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Council tax rise on the cards as authority lays out its plans

PUBLISHED: 09:53 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:34 21 February 2020

North Norfolk District Council's headquarters in Holt Road, Cromer. Picture: Stuart Anderson

North Norfolk District Council's headquarters in Holt Road, Cromer. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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Ratepayers in North Norfolk will soon be paying more council tax.

North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) newly published budget report for 2020/21 calls for a £4.95 rise in its share of the council tax bill, taking it up to £153.72 for a Band D property.

The report said freezing council tax was "not an approach that can be recommended" because of the gradual impact of government funding cuts.

It said that while the rate would be set at full council meeting in February: "It has been assumed that NNDC will increase its precept annually by the maximum amount to partly offset the reduction in grant funding from central government."

The budget will be voted on at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday, February 26 at 6pm.

Councillors will also consider giving themselves a pay rise - from the basic allowance of £5,254 in 2019/2020 to £5,750 in 2020/2021. The 9.4pc rise includes a £180 broadband allowance, and follows a recommendation from the Independent

Remuneration Panel. If voted through, the council leader's allowance is to rise from £15,762 in 2019/2020 to £17,250 for 2020/2021

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Some spending recommendations are also outlined in the budget, including £33,000 for the council's community transport fund, £150,000 to a newly-created environmental reserve and £9,000 to buy beach wheelchairs.

The report said that if the authority failed to increase its council tax year each year for the next three years, it would miss out on an income of more than £800,000 by the 2023/24 financial year.

It outlines the need for the council to take an ever more "business-like approach" to balance the books in light of Brexit and other uncertainty.

The report says investing in property, both directly and through "pooled property funds" was one way to do this.

It said: "The effects that Brexit will have on the budget cannot be underestimated.

"A recession would present further risk, in particular significant areas of income such as lettings income, planning fees and car park income that are linked directly to economic demand."

The council has called for comments on the plans from groups and members of the public, email accountancy@north-norfolk.gov.uk.


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