RESIDENTS will be expected to pay more council tax next year as Colchester bounces back from the ravaging effects of Covid.

New plans which will be heard at Colchester Council’s scrutiny panel meeting next Tuesday.

Council leaders remain “optimistic” and have said the town is “not in too bad a position”.

Next Tuesday’s meeting will see proposals put forward about the council’s 2022/23 budget and medium-term financial forecast.

And it has been revealed proposals to increase council tax by £4.95 for residents in Colchester borough will be put forward, following last year’s increase of the same amount.

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Plans for an investment into young people through the creation of a youth zone will also be discarded amid funding issues after the We Are Colchester partnership board dropped £2.1 million funding last year.

It comes after research into building this facility showed it would cost the council £1 million a year, and the authority failed to secure an investor to cover the cost.

Therefore, the council has decided it cannot make the zone a priority as it would need to make £1 million worth of cuts in order to fund it.

A location was also never decided for where it would actually be based.

Colchester Council’s deputy leader, Sue Lissimore, said despite the tough year the town has faced, she remains confident Colchester is bouncing back.

“There have been concerns with finances as, through Covid, the income from council-owned facilities pretty much disappeared,” said Mrs Lissimore.

“We made a loss at our venues, car parks, leisure facilities, and we couldn’t host events at any of our venues.

“That being said, we were actually very lucky in Colchester, the Government supported us very well and the grants matched all we would’ve had.

“Due to this, we’re not in too bad a position.

“I am very optimistic about the town centre, there are far less empty shops than other places and people are still visiting.

“We are hoping to go big leading up to Christmas; there will be lots of car parking offers, events, the traditional turning on of the lights and the return of pantomimes at the Mercury Theatre.”

Recent investment in new ‘parklet’ seating areas in High Street are also part of the council’s ambitions to encourage people to spend time in the town.

And it was announced last week an indoor, secure bike parking area will be built in Portal Place, off Sir Isaac’s Walk to make the town centre more accessible.

Mrs Lissimore added: “There is a lot to be excited about in Colchester.”