LEADING Colchester councillors have labelled local government boss Eric Pickles “the worst Secretary of State ever”.

A debate on a £1.3million cut to Colchester Council’s government grant for 2014/15 led to the angry comments.

Local authorities across the country are funded primarily by the Department for Communities and Local Government, led by Conservative MP Mr Pickles.

In next year’s budget, Colchester Council is set to raise charges and cut services in order to balance its books because of the £1.3million funding cut.

But Tim Young, councillor responsible for community safety and Labour group leader, warned under Mr Pickles, worse is to come.

He said: “In 2015/16, it will be even worse and we are going to struggle to provide the services our residents, the people of Colchester, deserve.

“Eric Pickles seems to be the worst Secretary of State for Local Government ever.

“His decision means next year we have got some even tougher decisions to make.”

Martin Hunt, deputy leader of Colchester Council, also said: “Eric Pickles must not really like local government.”

He added Mr Pickles wants local authorities to morph into “commissioning authorities” instead of providing services.