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'Don't you forget about us', Norfolk council leader tells Chancellor

Norfolk County Council's leader has called for short-term support and long-term clarity from the Government as it continues to face the impact of coronavirus.

Andrew Proctor has written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to set out the case for additional investment in both the county and the broader Eastern region as a whole.

The move comes as the authority continues a public consultation on what members of its own Conservative administration describe as a "triple whammy" set of budget proposals.

Andrew Proctor. (34888324)
Andrew Proctor. (34888324)

In a letter released by the county council this week, Mr Proctor said he welcomed the support that had been provided by the Government during the pandemic so far.

But he added: "You know that we need far more certainty for our long-term funding especially for all aspects of adult social care.

"Recognising, but remaining concerned, that longer term solutions to adult social care and children’s social care funding have been delayed, we need additional, one-year support to cope with the spike in demand that followed the initial lockdown phase and which is currently moving through our system.

"I know that Northern colleagues have spoken up for additional resources - but it’s important not to forget the East, which is a net economic contributor and, therefore, making a positive return on your investment."

Mr Proctor said he was keen for the council to work with the Government to accelerate infrastructure projects and broadband improvements, as a means of offering hope to those facing economic hardship as a result of the crisis.

And he called for a commitment to finally address the question of sustainable long-term funding for local government.

He wrote: "We continue to support our vulnerable residents such as adults with disabilities and poor mental health, but our resources are finite without having to raise taxes disproportionately and so that certainty would be appreciated by all councils.

"With the right blend of investment in social care and community support, economic recovery and infrastructure, Norfolk can help you to build back better and ensure there is a positive legacy from this traumatic pandemic."

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