'Essex must get a fair deal'

ESSEX residents paid an average of £1,000 more to the Treasury in taxes than the Government spent per head of population in the county in the last year, a council leader has claimed.

By Roddy Ashworth

ESSEX residents paid an average of £1,000 more to the Treasury in taxes than the Government spent per head of population in the county in the last year, a council leader has claimed.

And Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex County Council, called on the Government to ensure that financial pressures facing the county are recognised and addressed in its forthcoming spending plans.

His call comes ahead of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), expected to be announced on Tuesday, that will effectively set the budget for public spending including services provided by local government over the next three years.


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Lord Hanningfield said that Essex had specific and unique financial needs that needed to be met.

“In Essex we are seeing a dramatic increase, far greater than the national average, in our elderly population, including those on fixed incomes and in those that need ever greater levels of help,” he said.

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“Services for our vulnerable, both adults and children, are vitally important and cannot be reduced. We are also facing significant costs over waste disposal.

“These pressures are therefore putting an intolerable strain on an already limited budget.

“The Government must recognise the particular pressures that we are facing here in Essex and address them in next week's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

“I am determined that we will get a fair deal for Essex and that residents should not have to see a reduction in the services they receive or an increase in what they pay for them via the council tax.”

A spokesman for HM Treasury said last night: “We are unable to comment on matters relating to the CSR until it is published in the House of Commons on Tuesday.”

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