HOUSEHOLDS in Tendring will be forced to pay an extra £5 in their council tax bills.

Tendring Council wants residents to pay more as part of their council tax bills for 2021/22 due to continued Government cuts and to help the district recover from the impact of Covid-19.

The council’s portion of the bill – which is in addition to the levies set by Essex County Council and the Essex police and fire commissioner - will increase to £177.64 for an average Band D property.

Council leader Neil Stock said the authority would look not just to pick up projects which had been delayed by Covid-19, but would speed-up their delivery.

He said: “This accelerated approach forms a key part of our Back to Business initiative, as we will be looking to spend as much money as we can locally, so our investment will have the knock-on benefit of putting money directly into the local economy."

Mr Stock said the additional income supports the council in being self-sufficient as the Government continues phasing out grant funding for councils – although there will be a grant of just over £400,000 next year.

Mr Stock added: “We must continue to make up the shortfall introduced by the significant cuts to our funding from government over recent years.

"The £5 increase is only one ingredient to the overall budget and is a compromise we have to make to help deliver on our promise to protect front line services.

“We continue to have one of the lowest levels of council tax in the country and we are effectively building the tax base in very modest increments that will stand us in good stead in future years.”

Labour councillor Ivan Henderson said the Conservative-run council was just an "echo chamber" for the Government and was "hiding the real cost of ten years of austerity".

He said: "The Government has taken millions out of this council's budget and have not put a penny back.

"Tendring has suffered disproportionately - 27 per cent of our children are in low-income families, the highest rate in Essex."

The budget was approved unanimously by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday.