Norfolk County Council announces service review, but admits there will be more cuts and higher taxes

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Norfolk County Council chiefs have this morning announced plans to review how and where it delivers its services in the future.

The work is set to examine all the authority’s service areas over the next two years in order to meet the target of saving another £125 million from its budgets by 2021.

But residents look set to be hit in the pocket again, as a near five per cent rise in council tax is being proposed for next year.

Council leader Cliff Jordan said: “We were elected on a manifesto to care for the county. That’s what I’m determined to do.

“I believe in making the best use we can of the money we have. We’re going to look at things like having children’s centres and libraries and other services that could fit together well, based in the same buildings.

“That’s better for the public and will save money. But it’s early days and we’re gathering the evidence and talking to people first.

“I think we can save £125m – we’re on track this year and next and our future plans should deliver the rest.”

Budget proposals are due to be presented to council committees over the coming weeks.

They include plans for a 1.9 per cent in general council tax, plus a further three per cent precept for adult social care.

The council says a fundamental review is needed because of the expected phasing out of central government grants in 2020 and the rising cost of delivering services such as adult social care.

More than £330 million has been cut from the authority’s budgets since 2011 and officials say reducing service budgets is no longer sustainable.

It wants to consolidate services in a smaller network of buildings, known as council service points, and help people to get the support they need in their communities.

Officials are also advocating greater use of technology and the development of commercial ventures to boost its coffers.