1. ITV Report

Council tax freeze for Essex

Essex County Council offices Photo: Essex County Council

Essex County Council's plans to freeze its share of the council tax for the third successive year have been recommended by the authority’s Cabinet.

The proposals, which will need to be agreed by Full Council next month, would see the Council investing in additional school places, supporting vulnerable people, and helping economic growth across the county while also seeking to make £55 million savings and efficiencies.

The council claims the savings would be made as part of their ongoing plans to radically reshape the way it delivers its services to ensure they are more flexible and better meet the needs of the people using them.

Under the proposals recommended by Cabinet today, the Council would:

  • Invest almost £18 million in providing additional school places across the county
  • Invest around £65 million in maintaining and enhancing the county’s network of over 8,500 miles of roads and footpaths
  • Increase funding for Home to School Transport by £945,000
  • Invest £7.7 million to improve broadband connectivity across the county
  • Set aside £1.5 million to support economic growth, job creation and the promotion of Essex as a place where businesses can grow and flourish
  • Invest £2 million on providing accommodation for vulnerable people;ensure that all library services remain open
  • Work with partners to further develop its Early Years Strategy to maximise the take up of free early years entitlement for three and four year olds and fulfil its new duty of providing free early education for the most disadvantaged two year olds
  • Improving schools so that all are classified as at least good by inspectors