From Cllr Peter Schwier
Residents and businesses have less than a week to share how they think Essex County Council should prioritise its 2024/25 budget.
The consultation, due to close on 3 December, gives residents a say on how over £2 billion should be spent on essential services, as well as investments in the county’s infrastructure and growth. The council has a track record of robust financial management, having saved £235 million over the past five years.
However, the financial outlook for local authorities across the country is highly uncertain. This is in large part due to the significant impacts of high inflation, rising interest rates and continued pressure from the cost-of-living situation. With this uncertain outlook in mind, the council is asking residents and businesses for their views on:
the big issues faced and the challenges that lie ahead for Essex
the things concerning residents and their families
where the council should focus resources as it works to improve lives across the county
Responses will be used to inform the delivery of Everyone’s Essex in 2024/25 and beyond.
Councillor Chris Whitbread, Chancellor of Essex, said: “It’s vital that as many residents and businesses as possible give us their thoughts so we can invest where it matters most.
“Time is running out, so if you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit our website and make your voice heard by taking part in the consultation.
“We don’t have all the answers when it comes to addressing the challenges we face locally and nationally. Like many households across Essex, we must also make difficult choices about where we spend our budget and where to make savings. “We can learn a lot from our communities and it’s important we create opportunities for people and businesses to help inform our priorities for the coming year. A positive way of doing this is by sharing your views during the consultation.” The consultation on the council’s 2024/25 budget is open until Sunday 3 December and can be accessed at https://consultations.essex.gov.uk/rci/ecc-budget-consultation-2024-25/