Norfolk County Council budget is backed by just two votes

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Norfolk County Council’s budget for the coming year was approved yesterday by just two votes.

The plans, which are part of wider proposals to cut more than £180 million from services over the next three years, were accepted by 41 votes to 39, with one abstention, following a six-hour meeting in Norwich.

A Green Party amendment to raise council tax by 3.5 per cent was rejected with only four councillors voting in favour.

However, three UKIP amendments to the budget, totalling £500,000, were approved.

They included a plan to spend £250,000 on an emergency coastal defence fund, which will be admistered by a cross-party committee of councillors who represent coastal areas.

A further £127,000 will be allocated to the Carers Agency Partnership, to help provide respite support for carers, with £123,000 being used to reduce cuts to the county’s trading standards body.

During the meeting, Green Party members warned they could not support the budget as it stood, because they were unhappy with plans to cut the money available for personal care budgets by £3 million.

However, two of their members eventually backed the plan after a deal to reduce that cut by £1 million was struck.