The government is set to increase local government spending by 4.6% - one of the larger increases in recent years, in addition to £2.2bn of additional spending. This is on top of the £8bn already given to local councils to deal with the challenges of Covid.
With this in mind, councils must think carefully about council tax increases and balance the demand for services against the difficult financial circumstances in which many taxpayers find themselves during the pandemic. Duncan today thanked the staff and officers of Norfolk County Council and North Norfolk District Council for their hard work and dedication over this last, particularly challenging year.
He also drew attention to the wasteful redundancy and restructuring exercise and abortive costs from cancelled projects, undertaken by North Norfolk District Council during the pandemic, which has so far wasted over half a million pounds of taxpayers' money. Responsible councils build reserves so that they have monies available to deal with unexpected crises - like the Covid-19 pandemic. In seven years, when NNDC was under Conservative control, council tax was increased just once. Since the council fell into Lib Dem control, it has cancelled 'shovel ready' projects at huge cost to the taxpayer, wasted huge sums of money, and appears to have little vision or ambition for the future.