Cabinet approves draft budget for Southend

Southend Council’s cabinet has approved its draft budget.

The council proposes to raise council tax by 3.99 per cent in order to support the rising cost of adult and children’s social care.

If approved at full council the 2022/23 draft budget will see a council tax rise of 1.99 per cent, with an additional 2 per cent precept for adult social care.

This precept and other council investment, including £380,000 for children’s services, will be used to look after the most vulnerable people in the borough.

Councillors heard £2.5million not spent and able to be rolled over to next year.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday councillors praised the financial management team. Martin Terry, councillor responsible for public protection, said: “We’re seeing a lot of cross fire from others and very negative comments about the way this council is being managed. This budget is set against the background of other authorities who are having to make serious cuts and even declare bankruptcy.

“This council is very, very well managed thanks to the 151 officer. Southend is in a very good position financially in comparison to many other local authorities and indeed residents will see we are still able to invest in people and the town.”

Free parking after 6pm is set to be scrapped on Southend seafront as part of a plan aimed at helping the council to achieve a £140.3 million balanced budget – in the face of looming cuts in Government funding.

The draft budget will now go to scrutiny committees before being debated by full council.

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Mick Ferris

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