ESSEX County Council is set to increase its portion of council tax by nearly five per cent as bosses look to address "significant financial pressures" facing the authority. 

County Hall is looking to raise just over £40million during the 2024/25 tax year by hiking council tax paid by more than 500,000 homes in Essex by 4.99 per cent from April.

In Essex, council tax will increase by £72.36 to £1522.53 for Band D residents, by £67.32 to £1,353.36 for Band C residents, by £56.28 to £1,184.19 for Band B residents and by £48.24 to £1015.02 for Band A residents. 

Any increases set to be made by Colchester Council as well as the police and fire precepts, meanwhile, are not yet known. 

Essex County Council is also hoping to generate £32million by slashing the amount of funding it allocates to certain sectors.

Nearly half of those savings will be accrued by cutting the amount of money given to adult social care, including a programme supporting adults with learning difficulties and autism.

The Conservative administration said it “reluctantly” had to make £32million in cuts, which will also impact adults with disabilities, but that there had been a “spike in the requirements in children’s services”.

Despite the increase, Essex will remain in the bottom third for tax rates for county council authorities and two per cent of the tax increase will be for the adult social care precept.

Out of the additional £40.3million generated, £16million will go into supporting older people and adults.

£10million, meanwhile, will be used also to “partly offset” the rising costs for the transport of children, particularly with special educational needs and disabilities, from home to school.

Gazette: Proposal - Chancellor of Essex Chris Whitbread Proposal - Chancellor of Essex Chris Whitbread (Image: ECC)

Councillor Chris Whitbread, chancellor of Essex, said: “It’s no secret local government is currently facing significant financial pressures and unfortunately Essex is not immune to them.

"We know these challenges are felt by many of our residents too.

“However, I am confident our latest budget proposals reflect the best possible balance of protecting and developing essential services while continuing to focus on priority areas which residents have helped us establish.

"We will also continue work to improve our county’s infrastructure.

"We have a robust plan for the coming year and the years ahead.

Mr Whitbread added this year’s proposed council tax would mean an extra £1.39 a week for a typical Band D property household.

Gazette: Suffering - Essex County Councillor Ivan Henderson said the Essex public were to suffer due to the national government taking and taking away fundingSuffering - Essex County Councillor Ivan Henderson said the Essex public were to suffer due to the national government taking and taking away funding (Image: Submitted)

Labour's Ivan Henderson, Essex County Council councillor for Harwich, said: “This is a Conservative cover-up for the national government.”

“All of these services which are in high demand are suffering and that is down to continual cuts for more than ten years - taking millions away from the council.”

For more information about Essex County Council's proposed plans visit