Council tax bills set to rise by £60 a year

Average council tax bills for Essex County Council are set to increase by £60 a year, the authority has announced.

It means Band D households will see the county council’s share of council tax bills increase from £1,340.91 to £1,401.12 from April 2022.

Other precepting authorities – including individual district councils and the police and fire services – have yet to decide formally what they plan to charge.

The county council, which is set to formalise the increase at a full council meeting next month, says its proposed council tax increase of 4.49 per cent represents an increase below the current inflation rate.

The increase is made up of a 2.99 per cent council tax increase (including one per cent specifically for adult social care), plus a further 1.5 per cent for Adult Social Care that was deferred from last year during the pandemic.

The council says 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.

Even so it plans to spend £284m in 2022/23 on major infrastructure projects, such as new schools and large road improvements.

Demand for council services which protect the most vulnerable has also risen – particularly in adult social care.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, leader of Essex County Council, 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:

  • Band A £934.08
  • Band B £1,089.76
  • Band C £ 1,245.44
  • Band D £1,401.12
  • Band E £1,712.48
  • Band F £2,023.84
  • Band G £2,335.20
  • Band H £2,802.24

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter