Local businesses have the opportunity to tell Essex County Council (ECC) about their priorities for spending in the next financial year through an online budget consultation. The insights gained from the survey will be used to help inform thinking as the Council develops its spending plans for 2020/21.

Every year, ECC spends around £2 billion on essential services for the people of Essex such as social care, highways and education. However for every £1 the County Council received five years ago from government to fund these services, only 37p is received today. More and more people that live in the county are accessing and using ECC services, but costs are also increasing.

The deadline for the survey is 15th December. Click here to take part.

Our effectiveness as a Council was confirmed last week when for the second year running, Essex was named in the top ten most productive councils by the consultants Impower. But year on year, the money we receive from Government has been reducing, meaning that we have to make very important and sometimes difficult decisions on where we spend it, and where we could make savings. We are also affected by factors such as inflation and the National Living Wage in the same way all large employers are. That is why we are consulting with residents and local businesses in Essex, to find out what their priorities are. We have already had to make over £370m of savings over the past five years, so it really is important to gather the views and ideas from residents and businesses before the planning process begins.”

David Finch
Leader of the Council
Essex County Council

Essex County Council's 2019-20 Capital Programme

As well as spending on day-to-day services, Essex County Council makes substantial investments to help meet future needs – transforming service delivery, developing and maintaining the county’s infrastructure and improving the quality of life for residents. Their 2019-20 Capital Programme includes £249m of investment. This can be analysed as follows:

  • Invest to Maintain (£83m). This includes areas where the Council is maintaining (but extending the life of) its current assets, for example, highways and the flood programme;
  • Invest to Save / Generate Returns (£22m). This includes areas where the Council is investing to generate a return or saving, for example, by developing accommodation for older people with disabilities, or rolling out LED lighting.
  • Invest to Grow (£144m). This includes areas where the Council is supporting the development of new highways infrastructure to support economic growth; creating new school places to meet the needs of our growing population; investing in new housing developments or investing in facilities colleges facilities to improve skills provision

There are some big decisions ahead and Essex County Council would value your views before setting next year’s council budget (April 2020 to March 2021).

Click here to have your say by the 15h December deadline.