Essex residents invited to share views on County Council spending priorities

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 October 2020

Councillor David Finch. Photo: Essex County Council.

Councillor David Finch. Photo: Essex County Council.

Essex County Council

Essex residents are invited to share their views on what Essex County Council should be spending taxpayers’ money on.

Residents’ worries and priorities will inform ECC’s plans for the next year and a half, its 2021-2022 budget, and long-term strategies.

The consultation launched on Tuesday, September 29, is divided in two parts.

The first one focuses on priorities for Covid-19 recovery across Essex, and the challenges faced by the county.

Part two is about the financial pressures which the county council says it is facing - and how resources should be allocated to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and sustain public services.

It is anticipated that ECC will spend more than £2billion on essential services next year.

Councillor David Finch, leader of ECC, said: “I am proud to say that ECC has a strong track record of financial management, with over £370million saved over the past five years. However, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic this year have truly reinforced that we must never be complacent and that it is vital to continue to carefully manage our resources now and in the longer-term.

“We are facing some big decisions over the coming months, with additional costs of over £90million expected this year alone due to the pandemic. As we plan for next year and beyond, we can expect further pressures from Covid-19 itself, the longer-term impacts of lockdown and school closures.”

Some of the additional costs are funded by the UK Government, but Cllr Finch said that some of the pandemic’s effects are yet to come.

He said: “We know that lots of residents have and are still facing challenges they could never have planned for because of the pandemic and some of the impacts are still yet to be felt in full.

“This is why it is so important that we hear from you, the people of Essex, to understand exactly how the crisis has changed your priorities – for yourself, your family and your community – so that we can ensure we are responding in the most appropriate way.”

The consultation will remain open until Friday, November 6, and can be accessed at https://consultations.essex.gov.uk/rci/budget-consultation-2021-22


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