services which people in Norwich rely on might have to be axed in years to come, the chief executive of Norwich City Council has warned.

Laura McGillivray, Norwich City Council's chief executive. Picture: Denise BradleyLaura McGillivray, Norwich City Council's chief executive. Picture: Denise Bradley

City Hall’s Labour cabinet last night agreed to recommend its budget for the upcoming financial year to full council - which includes a 2.05pc increase in its share of the council tax.

The council says the increase, along with efficiency savings, will help protect frontline services in the year ahead, but City Hall’s chief executive Laura McGillivray warned that might not be possible in the future.

She said: “The next few years are going to be extremely difficult.

“We have got another £9.6m to take out and that’s on top of £30m which has already been taken out.

“We have introduced a wide range of efficiencies, but we are starting to run out of them.

“However tight our finances, our sustainability and transformation plans are about generating income and reshaping services, rather than stopping doing things.

“However, there comes a point where this may well have to happen.”

Alan Waters, council leader, who has criticised the government for reducing the spending power of the council, said there would be a need for more partnership working with other organisations and groups.

The full council will meet on Tuesday, February 21 to decide on the budget for next year. If the 2.05pc council tax increase is agreed, it would generate £9m for City Hall.

It would mean the City Hall portion of council tax for a band D property would be £249.01 - an increase of £5 a year.

Council tax bills in Norwich are split between the city council, the county council (which is budgeting for a 4.8pc increase) and the police and crime commissioner (who intends to increase the policing share by just shy of 2pc).

• The cabinet also agreed to pilot a crowdfunding project, with a pot of £50,000 for community groups to bid for.

Groups will be able to upload projects, along with pictures and videos, to a website.

Once a certain amount is raised, the council will assess them and could consider funding from the pot.

The £50,000 will be drawn from money developers have to contribute to communities.

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