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Council’s budget asks the public to pay for Conservatives failures

February 20, 2020 4:00 PM

Norfolk County Council will this year be putting up Council Tax by 3.99%: the maximum it is allowed to without triggering a referendum. That is now 17.7% that the Conservatives have increased Council Tax since they took over running Norfolk County Council. For a Band D property that is an extra £178.57 a year in Council Tax in just 4 years. Residents are paying more but getting far less in services.

What Norfolk Conservatives don't tell you is that they have also failed to meet their own savings targets. Their "transformation changes" have not led to the savings they were expecting, and that has left a large hole in the council's finances.

The Conservatives choose to pass on those financial failures to the disabled and those most in need of society's support. Savage cuts to the amount of income that disabled people receive to help them and in many cases their children live will result in families being pushed into poverty, reduce their opportunities to contribute to society and shorten their live expectancy. And pass on long term financial costs to the NHS and local authorities.

The Liberal Democrat Group wanted to reverse the worst of those cuts because those who are most in need of support should be at the top of our list of priorities.

We know that every £1 we spend helping people to lead independent, fulfilling lives can save up to £14 for the public purse down the road.

But we also want to invest in road maintenance and improving road safety including on the NDR because we know how important safe roads are to the people we represent.

The Liberal Democrat group would have liked to have gone further, much further. We are little more than a year from the next set of elections for the County Council and if you want things to change the only way you can achieve that is to change the people in charge.

Ed Maxfield

Councillor Ed Maxfield