Norfolk: £189m Cuts To Council Services
19 September 2013, 06:34
Norfolk County Council's told Heart they need to find another £189 million in savings and that could mean 700 job losses.
The council's blaming the funding gap on a big cut in government subsidy and on an increase in demands on its services.
On the list of things that could be cut are:
- Social care for vulnerable adults.
- School crossings.
- Road maintenance.
- Rural bus subsidies.
- Mobile libraries and library staff.
- School music and healthy living projects.
- Childcare services.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, there are no proposals to close fire stations, libraries or recycling centres and no reductions in winter gritting routes. Recently announced investments to recruit more staff in child protection and strengthen the strategy to support school improvement are unaffected by these proposals.
George Nobbs, Leader of the Council, said: “This is a massive challenge and not something which is of anyone in Norfolk’s making. We’ve been very tough in driving down our own costs, but I won’t hide the truth - some painful cuts in services are unavoidable.
“Nobody comes into public life wishing to cut services, but having found savings of £140 million in recent years, there are no easy choices left to make.
"At the outset of this exercise, we recognised it would not be practical to try and address this massive funding gap by raising council tax. The Cabinet decided from day one to freeze the county council's share of the council tax for 2014-15 and for the following two years.
“I’d ask people to look at the proposals and let us know what they think. If they have ideas of their own, and alternatives they would like us to explore, then we promise to listen carefully to what they have to say.”