Starting from today (15 December) we’re inviting feedback on one of the most important annual surveys we do – our budget consultation.
Our 2023-24 survey sets out our plans to make savings and generate income as two of the key ways we can balance our books to pay for the key services our residents rely on us to provide.
The city council currently spends a little over £100m to support the people of Norwich and the wider good of the city.
We know these services, whether they are statutory (the services we must provide such as waste and recycling collections) or discretionary (the ones we can choose to provide such as maintaining the city’s parks and open spaces), are really valued throughout our communities.
Like all local councils across the country, the city council is now under huge financial pressure due to rapidly increasing inflation and dwindling money from central government to help pay for local services. Taking just one example, this includes the support we provide to residents on low incomes who need help with paying their council tax – a vital service we provide through our council tax reduction scheme.
Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: “The scale of our financial challenge is very real. At the start of the next financial year, the impact of inflation alone will have taken a huge toll on our finances.
“In February 2022, our budget gap stood at about £4.3m. Since then, it has increased by a further £2m. This will mean making some really difficult choices on certain services and how we deliver them.
“Despite the budget challenges we are facing, it is equally important to emphasise the significant investment the city council makes, every single day, when it comes to providing important services as well as how we use our wider role as a key influencer to champion the city.
“This is why it’s hugely important that we hear from our residents, businesses and all service users about our budget proposals.”
This year we are asking people what they think about the following key aspects:
- Our proposed council tax increase
- How we plan to bridge our budget gap
- Our plans on providing council tax relief (Council Tax Reduction Scheme)
- The services they most value
- The biggest challenges the city will face in the coming year
- The things that are personally most important to them
Please give us your views on our consultation and engagement website GetTalking.norwich.gov.uk/Budget
The consultation is open for feedback until Friday 20 January 2023.