Because of the current financial restrictions placed on local authorities, Braintree Council has had to seek various forms of savings and increased earnings. This is understood by most people - but those savings must be fair and across the board.

However, the council has targeted the rural areas by eliminating all grants and imposing the cost of services, previously borne by themselves, onto the local parish councils.

For instance, Earls Colne has had to increase its precept substantially to pay for the Queens Road car park and toilets.

At the same time, Braintree residents have not been adversely treated because they have no parish type precept as is the case in the rural areas; yet they still receive the services such as enhanced street cleaning, halls and car parks and their maintenance without being specifically charged for them.

In other words, the rural areas are funding them through the district council tax.

This all goes back to the setting up of the council - when it was decided not to place a charge on Braintree.

Instead, this would be balanced by the payment of a Parish Support Grant to equalise the effect. As the Parish Support Grant has now been removed, this needs to be revisited.

For illustration, if the Earls Colne precept of £61.56 for 2018/19 was placed on the unparished areas of Braintree and Bocking, this would result in a collectable amount of £883,788 according to the Council’s own calculation; a charge of roughly a pound a week.

This is the amount that the rural areas, along with Halstead and Witham, subsidise Braintree each and every year.

B. Gaught

Tey Road, Earls Colne