Norfolk County Council approves 2.99 per cent tax hike
Taxpayers will see their bills rise by at least £30 from April after Norfolk County Council approved budget plans for the year ahead today.
County Hall leaders insisted their proposals were “robust and balanced”, while opposition members claimed they were hoping “for the best” during a marathon five-hour session.
The authority will raise its share of council tax by 2.99 per cent during the 2022-23 financial year.
That will add just over £30 to annual bills for people living in band A properties and around £45 for residents in band D homes.
Leader Andrew Proctor said he did not like increasing tax bills, but insisted the measure was “essential”.
The authority is planning to put an extra £25 million into services, making a total net budget of around £464 million.
The measures will also include a review of how the council functions, in an effort to plug a predicted £60 million gap in its finances by 2024.
The county could have raised its share of council tax by just under four per cent.
But finance portfolio holder, and North Coast councillor, Andrew Jamieson said: “I’m determined to save money by making the council even more efficient and effective.
“We will continue to lobby the Government for our fair share of funding, whether it be in recognising the challenges of being a large, rural, and ageing population, or in funding health and social care.”
Several opposition groups proposed amendments, all of which were voted down.
Labour group deputy leader Emma Corlett said the county, and other councils across the political spectrum had been “ignored” by the Government.
She said the tax rise would take around £13 million from residents and would hit the poorest hardest.
Liberal Democrat Steffan Aquarone said: “This is a close your eyes and hope for the best budget.”
And the Green Party’s Ben Price said more people would miss out on the services they need as a result of the plans.
West Norfolk Council will consider its budget proposals, including a further £4.50 annual council tax increase at band D plus increases to many service charges including car parking, on Wednesday afternoon.
North Norfolk District Council holds its budget meeting on Wednesday evening, while Breckland’s is scheduled for Thursday morning.