Norfolk County Council approves cuts as new budget set

Image caption Councillors were met by protesters as they arrived for the budget summit

The transport budget for people using adult social care services in Norfolk is to be cut by £7m as the county council deals with falling income.

The council's government grant will be reduced by £42m in 2015-16 and costs will rise by £27m, the council said.

Councillors agreed a budget of £318m on Monday after a meeting lasting nearly six hours.

The council is run by an alliance of Labour, Lib Dems and UKIP supported by the Greens.

'Tough decisions'

Total cuts amounting to almost £11m will affect community services, arts funding, libraries and road maintenance.

Council leader George Nobbs agreed to set aside £100,000 to delay the cut in transport for people using adult social care services.

Image caption Council leader George Nobbs said he was relieved the budget had been passed

A protest by those affected by the transport cuts met the councillors as they arrived for the budget summit.

A spokesman said some of those hit by the cuts would now be faced with travel costs of up to £7,000 a year.

Council tax is to be frozen for a further year after a proposal by the Greens for a 2% increase was rejected.

Mr Nobbs said: "Gone are the days when the hardest decisions facing councillors was where to allocate additional money.

"Despite losing almost £42m in government grants, and facing escalating costs of £27m, we have protected front-line care services from the worst impact.

"This has been done through a strong record of delivering efficiencies and through taking tough decisions, cutting where we have had no alternative."

Budgets for the current year were cut by £66m in February 2014.

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