COUNCIL tax paid to County Hall is set to rise by 1.49 per cent.

Essex County Council's budget plans have been published this evening.

The Conservative administration has set out the increase in its share, which equates to a £16.19 rise for a Band D home for the 2014-15 financial year, or 31p per week.

Council tax charged by the authority has been frozen for the past three years.

A government grant would have been available for a freeze or rise less than one per cent, but the extra charge will generation an additional £2.9million for the authority.

This extra cash will be spent in three areas:

  • £1million on facilities for young people as part of the shake-up of youth services
  • £500,000 on the apprenticeship scheme
  • £1.4million on care support and early intervention for people with physical and learning needs.

The council also plans to spend £90million on highways projects including schemes for the A12, A120, A13 and A127 on top of cash for pothole repairs.

Deputy leader Kevin Bentley said: "This is a very modest increase, and with everything we do we have been very clear we are going to reinvest into the people and taxpayers of Essex."

Essex County Council receives 73p in every pound of council tax, with the rest of the money going to police, fire and local councils.

The budget plans will be debated at the authority's cabinet next Tuesday, with full council voting on the final proposals during its February meeting.

  • Read more in tomorrow's paper.