Members of Tendring Council agreed to new budget proposals ahead of the new financial year. 

At a full council meeting on February 13, the council approved the proposals for 2024/25, including a rise in the district’s council tax charge. 

The share of the council tax bill from April onwards will rise by 2.99 per cent, which means an additional £5.62 for a band D home, or a total of £193.73. 

Mark Stephenson, council leader, said the reduced deficit in the budget bought the council time. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

He said: “While we are in a good financial position, especially compared to many other councils, we still face a number of cost pressures largely outside of our control – in particular inflation and long-term reduced government funding. 

“We can meet next year’s budget deficit thanks to money prudently put aside in reserves as part of our long-term financial planning – but the deficit will continue to grow as the reserves dwindle, so this is not sustainable in the long-term, and we cannot hope for a windfall such as we have had this year, every year.  

“This backdrop is why this is not a budget promising big shiny projects which could effectively bankrupt us in years ahead, but is a cautious budget. 

“It does mean we can take our time to make carefully considered decisions about how to best to spend our budgets in future years, possibly investing to save, and not be forced into quick, knee-jerk reactions as some other councils are having to make. 

“As part of Our Vision for financial sustainability and openness, we will take these decisions transparently and in the best interests of our council taxpayers. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Councillor and council leader Mark StephensonCouncillor and council leader Mark Stephenson

“We are also fortunate to have received more than £60million from the government for some specific projects, which we are able to take forward as they do not sit in our base budget.” 

The authority said it will not be able to rely on these budgeting measures in the future and tough decisions would still be required in future years. 

According to the report, Tendring Council needs to save £3 million over the next three years to address the forecast deficit.