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Council tax rise planned by Essex Fire Authority

PUBLISHED: 17:15 21 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:51 22 January 2016

Seven new fire engines bought by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: David Stubbs

Seven new fire engines bought by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: David Stubbs

Archant

Essex fire brigade is looking to put up its share of council tax by 1.9% next year.

Budget plans set out by Essex Fire Authority include the rise – equivalent to an increase of £1.26 on a Band D home – within them.

It means a Band D property will pay £67.68 a year within its council tax bill to fund Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

The budget papers reveal the brigade is facing a £2.073m reduction in government grant next year.

While it also shows a small reduction in the number of firefighters and associated wages, any decisions which may be made as part of its modernisation programme – which could see up to 234 firefighters axed from the service – are not included in the budget.

A final decision on the project to re-shape the brigade is not due until June.

There are limited spending plans within the draft budget, but a £1m project to upgrade the fleet workshops plus ongoing vehicle replacement costs are included.

Essex Fire Authority will debate and decide on the budget next month.

Essex County Tendring District councils have already revealed plans to raise their share of council tax, while Colchester Borough Council is proposing a freeze.

The policing budget plans are due to be released today.

Suffolk County Council’s element of tax bills this year will see the biggest percentage rise since the notorious 18.5% hike in 2003.

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Sixteen homes are to be bought by Colchester Borough Council at an estimated cost of £2.9million in a bid to tackle homelessness – as council tax in the borough is set to rise.

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an assault in Chelmsford.

Proposals to build a new multi-million pound rail depot at Brantham on the Suffolk/Essex border have been jeopardised because it would force too many trains to use the level crossing at Manningtree station, it has emerged.

Lorry drivers have reported being shot at while driving along an A14 diversion route in east Suffolk.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information nearly three weeks after the attempted rape of a woman in Witham.

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