Councillor’s warning over service cuts

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Public expectations of council services will have to change as funding cuts continue to bite, a senior Norfolk county councillor has warned.

The comment was made ahead of a meeting of the authority’s children’s services committee next Wednesday, where it will be asked to examine proposals to cut more than £300,000 from the department’s budget.

Measures being considered include reducing the use of public transport, particularly taxis, during contact visits by looked after children.

The authority is also looking at scrapping the subsidy it pays to schools for them to make their facilities available for community use and ending its contract for tree maintenance on school grounds.

Instead, schools would have to source their own contracts for the work.

Committee chairman James Joyce said the priority had to be to maintain the improvements that had already been made in the department.

But he added: “Government cuts are set to continue for the foreseeable future and, as a consequence, public expectations have to change about what services can and should be provided.”

The council has previously warned it faces a £1.7 million shortfall on top of savings it has already identified.