West Norfolk councillor demands government help for ‘retirement’ county

Alexandra Kemp

Alexandra Kemp

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A West Norfolk councillor has called for greater government support to meet the costs of providing care for the county’s elderly population.

Norfolk County Council is due to set its budget for the forthcoming financial year on Monday, including plans for a near five per cent rise in council tax.

But, although most of that would go towards adult social care if implemented, critics say even greater funding is needed.

And Clenchwarton and Lynn South representative Alexandra Kemp has written to the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, to demand extra support.

She said: “As Norfolk has the fastest ageing population, and new homes in Norfolk are a magnet for people retiring here from other counties, who will eventually need social care provided by us, surely Norfolk should have the first call on more government help for social care.

“I would suggest that Government recognises the reality that Norfolk is a gigantic retirement home providing a valuable service to the rest of the country.

“On that basis, we deserve more funding.”

Miss Kemp also raised concerns about proposed cuts in housing support, which she said would “drive a coach and horses” through efforts to prevent people falling into crisis.

She warned: “More people will end up in hospital or living in the road if we are forced to make these cuts, because we have come to the end of the road for efficiency cuts.”

The intervention follows the row over Surrey County Council’s decision to drop plans for a referendumon its proposal to raise council tax by 15 per cent.

The government has denied claims it did a special deal with the council to avoid a referendum, despite the leaking of text messages from the authority’s leader.