Norwich City Council’s budget 2022-23
Timetable for this year’s budget:
- Public consultation: Monday 13 December 2021 – Wednesday 19 January 2022.
- Draft budget to cabinet: Wednesday 9 February 2022
- Final budget ratified by council (committee of all 39 councillors): Tuesday 22 February 2022
- Start date: The budget for 2022-23 runs from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2023.
Our budget for 2022-23 was approved by council on Tuesday 22 February.
You can find the detail of the budget by viewing the report which went to council.
A summary can be found in the news section of our website.
Setting our budget
An important part of the budget-setting process is hearing from local residents and businesses and a consultation is carried out each year to inform the proposals set before councillors and a final budget agreed.
Making sure there’s enough money to do all we want to, to deliver the services people want and need is never an easy task. However, the current context make this more challenging than ever. Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on everyone, and particularly those already experiencing deprivation. We also acknowledge that we’re living at a time of a climate emergency, which must be acted on.
Overall financial picture
There are three main sources councils get funding from to run services:
- central government grants – and some of the details are announced in the autumn by the chancellor in their budget and Spending Review
- business rates
- council tax.
We also generate income to reinvest through our fees and charges (for example: car parking charges, leisure centre revenue and planning fees) and our commercial investments (such as leasing or selling properties we own).
Following more than a decade of austerity, indications that local government would not receive any growth in funding from central government and that spending pressures in the sector would have to be funded from above-inflation increases in council tax, meant that expectations from the Spending Review announcement were low.
The Budget and Spending Review announcement in October 2021 showed that the balance has shifted towards additional grant funding from central to local government and, while government is assuming councils will make increases in council tax, that this will not be at levels above inflation.
The council’s intention is to protect all services currently provided for as long as possible, while meeting the statutory need to set a balanced budget each year, maintaining financial stability over the medium-term, and managing significant financial risks.
However, difficult decisions remain, and it is inevitable that this council will need to review the nature and level of the services provided over the medium-term.
Norwich City Council is a district council, so there are some services we deliver to city residents and set the budget for, for example:
- housing services
- waste and recycling collections
- street cleaning
- car parking
- parks and open spaces
- culture, tourism and leisure services including events
- electoral registration
- housing and council tax benefits
- local planning services
- public protection services including licensing and environmental health
Other services are delivered by Norfolk County Council and these include:
- adult and social care
- children’s services
- highways and roads
- libraries, museums and galleries
- public health.
What we mean by our budget
Norwich City Council has a main fund – The General Fund – to run its services. Part of this is exclusively used to run our council housing services – this is known as the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and is not part of the 2022-23 consultation. We will be consulting separately with our tenants on the HRA including the need for increases in rent or service charge levels.
The General Fund can be further broken down into two main parts:
- revenue funding – all income and expenditure to be spent on the day to day running of services
- capital – the money set aside to acquire, enhance or improve (or invest in) assets (the things, buildings and places we own).
For example, the money it costs to maintain and clear our parks so they’re not full of litter, ensure that the grass is cut and equipment is in good working order is revenue spending. If we’re installing a new piece of play equipment, that is considered capital spending – both are part of the General Fund and what we will be consulting on in our 2022-23 budget consultation in December.
It’s important to also say that it’s not just these funding pots the city relies on to bring about new projects and investment. The council works with a range of partners to attract and win additional funding to spend on projects and improvements in Norwich to help the city achieve its bold ambitions. This includes programmes like the Towns Deal fund.