Essex

Essex County Council freezes council tax for 2012-13

Essex County Council has frozen its share of council tax for a second year after approving its budget for 2012-13.

A full meeting of the Conservative-controlled authority agreed the measure as part of its overall £2.14bn budget for the forthcoming financial year.

The budget, which includes £123m of savings, means council tax for a Band D house would be £1,086.

Council leader Peter Martin said the budget "sought to protect our frontline services as much as possible".

He said it "prioritised spending" on "economic infrastructure" and "safeguarding our most vulnerable".

He added: "This is also a budget that looks forward to the future challenges so that we can manage our resources in a sustainable and responsible manner."

Money to extend a council tax freeze in England to 2012-13 was unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne in October.

The council estimated it had already made savings of £197m since it began its Transformation Plan in 2009.

It expects this total to reach £330m by this March.

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