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My Norwich

Council tax and our budget – your views matter!

Published on Monday, 13th December 2021

What do you think of a proposed increase in council tax and our approach to balancing our budget? Views of residents and businesses are being sought as the consultation for the 2022-23 budget launches.

Norwich, including the city council and a range of partners, has responded impressively to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not just in making sure city businesses and some of the most vulnerable in our communities have been supported, but at the same time delivering against ambitious priorities set out in the city’s shared vision and Covid recovery plans.
 
This has included issuing payments of more than £73m in business grants since November 2020, and the opening of a new state-of-the-art Digi-Tech Factory – an investment in the development of skills in the technology sectors, vital to the city’s education and economic growth. Great strides have also been made in the work to tackle the climate emergency by establishing the independent Norwich Climate Commission and making fresh and even more ambitious targets to get the city to zero emissions
 
Yet, the city council’s financial modelling shows a need to make savings of £6.5m in 2022-23 and £10.6m over the next four years; and this is after eleven years of austerity and already having delivered around £42m of additional income or savings over that period.

The consultation for our 2022-23 budget launches today (Monday 13 December) and we're asking for views on the following:

  • A council tax rise up to the maximum allowable, which is currently 1.99 per cent – equivalent to 11p a week for properties in Band D (although for the majority of Norwich residents it’ll be lower as most homes are in band A or B).
  • An approach to setting a balanced budget based on these themes:
    • driving value from our assets – reviewing the letting and sales opportunities for buildings and spaces we own
    • driving value from our contracts – reviewing our contracts so we’re negotiating better terms, where possible or delivering services directly rather than through contractors
    • inward investment and growth – exploring development opportunities which could eventually provide additional income
    • transforming services – reviewing the way we deliver services and working practices
    • commercialisation, including fees and charges – increasing the amounts we charge for some of our services
    • stopping things – consulting people on the potential to reduce or stop services.
  • Using reservesusing some of the money we have put aside to give more time to develop and implement proposals.

The work to develop a full range of options on how we’ll deliver against the themes set out above is already underway. Initially, people will be asked to share their views on our approach – the overarching principles for how we intend to steer our finances and balance our budget both for 2022/23 and over the next few years too.

Where the detail for taking projects forward have been worked up and indicate impact on service users, further consultation will take place.

Councillor Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for corporate resources said:

“Why get involved in our budget consultation? Council business, particularly its finances, can seem a dry subject. Fundamentally, though, our budget-setting is all about making sure we have enough money to deliver the services the people and businesses of Norwich need, want and deserve.

We believe that a small rise in council tax – not an easy ask, we know – and reviewing and updating what we do and how we do it, is an important part in making sure we keep meeting local need. And an essential part in helping us make decisions about the services we provide is hearing from you.

Please tell us what you think.” 

Budget next steps

  • Cabinet met on Wednesday 8 December to discuss the financial approach the council is proposing to take. The full agenda and reports for this meeting can be found on our website. The meeting was livestreamed and a recording is available on our YouTube channel
  • The public consultation on Norwich City Council’s budget for 2022-23 will run from Monday 13 December 2021 until Wednesday 19 January 2022 and will be available on the council’s website:
    www.norwich.gov.uk/Budget2022
  • The provisional local government settlement (where we hear how much the funding local government will receive from central government) will be announced around the middle of December 2021.
  • The results of the public consultation will be collated, analysed and inform the final proposals to be considered by full council – which is the meeting of all 39 elected councillors – on Tuesday 22 February 2022.
  • Further consultation will be carried out when projects have been developed.

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