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Norfolk County Council rethink call on £52m cuts and savings

Council leaders are coming under renewed pressure to drop proposed cuts which would hit people with disabilities - after the government handed County Hall £9.5m of extra cash.
social care cuts Norfolk

Council leaders are coming under renewed pressure to drop proposed cuts which would hit people with disabilities – after the government handed County Hall £9.5m of extra cash.

Norfolk County Council is this month due to agree its budget, which includes £52m of mooted cuts and savings.

Those proposals include saving £1.2m a year by reducing the minimum income guarantee (MIG), which determines how much disabled people pay for care costs.

However, just days after the proposals were revealed, the government, which gives councils money each year to run services, announced an extra £500m would be shared among councils due to pressures on social care.

County Hall has now been told it will get a further £9.5m, including £8.7m for social care, prompting opposition councillors to call for the Conservative-controlled council to use the surprise boost to abandon the MIG cut plans.

A spokesman for the opposition Liberal Democrat group said: “The Liberal Democrat Group hopes that, with more money available, the Conservative administration will rethink and drop its proposals to reduce the MIG.”

And Labour county councillor Terry Jermy said: “The extra is welcome and, although inadequate, it would be enough to end the threat to cut the incomes of working-age people with learning difficulties.”

Andrew Jamieson, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, who has previously stressed how the authority needs to make recurrent savings, said: “We have just received the final settlement and are taking the time to fully understand the detail before we can comment further.”

He said he should be in a position to update the council’s cross-party scrutiny committee, which will be considering the budget proposals, when it meets on Wednesday.

The council will meet to set its budget later this month, although the MIG proposal has to go out for consultation.

Mr Jamieson previously said, if that proposal were to be abandoned, alternative savings would need to be found.

Other proposals include closing Norfolk’s tips on Wednesdays and introducing a booking system for people wanting to get rid of waste – to save an estimated £400,000 a year.

The budget also includes a 4.99pc increase in the share of council tax which people pay to County Hall.

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