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Norfolk County Councillors reject council tax rise motion

15:17 20 October 2014

Dr Wendy Thomson, managing director of Norfolk County Council. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Dr Wendy Thomson, managing director of Norfolk County Council. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Councillors have given their strongest indication yet that they are not prepared to increase council tax in Norfolk after throwing out a suggestion that bills should rise by 1.99pc next year.

Members of Norfolk County Council today rejected a motion by Green party councillors that the local authority should not rule out the possibility of putting up council tax in 2015/16 to help balance the books.

Officials from the county council announced in August that there was a £17.5m funding gap for the next financial year, which has since been reduced to £13m.

Richard Bearman, leader of the Green party group, said he believed that the impact of a rise in council tax was not being spelt out as part of a budget consultation.

“Increasing council tax by 2pc is one option and it could provide £89m more income over the next five years. This may be the least worse option,” he said.

However, the motion was rejected by 50 votes to 24 at a full council meeting.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of the Conservative group, said he would prefer to see council tax lower.

“We have to make more efficiencies, generate income and use assets and there is potentially more we can do before we hit hard working people even more,” he said.

However, George Nobbs, leader of the county council, said it was a “very silly” motion and a tax rise could still be on the table when the budget for 2015/16 is set in February.

“We are not ruling out the possibility of proposing a council tax increase because we are consulting on it,” he said.

Norfolk County Councillors unanimously approved a streamlining of the local authority’s senior management team, which will help save money.

The restructure by new managing director Wendy Thomson will see the number of chief officer posts reduce from ten to five. The new boss warned that the middle management structure at County Hall would also be reviewed following the changes.

Dr Thomson said eight out of ten chief officers were in interim roles and the shake-up would bring “stability” and “clear accountability” to the organisation. A report to councillors said the net reduction in senior management costs since 2010 had been £470,000.

17 comments

  • You will all be pleased to know that the looney left Norwich City Council are carrying out a consultation regarding the annual and obligatory 2% annual council tax increase.

    Report this comment

    john131

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • I am fed up hearing the bleating from local government about not getting enough money. These old style politicians only stick their hands out, rather than start looking at how to do more with less. Tom Fitzpatrick is dead right, start being creative and change the way local government works. Efficiency to some of these people just means sacking people and doing less, and they are letting us all down.

    Report this comment

    Smellthecoffee

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • I fail to see how there is any evidence in motion of a rise in Tax - Norfolk is the worst paid area in the country, has the worst transport links, and the councils use the funds for ridiculous schemes; a good example being the incinerator of which millions of pounds were lost. The services we have in this fine county are far from fine!

    Report this comment

    Courtisans-House

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • @Rabiinowitz. Councillors don't get a pension. Gold plated or otherwise! @Watson - it keeps the vermin down I suppose? Dr Wendy... another expensive purchase by Nobbs!

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • What right do farmers,freemasons and foxhunters have in determining the policies of the city?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • Harry R is right. Council and employees are in denial about the huge amount we have to subsidise their pensions. national figure now runs at £20 billion per annum. If we cut this freebie none of the cuts would have to be made. But guess the councils and employees will continue to face reality

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • Sorry. That last post should have been directed to Cuthbert J Twillie

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • I hope you are joking :-)

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • Under the Freedom of Information act, I want to know from Nobbs or Thomson how much of the various bands of council tax goes towards their pensions ?.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • I don't think NCC Councillors receive pensions. I ask my NCC Councillor what they were entitled to and they directed me to a section on members allowances in the NCC constitution. No pensions there.

    Report this comment

    Matilda

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • Selective reporting. Much a case of moving the chess pieces at senior level. With a new Director job created, paying up to nearly 180k. Once again above Prime Minister wages. Typical Labour - creating over paid public sector positions for their cronies. And amazingly UKIP have nodded this one through. So much for saving money and scaling back the public sector at management level.

    Report this comment

    DT

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • Hope McNeill is the first senior officer to go her duff advice, and vote to select Cory Wheelabeator as preferred bidder, over incinerator has cost us 33millionish.

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Monday, October 20, 2014

  • Happy go lucky Green Party, we pay enough now, if the Green Party want to pay more, then let them who vote for Green Party pay. I certainly won't

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Monday, October 20, 2014

  • Combine the Conservative and UKIP councillor votes and there will be a majority opposing any Council Tax rise.

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Monday, October 20, 2014

  • Norfolk County Councillors reject council tax rise motion. Why? We want to pay more for less.

    Report this comment

    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Monday, October 20, 2014

  • "Very silly" says Mr Nobbs. Is anything not put forward by him ever accepted by Full Council?

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Monday, October 20, 2014

  • Who are these jumped up guardians of the publics money ? we pay more than enough for services rendered with an already high Council Tax Levy !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Monday, October 20, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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