We would like residents views on our budget consultation which includes a proposed increase in council tax and outlines our plans on savings and income generation for the financial year 2021-22.
Protecting Norwich through Covid-19 has meant spending more, while at the same time experiencing a drop in income from usual sources such as parking and commercial rents.
The full impact of Covid-19 on the council’s spending and income is not yet fully known, but at this point, without taking any action, there is an estimated budget shortfall next year of £5.87m.
The council has already identified how to close the gap of almost £4m of the £5.87m through using reserves and one-off savings, but that still leaves a shortfall of £1.94m, which we are proposing will need to be met through permanent income and savings options.
Working closely with partners, the city council has been at the heart of the response to the pandemic, supporting shielding residents, administering grants to businesses, and providing emergency accommodation to rough sleepers. In June, we published our Covid-19 recovery plan setting out how the city and council would emerge from the challenges.
Councillor Paul Kendrick, Norwich City Council cabinet member with responsibility for finance, said: “We are more conscious than ever this year of the impact of any council tax increase on Norwich residents, but it remains an important means of funding and is vital for us to continue to provide essential services.
“Despite the financial challenges, the council isn’t proposing any major service cuts next year. Instead, we’re adapting by generating more income and making savings and efficiencies where appropriate.
“I urge people to give their views on our savings approach and proposed council tax rise through this consultation.”
The consultation will run from Monday 21 December until midnight on Wednesday 27 January, and can be completed online at www.norwich.gov.uk/consultations
Responses will help inform final proposals which will be considered by council at its budget setting meeting in February.