LEADING figures at Colchester Council have urged the chancellor to allow authorities to generate more cash through things like council tax.

The first budget of the new government will be announced next month.

As part of a national consultation Colchester Council has outlined what it thinks should be included.

The four proposals urge the chancellor to:

• extend and enhance the New Homes Bonus

• ease the council tax referendum limit and allow councils to raise a 3 per cent additional prevention and early intervention precept to help reduce the demand for acute social care and NHS services

• give councils increased revenue-raising powers, including powers to change council tax bandings, fees and charges

• offer more support for local authorities to address domestic violence.

David King, the council's business and resources boss, said: “We welcome this opportunity to influence the government’s spending plans and to argue the case for additional resources, so that we can continue to provide the high-quality services our residents need and deserve.

“We think it only fair and reasonable that fast-growing local authorities, like ours, should benefit from a boost to the value of the New Homes Bonus, if we are to continue to deliver the houses and development the government stipulates and lessen the environmental impacts of that growth.

“We also urge the Chancellor to look again at council tax and not to penalise us for managing our finances prudently.

"Since 2010 we have frozen council tax six times and increased it only four times, but by less than the rate of inflation.

"This has meant forfeiting revenue that could have helped us to deliver much-needed services, compared to those councils that increased their council tax year on year."

Adrian Pritchard, chief executive of the council, added: “Our budget representations are realistic and practicable and, if implemented, would give us and other local authorities a great deal more autonomy and flexibility to determine the way we generate revenue and deliver services following a decade of austerity which has transformed the way we work on behalf of our residents."