Date published: 7th February 2017
At a Cabinet Meeting held at the Council’s Holt Road Offices in Cromer yesterday (Monday February 6, 2017) Cabinet Members recommended to Full Council to accept the 2017/18 Budget recommendations. The final decision will be taken at the Full Council meeting on February 22.
Under the recommendations to Full Council, the Council would not seek any increase in its council tax annual charge of £138.87 for a Band D property, set in 2010/11.
Leader of North Norfolk District Council Cllr Tom FitzPatrick said: “We are incredibly pleased to be able to recommend to Full Council a budget that freezes council tax for the seventh year in a row. We continue to provide excellent services for our residents and visitors to this wonderful area. This is testament to the constant hard work done to ensure we are innovative, efficient and effective, working for the benefit of everyone across the whole of our district.”
Cabinet also accepted recommendations to begin work to investigate ways to increase income from Council assets. Initial ideas for the increased commercialisation of the Council’s assets have been laid out in the Strategic Property Development Partner report.
This proposal is not an agreement to sell off Council assets; it is a way to look at how existing assets could earn greater revenue in the future. Following the phasing out of the rate support grant (the grant from central government to support NNDC’s delivery of local services), the Council is looking at ways to balance future budgets without an increase in council tax or a reduction in services.
Cllr Judy Oliver Cabinet Member for Corporate Assets and Commercialisation said: “These are very challenging times for local authorities, even one as well-run and financially sound as North Norfolk District Council and we are determined to maintain our excellent levels of service in the future and we want to achieve that, if possible, without increasing council tax.
“We are therefore looking instead at increasing our income through a considered commercialisation policy that looks at how we can use our assets more effectively. The decision by Cabinet is not about selling assets owned by the Council - it is about taking our responsibility to our communities and dedication to excellent service provision seriously by commissioning detailed plans on how we might best earn more income from our assets.
“We hope that residents will engage with us and give their comments and views as we move forward.”
The report looks at four potential projects that could increase earnings from assets for the Council. The sites being considered are:
Grove Lane, Holt: A former North Norfolk District Council depot facility for potential new homes (subject to planning permission).
Highfield Road Car Park in Fakenham: potential new homes for the over-55s (subject to planning permission); the report advises this should site would be best redeveloped by a specialist housing provider, therefore the sale of the site is being explored, with any capital generated used to support NNDC’s corporate objectives.
Beach Road, Wells-next-the-Sea: potential commercial development of toilet site (subject to planning permission) to include retail, restaurant and holiday apartment use.
Cadogan Road, Cromer: car and coach park with potential to accommodate development by a national hotel chain (subject to planning permission); the report advises this site would be best redeveloped directly by a hotel chain as a freehold site, therefore the sale of the site is being explored, with any capital generated used to support NNDC’s corporate objectives.
The budget and Strategic Property Development Partner reports can be found as part of the Cabinet Meeting agenda, beginning pages 31 and 125 respectively.
Key NNDC budget facts:
- Funding from Government is reducing by 38% compared to 2015/16
- New Homes Bonus has reduced by £500,000
- The Council received £2.4 million pounds of Revenue Support Grant in 2015/16 this will reduce to zero by 2020/21
- The Council needs to identify savings of £1 million by 2019/20
- NNDC provides £2 million pounds of discretionary services – foreshore, parks, open spaces and woodlands, leisure services, public conveniences
Under the budget process the Council will further consider its budget proposals at the following meetings and the public are invited to attend and have their say.
- 15 February 2017 – Overview and Scrutiny Committee
- 22 February 2017 – Full Council
Last updated: 11th October 2017