All of Norfolk's tips could be shut on Wednesdays and people made to book slots to get rid of waste, as County Hall revealed £50m of cuts and savings.

Disabled people could also have to pay more for their care after Norfolk County Council revived a controversial proposal that previously landed the authority in the High Court.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Recycling centres could be shut on WednesdaysRecycling centres could be shut on Wednesdays (Image: Archant © 2012)

Council leaders wrestling to plug a growing funding gap, also intend to hike council tax bills by 4.99pc - the maximum amount permitted without having to hold a referendum.

That would add just over £80 to the annual amount a Band D householder pays County Hall, up from £1,592.64 to £1,672.11 - generating £24.9m for the authority.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Council tax bills are set to go upCouncil tax bills are set to go up (Image: Archant)

The Conservative-controlled council confirmed on Friday the cuts and savings it needs to make next year have increased from £46.2m to £52.2m.

It comes after the money the government gave the authority to run services was £4m less than expected, amid extra pressure on adult social care and children's services.

The council had already identified £26m of savings, but has now revealed more proposals, including:

Watton & Swaffham Times: People could have to book slots to dispose of waste at Norfolk's tipsPeople could have to book slots to dispose of waste at Norfolk's tips (Image: Archant)


Some of those proposals need to go out for consultation. And, with the council due to set its budget for 2024/25 next month, final decisions will need to be made on those proposals after the budget has been agreed.

The Tory administration is also proposing to take millions out of reserves to head off further cuts.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquartersNorfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters (Image: Mike Page)

That would mean, over the next five years almost 40pc of its reserves would be taken out, reducing the money in County Hall's coffers from £175.2m to £110.9m.

The council says £12.1m savings will be found by transforming the way the authority delivers services, which is likely to see jobs lost.

Some councils have recently issued section 114 notices, meaning they are effectively bankrupt, because they do not have the income to pay for projected spend.

Andrew Jamieson, the council's deputy leader said the authority was "nowhere near" that situation yet and the authority was proposing a £527.7m balanced budget.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Andrew Jamieson, deputy leader of Norfolk County CouncilAndrew Jamieson, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk County Council)

But he warned: "I cannot shy away from the fact that the council faces an extremely challenging financial outlook and this year’s budget includes a number of difficult decisions which we do not take lightly.

"The simple reality is that, in common with almost all other upper tier authorities, we face very significant financial pressures arising from rising costs driven by inflation, growth in demand and the National Living Wage."

The council has previously highlighted pressures on its budgets for adult social care and children's services, including increased costs relating to children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The revival of a potential change to the minimum income guarantee used when calculating care costs for disabled people was slammed.

In 2019, the council agreed a change, only for it to prompt a High Court challenge, after which the changes were quashed when a judge ruled it was discriminatory.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Brian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County CouncilBrian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County Council (Image: Liberal Democrats)

Brian Watkins, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group, said: "I am very uneasy at the possibility of most vulnerable people in society being hit in this way and I'm surprised they have revived that."

Watton & Swaffham Times: Labour group leader Steve MorphewLabour group leader Steve Morphew (Image: Denise Bradley)

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at County Hall, said: "We can't keep on punishing those who need crucial services and are expected to absorb the consequences, or let the egos of the few decision makers at County Hall drown out the priorities of residents whose lives are affected."

Watton & Swaffham Times: Ben Price, leader of the Green group at Norfolk County CouncilBen Price, leader of the Green group at Norfolk County Council (Image: Norwich Greens)

Green group leader Ben Price, said: "It is a sign of how deep the crisis facing the county council is that they are having to use up nearly half of their reserves just to keep adult and children's social services running.

"At the same time, the ruling Conservatives are overseeing yet more cuts that will make it harder for people to get support for disabled children or for elderly relatives, or to get potholes repaired."