Essex Council leader defends proposed budget: “Building a foundation for the future”

Politics / Mon 13th Feb 2017 at 05:15pm

COUNCILLOR David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council will outline the 2017/18 budget in his speech to Full Council on Tuesday 14 February.

The Leader will highlight how, despite a reduction in government funding, the council will be spending:

£524m on adult social care
£127m on children and families
£668m on education and lifelong learning
£233m on highways, infrastructure and public transport
£92m on health

The speech will set out the ambition to more than double the local economy to £60 billion by 2025. This will be achieved by raising skills and qualifications by investing in schools and further education; improving transport infrastructure to help people travel across the county more easily; supporting local businesses to grow through investment in innovation centres; and investing in new and affordable housing.

The council has also taken the decision to implement the Government’s Social Care Levy, increasing council tax by 3%. This will raise an extra £17m to support vulnerable residents, in recognition that this is the biggest area of pressure for the local authority, with the older population set to grow by 21%.

Cllr Finch will explain that this budget “delivers public services that are not only high quality, but are sustainable well into the future.”

“We will do this by joining up public services so that we are in a position to respond strategically to the challenges we know we will face down the line. We are working with partners to agree a vision for what this County needs to look like, so that in an increasingly competitive world Essex can speak with one voice and punch above its weight where it really matters.”

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