Three respond to West Norfolk Council tax consultation

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Only three people responded to a public consultation on council tax relief in West Norfolk, despite 15,000 people receiving support, council leaders have been told.

The report was delivered to a meeting of the borough council’s ruling cabinet on Tuesday, which approved plans to leave the scheme unaltered for the coming financial year.

The programme, which came into force earlier this year, gives eligible residents a maximum 75 per cent discount on their council tax bills. There are also further incentives for people who are in work.

But deputy chief executive David Thomason told the meeting one respondent had called for a return to the old system, with the shortfall being met by cuts in funding to leisure venues like Lynn’s Corn Exchange.

Mr Thomason’s report to the cabinet quoted the respondent saying: “A lot of money is spent on initiatives that appeal to an elite minority or visitors.

“Things may change in 2015 and local people, especially those struggling, may come first”

Another said the current levels of support were still too high, while the third participant called for provisions for the self-employed to be reviewed.

But Alistair Beales, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “There are important protections in place. If you work, you’re better off.”