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Essex County Council plans average £60 tax increase

Essex County Council is proposing to raise council tax bills by just under 4.5% for the 2022/23 year – meaning the council's share of the tax will increase by £60.21 a year for owners of band D properties.

The council's budget proposals would see the annual bill for a band D property – the middle band – rise from £1,340.91  to £1,401.12. The  4.49% overall increase is made up of a 2.99% council tax increase, including 1% specifically for adult social care, plus a further 1.5% for adult social care that was deferred from last year. In 2022/23 the council says it will spend £284m.

The authority – which claims to have one of the lowest county council rates in the country – says its spending plans for the next four years include £1.3 billion on major infrastructure projects, such as new schools and large road improvements, and £200m on reducing the county's carbon footprint and tackling climate change.

"Libraries will also be at the heart of supporting communities, alongside £10 million in funding for Levelling Up including £500,000 for a new Community Challenge Fund and help for families in managing finances, alongside encouraging businesses to be more family friendly," said a council statement.

The council says that inflation has added £32m to next year’s bill for services, with interest rate rises increasing the cost of borrowing for the council’s capital spending programme.
Demand for council services which protect the most vulnerable – particularly in adult social care – is also said to have risen.

Council leader Kevin Bentley said: “This budget will allow us to commit to Everyone’s Essex, our plan to improve the economy, the environment and life for children and families and promoting health, care and wellbeing for all ages. We are responsible for ensuring that we renew our economy, provide equal opportunities for all and ignite ambition for the people and places we are privileged to represent. This budget is a crucial step on that journey.”

The full list of ECC’s proposed Council Tax precepts (all bands) is:

Council Tax Bands 2021/22 – 2022/23
Band A £893.94  – £934.08
Band B £1,042.93 – £1,089.76
Band C £1,191.92  – £1,245.44
Band D £1,340.91 – £1,401.12
Band E £1,638.89 – £1,712.48
Band F £1,936.87 – £2,023.84
Band G £2,234.85 – £2,335.20
Band H £2,681.82 – £2,802.24

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