Essex County Council facing £27m cut in government funding

Council Tax could go up next year with Essex County Council conceding that it will need to make “tough and unpopular decisions” in the face of more savage government cuts.

The council announced that it will receive £27 million less in government funding from next April than it did last year.

Essex – already needing to make at least £235m savings to balance its books – says it is “still analysing the full impact” of the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement out of Whitehall, although initial assessments indicate that it will receive a seven per cent cut in funding.

Council leader, Cllr David Finch, said: “We are still fully analysing the facts and figures of this complex announcement but we are facing on-going and increasing cuts in our funding from government.

“We have already started to take action to address this situation through our continuing ambitious redesign of the way we provide our services.

“The stark reality is that if we want better schools, more investment in our roads and the provision of better care for our older people and vulnerable people, we need to find different ways of doing things and look at if we can find more money to make up the overall shortfall.

“Achieving this massive task will mean having to make tough and often unpopular decisions.”

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He added: “Excluding schools, Council Tax makes up over half of our net budget. For the past three years we have been able to freeze the burden we place on our hard working families but we will need to look closely if this is sustainable. We will be outlining our budget proposals to Cabinet next month.”