TENDRING Council’s leader has praised the organisation as the “best functioning local authority in Essex” during an annual speech.

Neil Stock outlined some of the great work achieved by Tendring Council over the past year and a half to the full council on Tuesday night.

Mr Stock highlighted the council’s Covid-19 response, including setting up two hubs to co-ordinate volunteer support and deliver food parcels to some of the most vulnerable residents in the district.

“Covid has been a massive challenge for the council and I think that we would all agree, the council has done a magnificent job in stepping up and leading,” he added.

Community leadership was celebrated as a key way in which the authority leads the way “with innovative and a ‘can-do’ approach.

Combined with support from the people of Tendring itself, Cllr Stock described this as forming “a very small part of the wealth of fantastic local effort displayed across Tendring where the Great British spirit of resilience, determination and good neighbourliness has been very much in evidence in our communities, bringing about a safety net for those who needed additional help”.

The speech also recognised good work outside of the pandemic.

This ranged from building works on ten new homes in Jaywick Sands which have almost been completed, the Tendring4Growth Business Week, the new strategic vision for Dovercourt town centre, and Clacton’s successful stage one bid to the Future High Streets Fund.

Mr Stock also looked to the challenges and opportunities ahead, presented both by Covid-19 and existing difficulties posed by health and education inequalities.

The leader outlined the Back to Business programme as a holistic way of moving both the authority and the wider community forward as the threat from Coronavirus changes.

He said: “There are a number of different perspectives, including the council getting back to its own business.

“I also want our Back to Business programme to be focused on supporting our businesses getting back to work and kick-starting our economy… [and] I want to see us hold a spring festival to celebrate tourism in Tendring.

“The Government has been talking about an additional Bank Holiday at some point, so that could be a great timing opportunity for such an event.

“I would love to be able to create the opportunity to extend the tourist season.”

He added: “It is quite clear to me that Tendring Council is the best functioning local authority in Essex, and indeed probably way beyond.”

“We are a council that dedicates itself to the needs of residents. We listen and create Tendring’s community together. I have a very strong belief that together we can get so much more done with relentless positivity about our district and opportunities whilst always recognising and acknowledging our challenges.”