Labour has responded to the Conservatives group’s latest threat over the local council’s finances by calling them to task over their large reserves.
On North Norfolk District Council’s website the Conservative Leader of the Council admits that it “prudently maintains a high level of reserves” which total over £13m. Yet the Tories are still proposing to increase those reserves in a budget that includes selling off assets and cuts to services.
The administration has also threatened rises in Council Tax equivalent to 25% to fill the £1.3m deficit if the Tories do not get their way with budget proposals. However, this is just 10% of the overall reserves the administration currently holds.
Labour has called for a proportion of the reserves to be spent to cover the deficit. The rest, it believes, should be invested in the district to bring the additional infrastructure our district desperately needs.
David Spencer, Labour’s spokesperson for North Walsham, responded to the developments by saying:
“Tory district councillors in North Norfolk are up to their old tricks. They are selling off council assets to pay for another council tax freeze. This is dishonest to the people of North Norfolk and short-sighted. Selling off the ‘family silver’ is a one-off fix and the public assets will be lost forever.
At the same time the district council plans to increase its already large reserves, while cutting local services. The council could and should invest in services and facilities that local people want and need.”
He added: “North Norfolk and its residents deserve much better. Affordable homes, jobs, transport, broadband and mobile infrastructure, coastal defences and business development all need investment. Rather than sitting on its growing reserves, the district council should invest in North Norfolk.”