By Cllr Greg Peck
Last week, Norfolk County Council approved its budget, which is designed to support communities, the economy and the environment.
The £439m net revenue budget, a £102 million boost for roads and infrastructure and a 3.99% council tax rise was agreed at the full council meeting held on Monday 22 February.
Producing a balanced budget in the current difficult circumstances was no easy task, and doing so while protecting vital services, investing to tackle flooding and making as much provision as possible for potential shocks from Covid-19 – all without needing to propose the full 5% council tax increase, which was the government guideline.
However, as we emerge from the pandemic, the cabinet will continue to advocate strongly for Norfolk and press government for our fair share of funding and to bring forward long-needed reforms, particularly in adult social care.
The decisions made on the 22 February will:
- raise general council tax by the government’s guideline figure – 1.99% – and raise the adult social care precept by 2% in 2021/22 and 1% the following year; this would raise the county council’s element of council tax by 3.99%, increasing the share of Band D bills by £56.43 to £1,472.94 for 2021-22;
- invest £45.7m to meet cost and other pressures in services, including £28.2m in adult social care, £7m in children’s services and £10.5m in community and environmental services;
- set aside £18.8m for Covid-19 costs in 2021-22;
- make savings of £41.2m, including a net £20.4m of new proposals;
- invest £102m in the capital programme, taking the total infrastructure programme to £537.7m; new items include £11.5m for supported housing for young adults, £4m for children’s residential homes, and investment in the Long Stratton bypass and new libraries;
- invest £2m in new funding to respond to flooding, including an additional £350,000 in revenue budget provision, £235,000 in highways spending to reduce road flooding risks and £1.5m for the creation of a new flood reserve to fund urgent works, repairs and to enable recommendations from flood investigation reports;
- increase by £4,000 each councillor’s Local Member Fund, taking the total to £10,000 to be made available to local parishes and communities to fund environmental projects;
- provide £3m for improvements to greenways, footpaths and the national and Norfolk Trails network in the county.
The budget papers are available HERE
A recording of the meeting can be viewed HERE
Cllr Greg Peck, Norfolk County Council, Reepham Division
Tel: 07972 230282