How we plan to support those most in need, together with a programme of investment in the city's infrastructure and operational savings, is set out in our draft 2022-23 budget.
The proposals will be considered by the council’s cabinet on 9 February, ahead of final approval at a meeting of all councillors on 22 February.
Setting a balanced budget will continue to be a challenge for the council over the next few years, coming on the back of a decade of austerity, rising demand for services and the impact of Covid 19. Despite these challenges, the council’s budget for 2022/23 sets out how a total of £104.7m will be spent on providing vital public services for the city.
To help the council live within its means, the budget includes proposals for £3.2m of savings and additional income – £1.4m of which are permanent – with a further £2.1m to be taken from council reserves.
Alongside the delivery of day-to-day services, the proposed budget sets out plans for investing £29.3m in critical infrastructure for the city next year, which forms part of a total of £45.8m of capital investment over the next five years.
Included within next year’s budget is £11.4m for key Town Deal-funded programmes such as public realm improvements, a digital hub to provide start-up and grow-on space for the tech sector, and investment in The Halls.
Although it is proposed that council tax increases by 1.99 per cent next year – equivalent to £5.47 a year for a Band D property – the budget also retains the current council tax reduction scheme, which provides relief of up to 100 per cent on tax bills for those on the lowest incomes.
The council continues to prioritise housing in the city, with investment of £38.9m next year to upgrade existing properties and build new homes. This forms part of a total investment of £171.6m in council owned housing over the next five years.
Proposals for investment in existing council homes include:
- £18.5m for a range of improvements including 289 new kitchens and 510 new bathrooms
- £8.7m to improve communal areas
- 790 new heating systems, five communal boiler upgrades, and 110 solar panel installations – all of which will help keep homes warm more efficiently, important at a time where energy prices are dramatically rising, as well as demonstrating our commitment to taking real action to tackle the climate crisis
- £2.1m is also earmarked to improve security for 625 homes by including 99 door entry system upgrades.
Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council said:
“We know that many people – residents and businesses alike – are feeling the effects of ongoing cuts and rising living costs.
We are determined to continue to support those who are hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis, and this is why next year’s budget includes proposals to retain our council tax support scheme which provides relief of up to 100 per cent of council tax bills for those who are struggling.
The council’s proposed budget also includes significant investment next year of £68.2m – and £217.4m over the next five years – in the city’s critical infrastructure such as upgrading existing housing, building new homes, improving our environment and urban spaces, and investment in our parks, which you tell us you value highly.
We are committed to maintaining our track record of investing in people, helping people financially with their bottom line – championing support for those in need, decent pay for all – proud of our Living Wage status – and helping ensure quality homes and work-spaces are available and accessible.
We will continue to work at the forefront of levelling up, which for us must have a focus on fairness, improving, building and investing in facilities and services important to local people.”
Cllr Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for resources, said:
“Despite the ongoing pressure on its budget, the city council continues to invest in vital services and infrastructure for the city and support those most in need.
But we know that – alongside investing in the services our residents and businesses need – the council needs to continue to live within its means. That is why next year’s budget includes £3.2m which will be generated through permanent and short-term operational savings and additional income”.
The papers detailing the budget cabinet will consider can be found on our website and the meeting will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel on Wednesday 9 February from 5:30pm and the final budget will be set before all councillors at its meeting of council on Tuesday 22 February.