2022/23 Budget approved at Full Council
Date published: 23rd February 2022
North Norfolk District Council’s 2022-23 budget was approved by councillors at last night’s Full Council meeting.
Proposing the budget, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Assets Cllr Eric Seward said it was a balanced budget which demonstrated NNDC was continuing to robustly invest in services while charging one of the lowest Council Tax rates of district councils in England.
To maintain its commitment to delivering first-class amenities and services to support the North Norfolk community, the Council will continue to explore and develop its income streams to help counter rising inflation and fuel costs which impact the Council’s budgeting plans.
Cllr Seward outlined some of the key services to be delivered by the Council in 2022-23, including:
- New public toilets opening in Fakenham and Wells to be followed by new and refurbished toilets in North Walsham and Sheringham (The Lees)
- An expected start in the Autumn of Phase 2 of the Cromer Coastal Management scheme (a £3.9 million project that with the completed phase 1 project will help safeguard 758 residential properties from coastal erosion) and the Mundesley Coastal Management Scheme (a £2.9 million project that will help safeguard 510 residential properties from coastal erosion). Defra and local town and parish councils are also financially contributing to these schemes
- Further investment into Cromer Pier to improve facilities at the Pavilion Theatre
- Continued investment in building up the Council’s stock of temporary housing to provide quality homes to households in crisis. By the end of March, the Council will have 16 temporary housing units (most already in use) with two further housing units to be purchased in the coming financial year
- A major building programme under the Heritage Action Zone Project, also supported by Norfolk County Council and North Walsham Town Council, to improve the town centre of North Walsham. It has been extended to include a new much-needed bus interchange on part of the Council’s New Road car park
- The installation of LED lighting at the Council’s Cromer office to reduce energy consumption and electricity costs.
- Contributing £900k to infrastructure works for the Fakenham Urban Extension which in return attracts a higher rate of affordable housing in the related housing development.
After freezing Council Tax payments last year, a modest rise in the charges levied by NNDC was approved as part of the 2022-23 budget. This equates, for example, to an annual rise of £4.95 to the sum charged by the District Council for Band D rated domestic properties to £158.67.
Cllr Seward also pointed out the majority of the money raised by charges to residents and businesses goes to Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Police, with NNDC collecting only around 8-9p from every pound paid.
Reflecting on the budget, Cllr Seward commented:
“The current financial year has seen the opening of the new Reef swimming pool and leisure centre in Sheringham which at a cost of over £12million is one of the largest capital projects ever undertaken by the District Council and will be used by North Norfolk residents and visitors to help them stay healthy and active for many years to come.
“As a key part of the Council’s green agenda, we continue to plant more trees (now over 50,000) and have been a major contributor to North Norfolk having more public electric vehicle charging points (69) than any other District Council area in Norfolk.
“We are also making long overdue improvements to our chalets in Cromer and Sheringham and completed in 2021 a £4million investment programme in new household waste collection vehicles. All this and more is being done without the Council having to rely on long-term borrowing to fund these programmes.
“I am pleased to say that again in 2022-23 the Council has a balanced budget which not only maintains the services that North Norfolk District Council already provides but also allows for growth in some of our key public services.
“To be able to say there are no cuts to services in North Norfolk places this Council in a different position to many councils in England who due to financial pressures face a further round of reducing the services they provide. It reflects the fact that the Council has strong finances which are robustly managed.
“This is a budget about investing in public and community services and investing in our staff to bring this about. It is about striving to run our services efficiently and providing value for money for our Council Tax payers.”