Essex County Council vote to increase council tax

News / Fri 11th Feb 2022 am28 10:19am

HOUSEHOLDS across Essex will be charged around £60 more for council tax from April after county councillors approved a hike yesterday reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The rise means Band D households will see the county council’s share of council tax bills increase from £1,340.91 to £1,401.12 from April 2022.

But Essex County Council was accused of ignoring its own advice from last year when the former leader decided not to increase council tax arguing it would be “too hard on residents”.

At the same full council meeting on February 10 which saw the rise, Essex County Council set out several areas which would receive significant additional investment, including a £1.3billion capital programme across the next four years.

The council is also committing to spending £200million over the next four years to support climate action and net zero ambitions, an additional £10million in skills and economic growth and a further £2million for infrastructure and a new pothole fund

There is a £1.5million fund for the heritage and culture sector, an additional £1million for Levelling Up across Essex, a continuation of the £750,000 localities fund to support district-based Levelling Up priorities and a continuation of the £500,000 investment in the work being done to protect Essex children from being targeted by gangs.

But Councillor Aidan McGurran (Lab, Pitsea) quoted the former leader David Finch who said last year: “It’s not right to hit people with council tax increases when many are facing one of the worst times of hardship because of the pandemic.”

He said with inflation potentially surpassing seven per cent, higher energy prices and NI tax rises, households are set to be about £2,000 a year worse of and called for the council to dip into its reserves – totalling £200 in restructured reserves and £226 in unrestricted reserves.

Councillor McGurran said: “The reality is that as Conservatives you won’t hit people’s pockets unnecessarily in an election year.

“Three and a bit years out you have no problems with it at all.”

Leader of Essex County Council Councillor Kevin Bentley said by cutting the council tax rise this year would lead to financial problems for the future.

He said: “What is a fact is Essex still remains one of the lowest council tax counties in the country. Because of all those years we can be prudent, we only ask for money when we need it.

“It has nothing to do with elections. It has got to do with how the balance of the books are done and the priorities of the time.”

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10 Comments for Essex County Council vote to increase council tax:

Marie Compton
2022-02-11 10:25:58

Even with this rise, thanks to Harlow Council tax cut and the Government measures, Harlow residents will not see an overall increase. Essex CC now need to sort the potholes. It is interesting to note that Essex CC Labour were against the tax rise, yet Harlow Labour wanted to increase tax for Harlow residents. More Labour confusion and muddle.

2022-02-11 10:38:07

They better get the pot holes sorted then! How many times have residents suffered as a result of a Harlow councillor who sat on the county council changing the criteria for the depth of the holes before they are filled! Its a complete disgrace let alone causes health issues and along with damage to the cars! Just wait until it warms up and the dust is spread on cars and homes and in people lungs thats when you will see claims galore being planted on the Highways and councils! Someone before long will sadly lose their life either on a motorbike or in a car then perhaps the councils will put polotics to one side and do whats in need of doing for the residents!

Jake Shepherd
2022-02-11 12:52:17

Not just potholes, there's so many streetlights which require repairs and replacements... All of this (like the potholes) falls under Essex Highways, and by extension Essex County Council. Not good enough! There's a difference between calling for more tax revenue for Harlow Council (where the money is actually invested into much loved Harlow services) and a tax increase to a County Council who treat us like the elbow of Essex!

2022-02-11 14:11:35

I look forward to this extra money going to repairing the many potholes in Harlow, and in the other parts of Essex where the state of the roads are equally shocking. Surely if we are paying more, we expect a better service, don’t we?? Or will Essex still be known as “County of the Potholes”??

Shocked Resident
2022-02-11 14:31:13

£50 million a year towards climate action?!! On what?

2022-02-11 14:54:10

Jake Shepherd, Labour investing into our much loved services. It was under Labour that the Playhouse closed. More like increase taxes to recuperate all the £ millions the former Labour council wasted on consultants for failed projects like Lister house and the monorail as well as buying houses on the market for 4x the build cost. Your arguments are about as convincing as your infantile petition to abolish the successful Burnt Mill Army Cadets programme.

Michael Hardware
2022-02-11 19:21:14

Jake, Labour did not invest the extra money that took from Harlow residents in much-loved services, they stuck it in reserves. Fat lot of use that was. We are going to give it back to the residents.

2022-02-11 20:29:58

Don't forget ECC has to pay for the bosses private health insurance and the thousands of heavily subsidised car that are enjoyed by staff which runs into millions of pounds every year. And the case of the £100k a year manager who's £8000 moving expenses were paid by ECC for him to take up a job in Chelmsford only for him to leave soon after. Needless to say the money was not paid back.

2022-02-11 21:40:59

What an absolute disgrace, ECC clearly don't use the money they con out of us now for upkeep of Harlow. Seriously what the hell are we paying for, people in Essex need to act as one and stop these crooks from taking more money off us, WE HAVEN'T BLOODY GOT IT

Peter Scally
2022-02-11 22:24:37

Harlow residents have complained for two decades regarding potholes and ECC are not supportive. Yet in 2008 they boasted that successful trials in Harlow would "lead to long term cost savings of tens of thousands of pounds". [Quoted from Harlow Herald 4/12/2008] I do not support or belong to any one political party, but am far from impressed with ECC (senior staff/Councillors) for a number of reasons apart from potholes. Additionally, 35/40 staff have salaries above £100,000 p.a. Not exactly value for money!

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