ESSEX County Council has voted to freeze its council tax precept for the third year in a row.

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Members of Essex County Council voted overwhelmingly to freeze its share of council tax as part of a package of budget and capital expenditure measures announced at a full council meeting at County Hall in Chelmsford.

Other measures unveiled by the Conservative-dominated council include proposed spending of £180million on the county’s roads and footpaths over the next four years and £7.7million plans to improve broadband capacity in Essex. Additional highlights include proposals to set up a Local Authority Mortgage Scheme to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder and £2million set aside to support economic growth in the county.

But opposition councillors criticised the budget for not doing enough to help young people and jobseekers and voiced concerns that with no rise in council tax there will not be enough money to “fund vital services”.

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