COLCHESTER Council will have to find £1.1million next year to balance its books.

The council will see a 15 per cent cut in the amount of money it gets from central Government from April next year.

Overall, it will see a drop in income from £8.3million to £7million.

The council has also factored in a loss of £300,000 because drivers will begin to use the new park and ride, planned to open at Cuckoo Farm in March, instead of parking in town council-run car parks.

Paul Smith, Colchester Council finance boss, said: “We consider a great many people will look to the park and ride, rather than using our car parks, so it is prudent to factor it in for the whole year.”

He added: “We will have to look at a few things.

“One is doing things more efficiently, second is looking for growth in business rates, which there is, and then thirdly, we would look at cuts or using money for our reserve balances, which are above the prudent level.”

Mr Smith also revealed the council has received a grant offer from central Government to freeze council tax next year, but no figures have been discussed.

It is expected there will be no increase in the £3.4million new homes bonus money the council received this year in the next financial year.