Norwich City Council has published its budget plans for the next year, with council tax rises and savings needed.

The council has set out how it is planning to spend taxpayers cash in 2022/23, including £104.7m for city services.

The budget will be discussed by the cabinet next Wednesday ahead of a final sign off later this month.

Here are five things you need to know about the proposed budget...

Your council tax bill will be going up

The share of your council tax which goes to City Hall is set to increase by 1.99pc next year - equivalent to £5.47 extra a year for a Band D property.

However, most Norwich residents are within council tax Bands A and B where the annual increase is lower

A council tax reduction scheme will be retained, providing relief of up to 100pc on tax bills for those on the lowest incomes.

This is only the share relating to Norwich City Council. Other increases are expected in the elements which go to Norfolk police and Norfolk County Council.

The government this week announced a £150 council tax discount for Bands A to D.

Eastern Daily Press: Alan Waters, Norwich City Council leader and Labour city councillor for Crome wardAlan Waters, Norwich City Council leader and Labour city councillor for Crome ward (Image: Jeff Taylor)

The council needs to make some savings

To balance the books, the council needs to save around £3.2m, of which around £1.4m will have to be permanent savings. A further £2.1m will have to be taken from reserves.

A report to City Hall will look at where services can be delivered more efficiently but there may be "a reduction in service capacity in some areas".

The council has blamed the need for savings on a decade of austerity, rising demand for services and the impact of Covid-19. While the council admits this is the first budget in a decade to see a rise in government funding, it said most of this came from short-term grants which do not meet the increased demand.

Council homes are getting millions in investment

The council has pledged investment worth £38.9m next year to upgrade existing properties and build new homes. This forms part of a total investment of £171.6m in council-owned housing over the next five years.

This includes:

  • £18.5m for a range of improvements including 289 new kitchens and 510 new bathrooms

  • £8.7m to improve communal areas

  • 790 new heating systems, five communal boiler upgrades, and 110 solar panel installations

  • £2.1m to improve security for 625 homes by including 99 door entry system upgrades

  • £1.4m towards adapting homes for disabled tenants.

Eastern Daily Press: Labour city councillor Paul Kendrick. Pic: Archant Library.Labour city councillor Paul Kendrick. Pic: Archant Library. (Image: Archant)

Council rents are also set to increase

Rents at both council homes and garages are set to increase.

Council home rents will increase by 4.1pc for 2022/23, resulting in a £3.30 increase for Norwich tenants. The average rent for a tenant will be £83.70 a week.

Garage rents will increase by 3.1pc.

City investment

The council is planning to invest £68.2m in "critical infrastructure" for the city next year. With £217.4m planned over five years.

This will include improvements to urban spaces and investment in city parks, including £12.886m for new homes

Included within next year’s budget is £11.4m for key Town Deal-funded programmes - government cash set aside for economic growth - for public realm improvements, a digital hub to provide start-up and grow-on space for the tech sector, and investment in The Halls - a medieval friary complex available for hire.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich City Council passed a motion pledging support for the transgender and non-binary communityNorwich City Council passed a motion pledging support for the transgender and non-binary community (Image: Newsquest)

What have council chiefs said?

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council said: "We are committed to maintaining our track record of investing in people, helping people financially with their bottom line – championing support for those in need, decent pay for all – proud of our Living Wage status – and helping ensure quality homes and work-spaces are available and accessible."

Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for resources, said: "We know that – alongside investing in the services our residents and businesses need – the council needs to continue to live within its means. That is why next year’s budget includes £3.2m which will be generated through permanent and short-term operational savings and additional income”.