Consultation closed 27 January 2021
Setting next year’s budget – your views
Over the last eleven years we have achieved nearly £40m worth of savings, new income and efficiencies, against a background of ever-increasing government cuts and rising cost of living. This careful planning and innovation has meant so far we have avoided significant cuts to services.
However, Covid-19 has had considerable impact on the city and on the council’s finances. We acted fast to respond to the crisis, taking action to support residents, staff and businesses, but this has meant spending more, which combined with a loss of income from sources such as car parks and commercial rents, has put increased pressure on our finances.
The financial effects of the pandemic, both now and long term, combined with government cuts and uncertainty about future funding requires us to make substantial savings in next year’s budget, set out in the 2021-22 budget report, as well as look at how we can increase our income – how we propose to do this is set out in our budget consultation.
This consultation will run from Monday 21 December until Wednesday 27 January. What you tell us will all be gathered, analysed and included in a report published on our website. Your response will help inform final proposals which will be considered by Council at our budget-setting meeting in February 2021.
Before you complete the consultation you might find it helpful to read:
If you would like this information in another language or format such as large print, CD or Braille please call 0344 980 3333.
Norwich City Council has two main budgets, one which is exclusively to run our council housing services (referred to as the Housing Revenue Account) and is not part of this consultation, and the General Fund.
The General Fund is used to deliver our other (non-housing) services and includes revenue funding – all income and expenditure to be spent on the day to day running of (non-housing) services and capital – the money set aside to acquire, enhance or improve (or invest in) assets.
For example, the money it costs to maintain and clear our parks so they’re not full of litter, 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’re consulting on here.
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, which has brought in just over £25m.
Norwich is an ambitious city. When individuals, communities, businesses and organisations are asked what’s important to them – the answers about the city’s strengths, challenges and aspirations, tend to be consistent.
This has been captured in the Norwich 2040 City Vision – the city’s shared commitment for what it will work collectively to achieve.
The five themes set out in the vision for Norwich are:
Norwich City Council has a key role to play in achieving the city’s vision for the future and, for our part, took the themes set out in the vision, to set our three key corporate priorities:
- great neighbourhoods, housing and environment
- inclusive economy
- people living well.
These priorities guide whatever the council does, the services we prioritise and decisions we make, what we spend money on and how we generate income – our budget-setting. These priorities are how the council makes sure the city of Norwich is great for all.
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, and the current context makes this more challenging than ever.
An important part of this budget-setting process, is hearing from you – whether you agree with the proposed council tax level and what you think about our spending plan for next year.