Last night, Labour-led Norwich City Council met to set its budget for 2021-22.
Despite severe cuts to the council’s funding from Tory central government (Norwich City Council is one of the worst hit in the country, with its budget having been slashed by 30% since 2010), and the impact of the pandemic, the Labour group were still able to present a balanced budget which avoids cuts to vital frontline services.
This is a budget which maintains important but discretionary plans like the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. Indeed, Norwich City Council is now one of the only councils to offer a 100% reduction to those who need it. This benefits those on low income and groups including care leavers, those fleeing domestic violence and those giving homes to asylum seekers and refugees.
This is also a budget get which includes investment to build homes, improve existing ones, upgrade the city centre, support new skills and jobs, new environmental efficiency measures and more. Read more here: https://www.norwich.gov.uk/…/norwich_city_council…
To present a budget which maintains services and offers investment despite the challenging backdrop is a great achievement, but Labour councillors were clear throughout the meeting how much more the Council could be doing with extra powers and support from the Government.
From removing uncertainties, to policy changes and of course giving councils the proper funding they need: cabinet members and councillors had a number of reasonable and essential asks of the Government. I’ll be supporting them in getting these asks heard in Parliament and in campaigning to make these changes a reality.